Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Kuffner Observatory

The Kuffner observatory is a telescope-equipped public astronomical observatory located in the 16th district. The observatory was constructed from 1884-1886 and financed by Moriz von Kuffner, who made a fortune in the brewery business and was a significant sponsor of Vienna's social and cultural life as well as a mentor of astronomy. During the years leading up to World War I the observatory became one of the most important astronomy sites in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and established a considerable international reputation. After World War II it was converted into an educational astronomy facility. Today the main task of the observatory consists in public education on astronomy, operating and preserving the historical equipment, and minor projects in scientific astronomy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Colourful Street Art

A colourful piece of street art for today's Shrove Tueday, the last day of the carnival. Author of this mural in the 4th district is the Spanish street artist Pez.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Everybody waltz!

Another window display inspired by the current ball season. I love how the petit fours are decorated and arranged as ball visitors and debutantes. At the Vienna Opera Ball, the highlight of the Viennese carnival season, the last dance of the debutantes is always the "Blue Danube" Viennese waltz by Johann Strauss II, after which the floor is opened to all guests with the words "Everybody waltz!". Please click here for a video of the debutantes' inaugural waltz at the Vienna Opera Ball.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Flowers #177

"If every plant and flower were found in all places, the charm of locality would not exist.
Everything varies, and that gives the interest." - Richard Jefferies

Saturday, February 6, 2016

When the Evening Falls...

It's time for a photo of the Old Danube again, don't you think so? I took this picture on the first day of 2016, when it was rather chilly. The swans didn't seem to be bothered by the low temperature.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Closer Look

Here's a closer look of one of the mansions that I showed you yesterday. I wouldn't have any problem to move in if somebody asked me (and paid my rent)...

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Three Mansions

These three mansions are located right accross from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. During my walks in the high-priced areas of Vienna, I often wonder how my life would be if I was born into a family living in one of those edifices...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences is located in the 19th district. It was founded in 1872 and is "a teaching and research center for renewable resources, which are necessary for human life" with currently around 12.000 students. The main building which you can see in this photo, was erected in 1896.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Shall we Dance?

The current window decoration of the K. und K. (Imperial and Royal) Court Confectionary Bakery "Demel" was inspired by the ongoing ball season during which you can attend more than 450 balls. The sugarfigures and flowers in the window are all handcrafted, and they are rotating around their axis.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Theme Day: Scene From a Coffee House

Since October 2011 the "Viennese Coffee House Culture" is listed as "Intangible Cultural Heritage" in the Austrian inventory of the "National Agency for the Intangible Cultural Heritage", a part of UNESCO. The Viennese coffee house is described in this inventory as a place "where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill." Austrian writer Stefan Zweig described the Viennese Coffee House as a "sort of democratic club, open to everyone for the price of a cheap cup of coffee, where every guest can sit for hours with this little offering, to talk, write, play cards, receive post, and above all consume an unlimited number of newspapers and journals." Though this gentleman opted for tea, he was completely absorbed in his magazine for quite a while and nobody - not even the waiter - bothered him.
Click here to view thumbnails of all participants in the theme day.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Flowers #176

 
"In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Baroque Baroque #5

A last photo of the "Baroque Baroque" exhibition: "Kaleidoscope", the artwork in the beautiful Sala Terrena, consists of six tapering mirrored panels, fixed together to form a seven-meter-long hexagonal optical device hung from the ceiling of the room. According to Olafur Eliasson "the kaleidoscope makes us understand through experience that what we see through its mechanism is to a large extent negotiable, relative and open for engagement." The exhibition runs through March 6, 2016.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Baroque Baroque #4

"Wishes versus wonders" - that's the name of this fascinating artwork by Olafur Elisasson. I have already shown it to you last November when I attended the opening of the exhibition. The day after Christmas I happened to be alone in the room for some minutes and took another photo in which you can also see the beautiful surrounding of the artwork.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Baroque Baroque #3

Here's another photo of the "Baroque Baroque" exhibition with the artworks "Endless doughnut", "The horizon series" and "Fivefold cube". I love the contrast of the pieces of contemporary art and the room. How about you?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Yellow Corridor

