Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chandeliers on Graben

The huge chandeliers on Graben are Vienna's most gorgeous Christmas illumination. Tonight they will light the "New Year's Path" that will transform the city center into a giant party zone: dozens of gastronomes serve punch and culinary treats, numerous stations provide humorous entertainment with a show program, waltzes, operetta, rock, pop and folk music as well as a DJ line-up.
I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and wish you all the best for 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Last Christmas (Tree)

At the beginning of this month I showed you a photo of the Michaeler Passage. At a later date it was decorated with a Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Upside Down

In a new high-end shopping arcade in the city center the Christmas trees seem to "dance" around the top beam.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sweet Snow Princess

The windows of the K. und K. (Imperial and Royal) Court Confectionary Bakery "Demel" are often decorated with figures completely made of sugar. Currently passers-by can marvel at Anaïs, the Snow Princess.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Christmas Illuminations #5

The eye-catching Christmas illuminations on Rotenturmstraße in the city center. Some weeks ago, when I took an evening stroll with one of my fellow workers, she called these huge red balls "scary".

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I have just finished wrapping the Christmas presents. In Austria we are celebrating Christmas this very night: The tree is set up and lit for the very first time, the Christkind (Christ child) places the presents beneath the tree, bells announce the arrival of the Christkind into the house - when he arrives the family gathers around the tree and sings Christmas carols. The presents will be unwrapped and a lot of families will eat a baked carp for Christmas dinner.
In case you are wondering how I will spend this day: In the morning I will have brunch with some girlfriends and in the evening I will celebrate with my parents, just the three of us. No carp, but salmon.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas!! Frohe Weihnachten!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Angels' Bakery

In the window of a confectionary in the city center the angels are preparing the last cookies for Christmas.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

3rd Sunday of Advent

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." - Calvin Coolidge

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 Christmas Illuminations #3

The illuminations at the luxury hotel The Ring in the city center look like a huge blue curtain.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Carols at the Christmas Market

When I was at the Christmas Market in front of the Upper Belvedere, some brass musicians played traditional Austrian Christmas carols. Isn't the palace a gorgeous backdrop?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rudy, the Red Nosed Reindeer(s)

At the Christmas market in front of the Upper Belvedere children can take a ride on Santa Claus's reindeers or even in his sleigh  - although Santa Claus is no local tradition, Austrian children get their presents usually from the Christkind.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Inside the Vienna State Opera

Yesterday evening I watched a "ballet hommage" at the Vienna State Opera. The building was designed by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll in the Neo-Renaissance style and constructed from 1861 to 1869. While some parts of the opera house have been affected by the bombings during World War II, the central staircase (in this photo) is still presevered in its original state.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Cookies

It's high time to bake - or at least to buy - Christmas cookies. I stopped baking some years ago, but I still like to eat cookies...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

3rd Sunday of Advent

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness." - Bob Hope

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Circus

The Christmas windows of the department store Steffl in the city center are inspired by the  theme "circus".

Friday, December 13, 2013

2013 Christmas Illuminations #2

Habsburgergasse in the city center is illuminated with crowns. In this photo you can also see two fiaker, two-horse carriages, a characteristic "part" of Vienna.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Imperial Palace by Night

From 1438 to 1583 and from 1612 to 1806, the Imperial Palace was the seat of the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, thereafter the seat of the Emperor of Austria until 1918. Today it houses not only the offices of the Federal President, the ministers of the chancellor's office and the secretaries of state but also the Imperial Apartments, the Imperial Silver Collection and the Sisi Museum. Please click here for a photo of the Imperial Palace by day.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trying to Catch The Last Sunrays

As I love to sleep in and linger about on Sundays and the days are short in winter, I hardly get out of my apartment before sunset. The other Sunday I was on my way just in time to catch the last sunrays with their special light. I didn't want to miss it, so I didn't look for a particular photo subject but only pulled the trigger. I like this photo anyway...

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Little Chat by The Pond

Sunday afternoon - the perfect time for a girl talk. I would rather have chosen a cozy café, but these two girls braved the cold and had their chat by the pond  in Stadtpark.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

2nd Sunday of Advent

"Christmas - the very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given - when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes." - Joan Winmill Brown

Saturday, December 7, 2013

2013 Christmas Illuminations #1

During the Advent and Christmas season a lot of Viennese streets are decorated with illuminations. This photo shows the lights on Kohlmarkt in the city center. If you have a lot of money to spend, Kohlmarkt is the perfect place for you: it´s the home of some of Vienna's most expensive shops.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Saint Nicholas & Krampus

In Austria today is Saint Nicholas Day. During the night Saint Nicholas filled the children's boots with gifts and sweets, and at the same time checked up on the children if they were good, polite and helpful last year. Saint Nicholas is usually accompanied by Krampus, a demon-like creature warning and punishing bad children. If the children were not good, he puts a tree branch in their boots. The figures in this photo, discovered in the window of a confectionary, represent Saint Nichoals and Krampus and are made of marzipan.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter in the MQ

Even during the Advent season, the MuseumsQuartier is a favourite place to meet. "Winter in the MQ" (until December 23) offers plenty of activities: unusual punch varieties and delicious treats are served up in so-called "ice pavilions",  there are an ice curling rink and a racetrack for remote-controlled vehicles, on the weekends live djs warm up the guests and video projections on the façades bathe the MQ in a special light.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Do You Have a Sweet Toth?

