Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sunset behind the Natural History Museum

That´s what I saw, when I recently stepped out of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts): the sunset behind the Natural History Museum.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Theseus

Ascending the stairs of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, visitors pass the sculpture "Theseus defeats the Centaur" by Antonio Canova. The sculpture was originally ordered by Napoleon to glorify the victory over the Austrians in the Battle of Marengo (1805). But as his era was over before the work was finished, Canova had to find a new purchaser and found it in Napoleon´s father-in-law Franz II who reinterpreted the sculpture as national monument to the victory over Napoleon in 1814. Until 1890 the sculpture was located at the Theseus Temple.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Closer Look

Let´s take a closer look at one of the fountains in front of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts)...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kunsthistorisches Museum & Maria Theresia

The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), opened in 1891, was constructed by Gottfried Semper and Karl Hasenauer in order to house the art collections of the imperial Habsburg family and to make it accessible to the general public. On the square in front of the museum is located a monument to Empress Maria Theresia, the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominians and the last of the House of Habsburg. She implemented significant reforms to strenghten Austria´s military and bureaucratic efficiency (e.g. she established the compulsary education for children of both genders from the ages of six to twelve years). There are also some small fountains on the square.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Flowers #5

"The flower fades that is not looked upon." - Edward Counsel

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Grace Of Light

The current decoration in the window of the Swarovski shop on Kärntner Straße shows a woman wearing a dress by designer Prabal Gurung; the white tube roses, pink pepper, lychees, and jasmine at her feet depict the elements of the new fragrance "Aura" by Swarovski. Click here for the "Aura" commercial.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dolce Vita For Rent

If you are staying at the Design Hotel Le Méridien, want to explore the city and have a feeling of "dolce vita", you can rent Italian scooters (vespas) for 8 or 24 hours. Did you know that "vespa" means "wasp" in Italian?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Modern Kiosk

This modern snack bar is located in courtyard 2 of the MuseumsQuartier (the same courtyard where currently you can admire the sand sculptures). In the evening the roof is illumniated with a changing array of colours.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sand Sculpture #2

Here is the Dutch sailing ship that was created by an artist of the World Sand Sculpting Academy at the MuseumsQuartier. I´m sorry for the bad photo due to backlighting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sand Sculpture #1

Since last week in one of the courtyards of MuseumsQuartier an artist from the World Sand Sculpting Academy has created a sculpture representing a Dutch sailing ship and life at sea using 25.000 kilos of special sand. When I took this photo the works had just started.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Light House

Originally this light house was part of the coulisse of the Bregenz Festival (Vorarlberg) in 1989. Afterwards it was transferred to Vienna and located next to the Museum of Technology for some years. In 1997 it was finally erected on Donauinsel and is now considered as its landmark. In the background you can see the skyscraper "Neue Donau", designed by the Austrian born-Australian architect Harry Seidler and constructed from 1990 to 2002.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Flowers #4

A perfect arrangement: white hortensias and beautiful white baskets...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Morning Line #2

"The Morning Line" pavilion attracts the attention of the passers-by and is a very popular subject for photos, but - of course - not everybody likes it (I heard an Italian tourist say to his son that he doesn´t even want to know what this thing is). I´m a big fan of art in public space and think it revitalizes the terrible concrete desert of Schwarzenbergplatz. Click here for a video of the pavilion.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Morning Line #1

"The Morning Line", a public art structure (8m high, 20m long, built of 20 tons of coated aluminium and conceived by the British artist Matthew Ritchie), is a platform for contemporary music and composition and will reside on Schwarzenbergplatz for six months. The sonic pavilion has already been to Seville and Istanbul and has now been assembled in a completely new form developed especially for Vienna. It uses an interactive ambi-sonic sound system comprising 47 speakers to broadcast a series of stimulating new works by some of the world´s greatest sonic artists. In the background you can see the Heroes´ Monument of the Red Army which commemorates the 17.000 Soviet soldiers who died in the Battle for Vienna of World War II.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

