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.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Plaques of Remembrance

Today Vienna commemorates the 75th anniversary of the November Pogrom, which in Vienna took place from 6 a.m. to around 4 p.m. The pogrom against Jews throughout the Third Reich was carried out by SA paramilitary forces and non-Jewish civilians. In Vienna 42 synagogues and houses of prayer were destroyed, Jewish apartments and shops were plundered and confiscated and 6.547 Jews were arrested, 4.000 of them were deported to the concentration camp DachauThe November Pogrom changed the nature of persecution of the Jewish population from economic, political, and social to physical with beatings, incarceration, and murder; the event is often referred to as the beginning of the Holocaust.
Walking the streets in the second district, the former Jewish quarter, but also in other districts, you can see plaques on buildings or on the pavement which commemorate the Jews who had lived there. Indicated are the names, the dates of birth, the dates of deportation and the dates of their death.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Statue of a Roman Politician

We started the week with a statue, so let's finish it with another one. This statue of the Roman politician and general Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator is located in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace. He was Roman Consul five times, Dictator twice and finally became a Roman Censor. His agnomen Cunctator means "delayer" in Latin, and refers to his tactics in deploying the troops during the Second Punic War. His cognomen Verrucosus means "warty", a reference to a wart above his upper lip.

Friday, November 8, 2013

More Beautiful Details

Looking down from yesterday's coat of arms, there are more beautiful details to be discovered. Look at the white decorations, the lamp and the wrought-iron door!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Façade Detail #27

I love to find interesting and/or beautiful details on the Viennese façades. During my last walk in the 19th district this coat of arms and the inscription "Voluntas Ferrea" (Iron will) caught my eyes. Unfortunately I couldn't find any information about this mansion on the internet.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Sparkling" Trees

When I took this photo of the trees at Ringstraße two weeks ago, I just wanted to document the atumnal trees and sun, but my camera added a "sparkling effect". No perfect photo, but I like it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Staircase Statue

No, this is (unfortunately) no statue of my staircase. It is located in the Winter Palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy, a high-Baroque palace in the city center, constructed from 1695 to 1724. Ulitmately the palace has housed the Federal Ministry of Finance. After extensive renovations the main rooms of Prince Eugene's state apartments recently became accessible to the public as a new exhibition venue of the Belvedere. When I visited the palace on the open day, there where so many people that I could only photograph one of the staircase statues.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Flowers #96

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.” -
Anne Brontë

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Totem Modern

"Totem Modern" is a new permanent installation by the French artist Honet (*1972) on 14 columns along the subway line 2 in the second district. The minimalist figures visually refer to the superheroes of the 1970s and - according to the press release - transform the columns into "cult objects".

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Theme Day: Heights

The 250m tall DC Tower, designed by French architect Dominique Perrault, is the highest building in Vienna (and Austria). After slightly more than three years, the DC Tower is outwardly complete, while works inside the building are still going on. Most of the available floor space will be used for offices. The upper floors will be used for sky lofts, while the first 15 floors will house a four-star hotel. There will also be a restaurant in one of the top floors.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants