The Republic of Kugelmugel (Vienna, Austria)

The Republic of Kugelmugel
Photo by Ross Menkman

The micronation of the Republic of Kugelmugel is located entirely within the city of Vienna, Austria. The tiny Republic that declared its independence in 1976 is so small that it’s actually entirely within the Prater, a large park in the middle of Vienna. Established after a series of disputes between Edwin Lipburger, an Austrian artist, and the authorities over building permits that wouldn’t allow the spherical house, the Republic became a one-man protest against tyranny. Or rather it became a one-man protest against the tyranny of local building code violations.

Originally located at the Landesstraße 4091 in Katzelsdorf, Lower Austria in 1971, the Republic of Kugelmugel was relocated to its current location within Prater park in 1982. At the same time of its relocation the cheerful eight-foot-tall barbed wire fence was added.

The Republic of Kugelmugel has been officially adopted by the city that once prevented its construction and is administered by Vienna’s government and used as a tourist attraction. The round building located at 2., Antifaschismusplatz “Anti-Fascism Square”, and it is the only street address within the Republic.
Kugelmugel street sign – Photo by Get Down

Though it operates as its own country only in spirit, Kugelmugel has in the past issued its own passports and celebrated its own holidays. They unfortunately are currently unable to process new passports but you can still visit and may celebrate the spirit of Kugelmugel any time of the year by sticking it to the man.

Republic of Kugelmugel Facts

  • Kugelmugel now primarily serves as a local tourist attraction and an art/performance space.
  • In 1979, Lipburger was arrested and sent to jail for ten weeks.
  • The Republic officially holds a population of over 650 non-resident citizens.
  • Lower Austria bans spherical dwellings.
  • The word “Kugel” means ball or  in German and the word “Mugel” is a slang Austrian expression for bump (or a high point on a hill).
  • The interior of the nation is open for art exhibitions and “tours” may be made by appointment.
  • The second Head of State, President Nikolaus Lipburger, succeeded his father President Edwin Lipburger upon his 2015 death.
  • The Official of language Kugelmugel is German.
  • The Republic of Kugelmugel’s National Flag shares the same red and white colors as the Austrian National Flag.