Saturday, December 31, 2016

Beautiful Chandeliers

The chandeliers on Graben in the city center are Vienna's most gorgeous Christmas illumination. Tonight they light the "New Year's Eve Trail": from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m the next morning gastronomers serve punch and culinary treats, and there are entertainment areas with various show programs (operetta, rock, pop, DJ lines, hit music). On Graben you will find the "classical area". Whatever you do tonight, I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and wish you all the best for 2017!!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Franziskanerplatz by Night

Franziskanerplatz is located in the very city center. Its name derives from the Franciscan Church and monastery, built in this square in the 17th century. Although there are some taverns it's usually a rather quiet square. Please click here for a photo by day.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

St. Peter's Church

The construction of the Baroque St. Peter's Church started in 1701. The design was inspired by the St. Peter's Basilica of the Vatican in Rome. The church was the first domed structure in baroque Vienna. In 1733 St. Peter's Church was consecrated to the Holy Trinity.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Christmas Illuminations #5

Eye-catching is the perfect adjective for the Christmas lights in Rotenturmstraße in the city center.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Second Day of Christmas

In Austria today is St. Stephen's Day, a public holiday. Saint Stephen was the first martyr of Christianity... The photo shows Christmas tree decorations at the Christmas market in Stephansplatz, adjacent to St.Stephen's Cathedral.   

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The History of the Christmas Tree

Christmas trees as we know them today first arrived in Vienna during the Biedermeier period from northern (Protestant) Germany: In 1814 reports compiled by the state police contain the first mention of a Christmas tree festivity held in the salon of the Arnsteins, a Jewish bankersfamily. Those attending were given lavish gifts, a custom that was not usual on Christmas Eve in Vienna at the time. However, it was via court circles that the Christmas tree spread rapidly to the living rooms of the middles classes. The wife of Archduke Karl, Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg brought the custom from her German (Protestant) home. Christmas 1816 saw the first Christmas tree, festively decked with candles in the Habsburg family. Emperor Franz I attended this celebration and was so taken with the magical aura of the Christmas tree that the ordered a tree to be put up in the Imperial Palace at Christmas from then on. Subsequently it became the norm in Catholic families to celebrate Christmas around the tree. Contemporary accounts record that while it was still almost impossible to procure a Christmas tree in 1821, by 1829 there were already street vendors.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

In Austria we celebrate Christmas this very night: We set up the Christmas tree and light it for the first time, gather around the tree, sing Christmas carols, unwrap the presents and have Christmas dinner and maybe go to the Midnight Mass. Merry Christmas from Vienna! Frohe Weihnachten!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Almost Last Minute

In Austria we usually set up the Christmas tree not until Christmas Eve, still it's high time to buy a tree. In Vienna you can do so in nearly 300 locations, even in the very city center (The photo was taken on Graben). I read that the Viennese prefer to buy a fir tree because of its rich colour and blunt needles...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Snowy Christmas Tree

Yesterday we had the first snowfall of this winter. After touching the ground, the snow quickly melted. However, in the afternoon, when I had to run an errand for the office, the cars, the plants and trees were covered with a thin layer of snow. I would love to have a white Christmas, but according to the forecasters the odds are bad.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Winter at the MQW 2016

If you are not into kitschy Christmas markets, the MuseumsQuartier Wien (MQ) is the perfect address for you: In the inner courtyard you can find so called "ice pavilions" where you can savor unusual punch specialities, listen to a varied mix of music provided by djs and have a look at artistic projections on the facades of the MQ.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Bow

This bow is the eye-catching Christmas decoration of a clothes store in the very city center. Pleae click here for a nightshot.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

4th Sunday of Advent

"Each sight, each sound of Christmas
And fragrances sublime
Make hearts and faces happy
This glorious Christmastime" - Carice Williams

Saturday, December 17, 2016

2016 Christmas Illuminations #4

The not so restrained Christmas lights of a confectionary in the city center.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Locked Cookies

The Christmas window display of the Imperial and Royal Confectionary Bakery Demel shows cookies in cages. Who wants to free them?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2016 Christmas Illuminations #1

During the Chrismas season the Ringturm (which houses the headquarter of an insurance group) is decorated with lights in the form of a Christmas tree.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Outfit?

The perfect outfit if you want to feel like a living Christmas tree... 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

3rd Sunday of Advent

"As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is." - Eric Sevareid

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Cookies

When I was a child a highlight of the Advent season was the baking of Christmas cookies with my mother. I haven't baked cookies for years, but I still like to eat them and luckily my mother still bakes a variety of cookies...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Behind the Scenes #3

The Theater in der Josefstadt has an own workshop where the stage design is created. There we discovered a drawer unit with colour powder. I fell in love with this bright pink.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Behind the Scenes #1

I am late with this photo from September... Back then I participated in an instawalk at the Theater in der Josefstadt. Founded in 1788, it is the oldest still performing theater in Vienna. Our group got a guided tour behind the scenes, we could even take a look from the sky-high fly floors at the stage.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Saint Nicholas Day

Today is Saint Nicholas Day: During the night Saint Nicholas checked up on the children if they were good, polite and helpful last year and if so, he filled the children's boots with gifts and sweets. Saint Nicholas is accompanied by Krampus, a demon-like creature, who warns and punishes bad children by putting a tree branch in their boots. On Sunday I discovered this advertisement in front of a candy store, it prompts the passers-by to buy sweets for Saint Nicholas Day.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Cold Sunday

I'm sorry if I'm boring you with all the photos of the Old Danube, but after a busy week I'm in need of tranquillity and in this situation the view onto the water and the swans is just perfect for me... If you look closely, you can see that yesterday the water was partially frozen.
On a side note: Austria has a new President!! As I told you here the elections were rather complicated, but yesterday Austria finally voted for the independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen. I'm relieved.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

2nd Sunday of Advent

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." - Norman Vincent Peale

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

Badger Mural

This badger mural on the banks of the Danube Canal was created by Belgian street artist ROA.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December Theme Day: Transitions

I wasn't very inspired by today's theme, but then I saw this escalator: taking it and going from one floor to another is also some kind of transition...
Click here to view thumbnails of all participants in the theme day.