During the Christmas holidays I visited the exhibition "Baroque Baroque" by Olafur Eliasson at the Belvedere's Winter Palace one again. The exhibition starts with the "Yellow Corridor": The staircase is lit with yellow monofrequency lamps which reduce the range of visible colour to yellow and black. An unusual effect.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Upper Belvedere - Side View

A side view of the Upper Belvedere last Sunday. By now the snow has completely gone and the temperature is rather springlike.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trapped in The Present

On Saturday evening the city was beautifully covered with snow. During the night the temperature increased and the snow turned into slush... Maybe you are now wondering why this snowman still looks so perfect. Well, because he's made of marble and a sculpture by Austrian artist Manfred Erjautz. The website of the Belvedere, in front of which he is located, says that he "symbolizes not only a particular season but also memories and the complexities of transience. The snowman is deprived of its ephemeral existence through the creative process, ultimately leading to it becoming trapped in the present."

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Covered With Snow

Originally I wanted to continue today my "Sunday Flowers" series, but then it got chilly, so there were no flowers on display in front of the flower shops, and beyond that yesterday at noon it started to snow again. So here's the MuseumsQuartier as it looked like yesterday afternoon. I like the atmosphere of the city when it's covered with freshly fallen snow - it's calmer than usually... The forescast for today: increase in temperature.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Green Dragon

The bright green steel construction, called "The Dragon", at the entrance of a newly revitalized dormitory in the 19th district, is a real eye-catcher.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Italian Luxury Cars Only...

I discovered this sign on a garage door of a villa in the 19th district during my last Sunday afternoon walk. People who live there might be able afford a Maserati, but there was no one in sight...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Paulinenwarte

The viewing tower "Paulinenwarte" is located on a hill in Türkenschanzpark in the 19th district. Originally it offered not only a beautiful view of the city, but also served as water tank.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Just Trees And a Bench

Last Sunday I took advantage of the rather sunny (but chilly) weather and went for a walk in Türkenschanzpark in the 19th district where these trees  and the bench caught my eyes. The park's name derives from the Turkish entrenchments at the site during the Second Turkish siege of Vienna (1683). Türkenschanzpark was built by local citizens together with the neighbouring "Wiener Cottage" settlement under the supervision of a city gardener and was only later taken over by the City of Vienna. Emperor Franz Joseph I  inaugurated the park on September 30, 1888.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sitting by The Water

The photo is not perfect, but I like it anyway. I took it during my afternoon walk along the Old Danube on December 31, 2015. I'm wondering if the girl was looking back on the past year...

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sale is Still Going on

The spring collections have already arrived to most of the shops, but that doesn't mean that sales are over... The writing on these "dresses" says "Everything must go!" in German.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Flowers #175

"January opens
The box of the year
And brings out days
That are bright and clear
And brings out days
That are cold and grey
And shouts, "Come see
What I brought today!" - Leland B. Jacobs, January
  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Albertina - The Rococo Room

This room was refurbished in Neo-Rococo in 1875 and is the only example of that style in the palace. Princess Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg used the room as her study. After her death it became the classroom of her six children. I especially like the draperies...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Albertina - The Reception Room

Here people waited for the audience with Princess Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg. The beautiful Empire-style room has been preserved with little change since 1823.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Albertina - Hall of the Muses #3

The Albertina museum houses one of the largest and most important graphic art collections in the world. Besides the pieces of graphic art there are also 20 Habsburg Staterooms that can be visited. The Hall of the Muses was used as a dining room and as a glamorous venue for soirées and balls. The hall derives its name from the life-sized sculptures of Apollo and the nine Muses. For more photos please click here and here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Beautiful Sky

Yesterday afternoon I briefly left the office to get a late lunch and saw this beautiful sky over the Haas Haus and St. Stephen's Cathedral. A nice change to the recent greyness.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Street Art Portrait

I'm sick of showing you how grey the days currently are in Vienna. So here is a street art portrait of a young girl framed with some colours that I discovered some weeks ago on the banks of the Danube Canal. Unfortunately I couldn't find out who has created this portrait.