"In other parts of the world you have new, modern things. But the old things, I think, are more important."

The history of Austria's capital is inconceivable without its coffeehouses. The Blue Bottle Coffee House, which opened in 1686, was one of Europe's first. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, artists and philosophers would gather at Viennese coffeehouses to read, work, and debate—some were so wed to the routine, mail carriers would deliver their letters directly to their preferred cafes.

This short documentary, filmed by Orlando Gili and produced by Jungles in Paris, considers the place of the coffeehouse in modern Vienna. Inside two Viennese institutions, Café Sperl and Café Hawelka, coffeehouse owners discuss how old-world culture has survived amid cups of melange and plates of buchteln. "In other parts of the world you have new, modern things. But the old things, I think, are more important," says Gunther Hawelka, whose family opened their cafe in 1939.

One more thing: Fans of Before Sunrise should pay close attention to the scenes filmed inside Café Sperl. They'll look very familiar.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a closed street in St. Louis
    Equity

    The Curious Tale of the St. Louis Street Barriers

    Thanks to an '80s mania for traffic calming, the St. Louis grid is broken by hundreds of bollards and cul-de-sacs. Critics say it’s time to get rid of them.

  2. A young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.
    Life

    How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

  3. Design

    A New Plan to Correct a Historic Mistake in Pittsburgh

    A Bjarke Ingels Group-led plan from 2015 has given way to a more “practical” design for the Lower Hill District. Concerns over true affordable housing remain.

  4. Life

    How to Inspire Girls to Become Carpenters and Electricians

    Male-dominated trades like construction, plumbing, and welding can offer job security and decent pay. A camp aims to show girls these careers are for them, too.

  5. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.