In case you have a sweet tooth, the K. und K. (Imperial and Royal) Court Confectionary Bakery "Demel", founded in 1786, will feel like paradise for you. I would love to taste every cake on display...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Michaeler Passage

I love courtyards and passages... Last week I had to run an errand for the office and took a short cut through this small passage in the city center (between Habsburgergasse and Michaelerplatz).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wiener Musikverein

The Wiener Musikverein, a concert hall in the city center, is the home to the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. The building was designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen in the Neoclassical style of an ancient Greek temple and inaugurated on 6 January 1870. It includes a concert hall as well as a smaller chamber music hall. The famous annual Vienna New Year's Concert is held in the concert hall, the Golden Hall.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Theme Day: Looking Out

For lack of time I come back to a photo already published here two years ago and a literal realisation of this month's theme day.
Click here to view thumbnails of all participants.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Advent Wreath

Tomorrow for Austrians starts the Advent season, the "countdown" for Christmas. It is a tradition to buy (or create personally) an Advent wreath and to light the candles on every Sunday during the Advent season - on the first Sunday one candle, on the second two candles and so on, until on the last Sunday before Christmas all four candles are lit.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Façade Detail #29

Beautiful details on the façade of an apartment building in the 2nd district.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November Trees

After yesterday's tree projection, here are some real trees in Stadtpark. The benches are deserted because of the current low temperatures.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Winter Lights

During "Winter in the MQ" (from November 7 to December 23)  light projections transform the façade of the Leopold Museum into a magical ambiance. More about "Winter in the MQ" soon on this blog.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Elegant Museum Café

The café of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is located in the beautiful cupola hall. On Sundays the café offers a brunch and on Thursdays a gourmet evening. For more information please click here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

An Afternoon at the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Yesterday the weather was so bad that I decided to take my afternoon walk inside, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts). The museum 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 and was opened in 1891. It houses the  largest Bruegel collection in the world and currently shows the first Lucian Freud (a grandson of Sigmund Freud) exhibition in Austria.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Flowers #98

"I am following nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers." - Claude Monet

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's That Time of The Year Again...

I have overcome some pretty stressful weeks at work and now that I'm back to "real life" it's already time to prepare for Christmas. Time is really flying! The first Christmas markets have popped up a week ago, as of this weekend all markets will be open. Yesterday afternoon I passed a very new one, the Christmas Market at Stephansplatz, adjacent to St. Stephen's Cathedral. Click here for more information about Vienna's Christmas Markets.

Friday, November 22, 2013


The main window of the Swarovski store in Kärntnerstraße is always a delight for the eyes: The new installation is a picturesque scenery called “Silence" and seems rather christmassy to me...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mansion in the 19th District

I love to take a walk in the "rich" areas, to look at the beautiful buildings and to wonder how life is for the people who are living in mansions like this one...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Feeding the Ducks

The pond in Stadtpark is the home of a lot of ducks. They are used to be fed by promenaders and come close to everybody who stops at the water's edge. Luckily for them the lady in the foreground had brought some breadcrumbs.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Last Saturday I was at "Fesch'markt", a fair for young designers, artists and gastronomers. The fair took place at Ottakringer Brauerei, the last large brewery remaining in Vienna. The parts of the brewery that aren't used any more for manufacturing are rented for events like clubbings, fashion shows, concerts etc. I love the atmosphere of such run-down places.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Flowers #97

"The silence of a flower: a kind of silence which we continually evade,
of which we find only the shadow in dreams." - Lewis Thompson

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Coburg Palace

Coburg Palace was designed in 1839 by architect Karl Schleps in Neoclassical style, and built from 1840 to 1845 for Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha atop the Braunbastei, a part of the Vienna city defences dating to 1555. It was nicknamed "the Spargelburg" (castle of asparagus) for its central portico with many freestanding columns. The palace was owned by the family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until the 1970s, today it houses a 5* luxury hotel.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stage Set

Here's another example of art in public space: Donald Judd's sculpture "Stage Set" was created for the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts on the occasion of his exhibition at the museum in 1991. The installation was gifted to the city of Vienna in 1995, and has been located in Stadtpark since 1996.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Prince Rehrücken

Rehrücken ("saddle of venison") is a traditional Austrian dessert, a chocolate almond cake in the shape of a saddle of venison with chocolate icing. In one window of the K. u. K. (Imperial and Royal) Court Confectionary Bakery Demel I discovered this figure of "Prince Rehrücken", created after a drawing of Friedrich Ludwig Berzeviczy-Pallavicini, who designed the window decorations of "Demel" in the 1950s. If you want to know the recipe for this cake, please click here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Palais Ferstel #9

When I recently was at the Palais Ferstel I sneaked into an open door and discovered this beautiful staircase.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Palais Ferstel #8

The Palais Ferstel in the city center was created by Heinrich von Ferstel in the late 1850s. 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. Nowadays there's a small, but very beautiful shopping arcade.