Hannes Richter

A Secretary of State's 19 Days in Vienna

Hannes Richter
A Secretary of State's 19 Days in Vienna

All photos courtesy U.S. Department of State


Secretary of State John Kerry spent 19 days in Vienna from June 26th to July 14th, 2015. While negotiating the nuclear agreement with Iran, together with his colleagues from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the EU, Secretary Kerry also spent time in Vienna’s parks, restaurants and strolled down the Ringstrasse.


Secretary Kerry would often take spontaneous walks during his hotel arrivals and departures, stretching his legs and working on his rehab with trips around the city. Above, the Secretary is seen walking by the Wiener Musikverein, home to the world renowned “New Year’s Concert.” 


Another day, another walk, this one on June 28, 2015, around the Hotel Imperial. Here, the Secretary is seen returning to his hotel from a walk on the “Ring.”

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During one break in the talks on July 1, 2015, Secretary Kerry went to the Stadtpark. A young boy approached him and asked if he could get a photo with him. The boy later explained that his mother had been a flight attendant on an Austrian Airlines flight the Secretary took last year after his Air Force plane was grounded in Vienna due to technical issues


Secretary Kerry took one of his longest walks during his stay in Vienna following a dinner on July 7, 2015, passing the Pestsäule - one of the most prominent sculptures in the city – during a trip down the Graben, a main city thoroughfare and pedestrian mall.


Secretary Kerry sought a change of scenery on July 10, 2015, after repeated meals at the Palais Coburg, so he and a group of staff members traveled to Stephansplatz, next to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, for dinner at a local restaurant.


The staff at the Palais Coburg not only played American music during the U.S. Embassy’s Fourth of July party, but they also presented Secretary Kerry with a star-spangled cake on July 4, 2015.

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Secretary of State John Kerry admired St. Stephen’s Cathedral on July 12, 2015, as he walked through the gothic building where Mozart’s funeral was held and where President John F. Kennedy attended a 45-minute mass in Latin during a 1961 summit with Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev before resuming the nuclear program negotiations.