Austria

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Pretty much all the remaining Vienna photos here, including shots from (below) the roof of a museum inside the “MuseumsQuartier” complex which encompasses the land on which the former imperial stables were housed  and  (above)  one  entrance  to the huge Hofburg complex, aka the main imperial palace are which  now houses a mix of state offices (e.g. Austrian President’s office) and public museums.


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The Ankeruhr is not the only lovely old clock that bridges a street in Vienna 🙂

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The Secession Building, located quite close to the high-baroque Karlskirche featured in our last post, was designed in 1897 as a statement of modernity by a leader in a new movement of artists and designers then flourishing in Vienna. After being burnt by retreating German forces at the end of WWII, it was later lovingly restored.


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The Karlskirche (St Charles Church), says my guide book, was built between 1715 and 1737 to honor the patron saint of the fight against the plague, which by 1713 had killed more than 8,000 residents of Vienna. For a fee, we were able not only to enter the building and climb to an overlook outside, but also to take a scaffolding-elevator within the sanctuary to a scaffolding-walkway high above the sanctuary, from which perspective I photographed the ornamented window in the gallery below.


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A colonnade along one side of the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna City Opera) building during an evening walk. Apparently no performance that evening because we walked all the way around it and the only line of people we found was folks queueing up for an underground dance club. For either environmental or budgetary reasons (or both), the façade was not dramatically lit, and we didn’t get back during daylight hours, so no photos of the rest of the building from this trip, sadly…

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A final image from Vienna’s lovely Stadtpark (City Park), which I failed to wrap into my last post from said park :-).

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Herewith the remaining imitation-Greco-Roman art & architecture I observed (and took time to photograph – honestly, there was a great deal more than just this, but even I can’t take a new photograph every second step) during my long weekend in Vienna. Above: no, it’s actually not the Parthenon in Athens but instead the Austrian Parliament Building. Despite my initial guess that this was built in the aftermath of WWI, it was actually built in the late 1800’s, so while Vienna was still a capital of the Habsburg Empire but when they’d decided to create houses of lords and representatives. The Pallas Athena statue certainly seems to convey a message about the strength of a democracy…a message many of us hope remains true. 🙂 Below, an 1820’s “replica of the Temple of Theseus in Athens,” now a popular spot for wedding photos. (The original, wiki tells us, was really a temple to Hephaestus but featured statues of Theseus, so folks got confused over the millennia.) The fancy building behind the wannabe Theseus Temple is Vienna’s City Hall.

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All my remaining photos of the grounds and building of Schönbrunn Palace. Just above, the west wing of the palace as seen from the west gardens, and above that, a greenhouse we didn’t enter, on the west side of the grounds. Immediately below, two photos I snuck while touring the rooms inside that wing and the rest of the palace: the photo out the window is looking out towards the Gloriette, built at the highest point in the park and from which (or of which) came most of the photos in the larger gallery further below. Just below the two circular indoor photos is one of my total favorite elements: a fake Roman Ruin! Yes, the Habsurgs must have suffered from imposter syndrome because they seem at some point in the 18th century or so to have decided it would enhance their prestige to have a “Roman Ruin” on the grounds of their summer palace. Umm, ok…. :-).

 


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We were at the Hofburg on a rather wet, cold and drizzly afternoon, so the idea of the butterfly house appealed. Not big enough and too crowded to be really worth the price of admission, IMHO, but still lovely to see these butterflies.

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This is Girardi Park (or so says Google Maps), next to the Secession Building, close to St Charles’s Church (two of the reasons we found ourselves in this corner of the city), and across the street from where we had our mandatory mid-afternoon cafe stop, Vienna being a city long loved for its cafe culture, after all :-).

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These are all from a lovely morning walk in the Wiener Stadtpark (Vienna City Park) before setting out on our longer exploration of the whole Schönbrunn complex. Our hotel was just next to this park, which is smack in the heart of the city. Seeing how many monuments with sculptures of Vienna’s great composers (including Schubert, below), or other artistic flourishes such as the other sculpture below — entitled “freeing the spring” (more or less) and apparently depicting two men working to remove a stone that’s blocking a well or spring — reminded me that quite aside from being for centuries an important center of power in Europe, Vienna was also / has also long been a leading center of culture for centuries. In that “spa” building shown above are frequent waltz events, the waltz being probably the form of music and dancing most closely associated with Vienna.

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A (rainy) daytime view of Vienna’s Stephansdom (of you’ve seen the nighttime view in an earlier post), along with a few scenes from the plaza and adjoining streets around it on that particular afternoon.


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That’s the actual Schönbrunn Palace at the bottom of the  hill — and we will show more of it in future posts, I promise – but since the stroll through the grounds with autumnal foliage everywhere was so lovely, that’s the focus today :-).


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I’m certainly happy that we lingered in the gardens first before approaching the actual palace at Schönbrunn. And didn’t this particular leaf times its fall well? 🙂

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This is Vienna’s Anker Clock, whose 12 pairs of people are dressed to represent different phases of Viennese cultural history. A different pair parades across each hour, and at noon each day, all 12 parade across in succession – so the guide books say. It was raining so we weren’t able to stay long enough to get the full experience.

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…still in the gorgeous autumnal gardens of Schloss Schönbrunn 🙂