The origins of Vienna General Hospital go back to Dr. Johann Franckh, who donated properties in 1686, after the end of the second Siege of Vienna, at the corridor Schaffernack for the establishment of a military hospital. However, since money was lacking for the establishment of the buildings, the disabled veterans were quartered, including families, in the Kontumazhof (epidemic hospital), already in existence. In 1693, Emperor Leopold I arranged the establishment of the large hospital. In 1697, the first ward was finished, into which 1042 persons were quartered.
By 1724, 1740 persons lived there. Extending the complex was made possible by the will of Ferdinand Baron von Thavonat, who left his estate to disabled soldiers in 1726. The marriage or widow yard, now Thavonathof, was to be finished. Also, the side yards formed by Zwischentrakte, the patient yard (4.), Restaurant economics (5.) and craftsman center (7.) were established.
During 1752 to 1774, further development occurred for the student yard (3.) and the house supervisor yard (6.). The inhabitants had to wear their own uniforms and received individual copper coins, which could be redeemed with the bakers in the complex, butchers, etc. The dissolution of the neighbouring cemetery came finally in 1834 of the 8th and 9th wards, in addition.
On January 28, 1783, Emperor Joseph II visited the poorhouse. He stated the fact that the enormous plant served more as an accommodation for people who gained entry by virture of their connections. those who were the neediest, were still in need of care. Professor Dr. Joseph Quarin, who later became director, used a general hospital plan.
On August 16, 1784, the opening took place. The hospital was responsible initially only for the attendance of patients; the remaining tasks of the hospitals were separate. To the hospital were attached a maternity ward, an orphanage , and a lunatic asylum. The Narrenturm was the first special building for the accommodation of mental patients.
Particularly in the 19th century, Vienna General Hospital was the center of the Viennese Medical School, as one of the centers of medical research. Thus Ignaz Semmelweis made his observations of hygiene, and Karl Landsteiner discovered at the AKH the groups of blood types.
The site of the old AKH is used as the main university campus of the University of Vienna, and includes the university’s medical institutes as well as numerous humanities institutes and several catering trade enterprises and smaller enterprises.