Blutgasse, Vienna’s Street of Blood by Catherine Cavendish.
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My latest novel – Wrath of the Ancients – is mainly set in the endlessly fascinating city of Vienna, Austria’s imperial capital and one of the most architecturally beautiful cities in the world. This is largely due to the efforts of one of its most famous Emperors – Franz Josef – who reigned from the turbulent revolutionary year of 1848 until his death in 1916.
It was Franz Josef who ripped up the cramped, unhealthy and unsanitary heart of the walled city and replaced it with the famous Ringstrasse, encircling inner Vienna and flanked by magnificent neo-classical Greek edifices housing the parliament, opera house, post office and much more besides.
Yet some of the narrow, winding cobbled streets remain. No longer unsanitary, these provide a romantic evening stroll and a peaceful daytime wander, away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas.
One of the oldest of these streets is Blutgasse – Blood Street – which lies in the heart of the city, near to St Stefan’s Cathedral.
The street is home to a number of picturesque courtyards – most of which are open to the public to wander around. At night, with few people around, the silence can be quite uncanny. The tall buildings effectively soundproof the street and, with no traffic allowed, the sound of your footsteps can be the only noise to puncture the quiet. It becomes quite easy to believe some of the many legends surrounding this unique place.
It is said that, in 1312, the Knights Templar were brutally slain in this street. So many were killed that its cobblestones ran with blood, giving it the name it has been known by ever since.
The men had tried to hide, but in vain. It is said that they did manage to conceal their treasure there which, to this day, has never been found. Maybe this is why they return, still searching for that which was theirs.
Their headquarters can still be seen at Blutgasse 9. This leads to a courtyard called Fähnrichshof (Ensigns’ Court) Here stands an ancient plane tree, said to house the remains of a Knights Templar’s sword, embedded deep within it.
For many years, those who were condemned to death had to walk along this street to their place of execution.
No wonder their cries echo as whispers to this day and take people by surprise. The ghosts don’t wait for nightfall. Many of them can be heard and even glimpsed in broad daylight.
Such creatures were greatly to be feared as they could kill with one glance and their venom was so powerful, it left a deathly trail in its wake. Whenever anything went seriously wrong, you could be sure the basilisk was at the heart of it.
For one small street, Blutgasse packs a mighty punch. Stroll along it, stop, listen. Is that the sound of swords clashing? Or the hiss of the mighty basilisk, arising from its slumber?
Destiny In Death
Eminent archaeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus has unearthed the burial chamber of Cleopatra. But this tomb raider’s obsession with the Queen of the Nile has nothing to do with preserving history. Stealing sacred and priceless relics, he murders his expedition crew, and flees—escaping the quake that swallows the site beneath the desert sands . . .
Young widow Adeline Ogilvy has accepted employment at the mansion of Dr. Quintillus, transcribing the late professor’s memoirs. Within the pages of his journals, she discovers the ravings of a madman convinced he possessed the ability to reincarnate Cleopatra. Within the walls of his home, she is assailed by unexplained phenomena: strange sounds, shadowy figures, and apparitions of hieroglyphics.
Something pursued Dr. Quintillus from Egypt. Something dark, something hungry. Something tied to the fate and future of Adeline Ogilvy . . .
Wrath Of The Ancients
About the Author:
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. She was the joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy – Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse, Saving Grace Devine and many more. She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshiped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.
You can connect with Cat here: