Franz-Josefs-Kai around 1876. In the central background the Hotel Metropol on Morzinplatz, which became the largest regional Gestapo centre of the Third Reich from 1938 to 1945.
The hotel was built for the Vienna World Exhibition and was designed by Carl Schumann and Ludwig Tischler. The four-story building was richly decorated with Corinthian columns, caryatids and atlases. The inner court was glassed over and had a richly decorated dining hall.
After the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany in March 1938, the hotel was confiscated by the Gestapo who made it their headquarters. With a staff of 900 (80 per cent of whom were recruited from the Austrian police), it was the largest Gestapo office outside of Berlin. Many people, especially Jews, were interrogated or tortured there. During the war the building was hit by a bomb and burned down and ultimately the ruins were demolished to eliminate any memory of the building.