French Spirit

If you feel like having some french cake, "Süssi" in Margaretenstraße in the 4th district is the perfect place for you. It´s a small french tea room, opened in 2008, where you can drink Mariage Frères tea and choose between french cakes, "crèmes gourmandes" and more sweet treats in a wonderful kitschy atmosphere.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Augarten Manufactory

That´s where the Augarten porcelain is produced, the newly renovated former garden hall of Augarten Palace. Some months ago I participated in a very informative guided tour where I saw the complete process from the raw material to the finished, painted artefacts. Click here for more informations about the guided tours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Augarten Porcelain

Augarten porcelain was founded in 1718, it is famous for its delicate and graceful shapes and it is still produced and painted by hand in the manufactory at Augarten castle in the 2nd district. One of the windows of the new flagship store is currently decorated with the "Melon" coffee service, designed by Austrian architect and designer of consumer goods Josef Hoffmann in 1929.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Owl Is Watching You

This huge owl is looking down on the pedestrians from the main library building of the University of Technology. The building was completed in 1987, the owl sculptures (if you look closely you can see two smaller ones of a total of 16) were created by the Swiss architect Bruno Weber.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reading The Newspaper

When I saw this lady sitting on a (modern) bench and reading her newspaper I just had to take a photo because her pullover is perfectly matching the yellow flowers.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Side Table

When the weather is fine, people love to sit outside while having lunch or dinner. In addition to "normal" tables and chairs, this  French restaurant in the city center offers also some kind of side tables in front of its windows. I wouldn´t want to have a romantic dinner at one of these tables, but I think they are a good idea for a quick refreshment.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Plague Column

The Plague Column is located on Graben in the city center. During the terrible plague epidemic of 1679, which cost an estimated 100.000 lives, the desperate Emperor Leopold I prayed for help and vowed he would erect a memorial at the end of the epidemic. That same year a large cross was erected, in 1692 it was replaced with the current monument created by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, an important architect of the Baroque period.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mozart Ducks

Thanks to Austroducks company, the first provider of rubber ducks with an Austria theme, music lovers can now take a bath with Mozart. If you click here, you can order one of these ducks online.

Monday, June 6, 2011

University of Music and Performing Arts

Since 1999 the main building of the University of Music and Performing Arts is located in the 3rd district. It was constructed between 1821 and 1823 and housed the University of Veterinary Medicine until 1996, which moved to a new campus on the outskirts of Vienna at that time. The University of Music and Performing Arts is one of the largest arts universities in the world. Its curricula range from instrumental studies, voice and voice performance, to acting, the film academy, music education and research areas. Herbert von Karajan and Zubin Mehta have graduated from this university. The sculpture "Música" in front of the building was created by Mexican artist Leonardo Nierman.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Flowers #2

Water lilies always make me think of Monet, one of my favourite painters.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Shady Terrace

The shady terrace of the restaurant "Atelier Augarten" at the Ambrosi Museum in Augarten looks very inviting and is surely the perfect place on a hot summer day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Stop

This sign remembers the visitors of MuseumsQuartier to stop garbage and noise in the evening and at night (as there are not only cultural instutions and restaurants but also apartments). Two years ago there have been some problems with undisciplined people partying far into the night.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sunny Morning at MuseumsQuartier

The courtyard of MuseumsQuartier is a very popular place for relaxing in the sun. The colourful pieces of furniture are the so-called "Enzos" (more about them here), the building on the left side houses the Kunsthalle wien, the modern grey one the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Theme Day: Under Construction

The modern Vienna DC (Donau City) aerea in the 22nd district will be completed by the DC Towers. Designed by French architect Dominique Perrault, they will leave a distinctive mark on Vienna´s skyline. Standing 220m tall, DC Tower 1 will be Austria´s highest building; DC Tower 2 will have a height of "only" 168m. They will house offices, exclusive apartments, a 15floor 4-star-plus hotel and a restaurant. On DC Tower 1 there will also be an observation deck. Click here for more information on this project.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants