If you walk a couple of hundred meters from the Praterstern
subway station in Vienna, you end up at the border of
the Republic of Kugelmugel,
a surface-minimizing micro-nation founded by
The story behind this globular nation is as follows: Edwin Lipburger
wanted to build a spherical house, believing that it was the shape
most in harmony with nature. He called the building "Kugelmugel", which
roughly means "Ball Hill". When authorities complained that he lacked
building permit and had to tear the structure down, Edwin responded
by declaring the ball a nation of its own and started issuing
money and stamps.
After a bit of to-and-fro, the house ended up being moved to the
Vienna Prater, and Edwin ended up being moved to jail for refusing to
pay Austrian taxes. (The Austrian president saw the comedy in it all
and pardoned him.)
Edwin continued his battle with the bureaucracy, which, to anyone
even vaguely familiar with the Austrian "Amt"-culture, must be
seen as a David versus Goliath battle. Former Mayor of Vienna
Dr. Helmut Zilk ended up on Edwin's shit list when he forged
a demolition permit for Kugelmugel.
Somewhere in all this Edwin, while not losing all his marbles,
certainly seems to have lost the big one. What started out as
an architectural experiment is now just a quaint ball of bitterness and
which makes it a lot less interesting and a lot more sad to me.
Right above the top left window is a faded quote from
Dipl.-Ing W. Zach:
"Was sind Zweiecke?" /
"What are diangles?"
Street sign placing the spherical republic in the 2nd distict of Vienna,
1 Anti-Fascist Place. The explanatory sign below reads: "Dieser Platz
ist dem grossen demokratischen Revolutionsführer EDWIN LIPBURGER
der hier begonnen hat, die ganze alte moral abzuschaffen und alle
Korruptions - Formen unter jeder Maske zu bekämpfen und auszumerzen,
gewidmet." Or, in English: "This place is dedicated to the
great democratic revolutionary leader EDWIN LIPBURGER, who
here began to abolish the entire old moral and to fight and eliminate
all forms of corruption whatever masks they may be behind."
Despite his struggle against in his mind oppressive authorities,
and despite placing the republic at "1 Anti Fascist Place", in
a sublimely ironic way, the flag of the Republic Kugelmugel
looks like nothing as much as the old Nazi flag, with the swastika
replaced with a picture of the round Republic's sole inhabitant.
Attachment of the house to the ground. The house is built
around the cylinder that here can be seen anchoring it.
Edwin's shit list. The left is a proclamation that Dr. Helmut Zilk's
honorary citizenship in Kugelmugel is revoked due to treason etc.
The text is too rambling to warrant translation, and should be
experienced in its native German anyway for maximum effect. The right
lists more of Zilk's sins against the Republic of Kugelmugel.