Monday, May 31, 2010

Vienna Festival

The Vienna Festival (Wiener Festwochen) is a cultural festival that takes place every year for some weeks in May and June. It was established in 1951 when Vienna was still occupied by the four Allies. It is one of the major highlights of the city´s annual cultural programme and throughout the years it has become one of the world´s leading cultural festivals. The emblem of the festival is a red and white "w" - I stumbled upon this big one in front of the Vienna State Opera.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Here you can see the Danube Canal, the white building with the tower is the Urania (a public educational institute and observatory), the

Sweet Sunday #2

Which cake would you like for dessert? They look all very delicious...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Architecture Days

Today is the second day of the "Architekturtage" (Achitecture Days) which are taking place all over Austria for the fifth time. An extensive programme offers wide-ranging opportunities to experience architecture close-up: Open house days in architects´ offices and exciting buildings, specialist guided tours, excursions in town and country and beyond Austria´s borders, visits to construction sites, lectures, discussions, films, festivals and art events...
In this photo you can see one of the construction sites that can be visited: this high-rise building in Praterstraße, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, will soon house a 182 rooms luxury hotel.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Long Night of the Churches

Tonight is the "Long Night of the Churches", an annual ecumenical project throughout Austria which offers a free look at many churches, cathedrals and monasteries. It also presents a comprehensive programme of free religious concerts, acitivities and events.
The church in this photo is Jesuit Church, also known as University Church because it is adjacent to the Old University buildings. The church was originally built between 1623 and 1637, but redecorated in 1703 when the twin towers where added and the facade reworked in an early Baroque style.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blue and White

Yes, in Vienna you can also find modern buildings! This one is an office building on Praterstraße in the 2nd district - nothing spectacular, but I love the colours in this photo.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweet things

Yesterday I passed once again by "Xocolat", the chocolate shop I mentioned already here. Unfortunately it was closed, so I could just gaze at the window display...

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I saw this woman the other day at Essl Museum and I think her clothing is very ... interesting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Garden of Phantasy

The day before yesterday I was at the opening of the exhibition "Niki de Saint Phalle. In the Garden of Phantasy" at Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg, 12 km off Vienna. The museum primarily shows the collection of Agnes and Karlheinz Essl which comprises Austrian art from 1945, but there are also international temporary exhibitions.
In this photo you can see one of the famous colourful "Nanas" (female sculptures) of French sculptor, painter and film maker Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Emperor Franz Joseph I

Well, and here is "Sisis" husband, Emperor Franz Joseph I. This bust is situated at the Fine Arts Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) which was built on his behest to house the extensive collections of the imperial family.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monument to "Sisi"

This monument to famous Empress Elisabeth ("Sisi") in Volksgarten was designed by architect Friedrich Ohmann and unveiled in 1907 (nine years after her death) in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I who had chosen himself the location of the memorial. The monument is made of marble and shows "Sisi" in her prime, without any attributes of an Empress.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Courtyard of Palais Harrach

Palais Harrach houses the interior designer I have presented to you already here and here. Some days ago I noticed this new garden furniture in the courtyard. I would have loved to take a rest there... I didn´t dare altough it was sunday and nobody would have seen me...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Doorway of Palais Harrach

Palais Harrach is a baroque palace on Freyung in the first district, erected in 1690 for Count Ferdinand Bonaventura Harrach, and adjacent to Palais Ferstel that I have presented to you last week.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The idler

The sculpture "The idler" by German artist Cosima von Bonin was erected some days ago on Graben in the city center at the initiative of the organization "Public Art Vienna". The press release says that this temporary installation "[...] focuses on the commercial excesses of inner city spaces. The Pinocchio presents himself as a disruptive element on Vienna´s consumption binge boulevard, because he resists the impulse to buy and - as an "idler" and "good-for-nothing" - interferes with the efficient flow of transactions, thus symbolically obstructing the circulation of money and commidities. In a culture of logos, the art object turns into a "blank", heralding a social utopia beyond the market logic in its rejection of commercialization and trade efficiency [...]". I wonder what modern art would be without such explanations...

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I have good news for all lovers of the famous Parisian Ladurée macaroons: you can get them even in Vienna, at "Xocolat" in Palais Ferstel. I didn´t try them yet, but the other day I bought there some very delicious pralines.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Palais Ferstel 6

You can enter the shopping arcade also by a side entrance from this small courtyard.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Palais Ferstel 5

Above the shops there are beautiful caryatid and atlantid figures.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Palais Ferstel 4

Even this 6m high "Danube mermaid fountain", made of marble and bronze, was designed by Heinrich von Ferstel.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Palais Ferstel 1

The Palais Ferstel was created by Heinrich von Ferstel between 1856 and 1860. At the time of its opening, it was considered as Vienna´s "most up-to date" building. The palace briefly housed the Vienna Stock Exchange and the Austro-Hungarian National Bank. Since 1876 it houses the famous Café Central, nowadays you can find there also a very nice shopping arcade.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sneak view

If you approach the area of the Belvedere Palaces from Rennweg, you get this first view of the Upper Belvedere.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Puppy vase

I saw this vase at the stand of a slovenian gallery at VIENNAFAIR. It´s not just a vase, it´s an artwork... The inspiration was quite obviously Jeff Koons´ puppy in front of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Spain).

Thursday, May 6, 2010


This weekend VIENNAFAIR, an international contemporary art fair focusing on Central and Eastern Europe takes place at Messe Wien. Over 110 renowned galleries from more than 20 countries have been selected by an international committee to showcase their latest works in several areas of art: painting, graphic art, sculpture, photgraphy, media, installations and performance.
This portrait of Marilyn Monroe is made of little portraits of John F. Kennedy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The Volksgarten is a public park in Vienna´s first district. The area was previously occupied by a bastion which was demolished by French troops following the Napoleonic Wars. The park was opened to the public in 1823. In the background you can see the Natural History Museum.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Et tu, Duchamp?

This bronze sculpture by Indian artist Subodh Gupta was placed last week on Kunsthalle wien public space karlsplatz where it will remain until October 31, 2010. Gupta, who calls himself "idol thief", quotes in his works icons of European art, positioning them in new contexts. For the sculpture "Et tu, Duchamp?" he has used the French artist Marcel Duchamp´s work "L.H.O.O.Q." (1919) which shows Mona Lisa disfigured by a moustache and a goatee, as a model.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Anker Clock

The Anker Clock is a bridge between the two parts of the former Anker Insurance Company‘s building. It was created by the painter and sculptor Franz von Matsch and built from 1911 to 1917. In the course of 12 hours, twelve historical figures or pairs of figures move across the bridge. Every day at noon, all of the figures parade, each accompanied by music from its era.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Theme Day: Statue

This statue shows Austrian opera singer, actor and playwright Johann Nestroy (1801-1862). After a career as an opera singer in several European cities, he returned to his native Vienna and took up writing and acting. This combination of careers has caused Nestroy to be called the "Austrian Shakespeare". Nestroy's career as a playwright was an immediate success, he soon became a leading figure in Austrian culture and society.