A Travellerspoint blog

Sunday in Semmering

Good air, very nice place

sunny 30 °C

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Sunday we spent in Semmering -
the ski resort attached to the little town.

It said in winter it's quite crowded, because good slops, good facilities and location - short distance from Vienna. All this makes Semmering very attractive for people who want to ski a day off or just after work (slops are lightened) and return to sleep at home.

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Except of normal for ski-resort activities (lifts, mountain view and tracks for hiking in summer time) Semmering proposes wealthy-healthy activities.

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Indeed town itself is very nice.

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Here is big and impressive Bahn Hotel (= "Road Hotel") on the photos above. Unfortunatelly it is abadoned now, I hope will be renovated.

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Historical Panhans Hotel is still in working condition, active and alive.

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One more photo of Semmering


Walking in the street, we have seen the poster of art exhibition and entered to see. It was named "Movement", running August 11 - August 31, 2012 in the ground floor of artist's private house - in Villa Alpenheim. The artist - Anna Einser, small lady with manly-firm handshake, greeted us and guided us personally. She is a wonderful artist, I really loved her works. Unfortunatelly I wasn't allowed to photograph and it's so pity! I would like to share it with you.
The next exhibition of Anna Einser is planned for November 2012 in Purkersdorf (not far from Vienna).

Posted by vanessa 19:46 Archived in Austria Tagged mountains art ski ski_resort semmering einser anna_einser Comments (0)


From the "Cat's Place" to 29th floor

sunny 25 °C

Today we moved to another apartment. It's not only pack-unpack business, but means change of lifestyle. From 19th century building near the Naschmarkt (where we babysitted cats in July) we moved to 29th floor in the Skyscraper, near Danube and UNO center.
Location of both places is brilliant.

The "Cat's Place" is in the centre: Everywhere by foot: few minutes to the metro station and to the Nashmarkt, another few minutes to Karlsplatz, Mariahilfer, Museum Quartal. Everywhere in the center, easily to Westbanhof (train station), when need, door-to-door with Monika and very close to Angelika (my Austrian family).

The Skyscraper is the same building where my mom lives. My scating paradise - the Danube Island is just next to the door. So every morning begins from rollerblading and swim, at noon we usually wave lunch with family (mostly we are cooking) and all family- interaction is easy. Metro and all nesessary infrastructure (supermarkets, farmacy, post, etc) are nearby.

I already told you about the "Cat's House", I staid there also in 2011. It's beautiful apartment on the 5th floor. Oh, my God, very high 5th floor! - slike 8th in modern building. And it means climbing steps couple of times a day. I'm not complaining - it's good exercise and also the staircase itself is gorgeous. I like its wide steps and a lot of light from big windows. I like to feel the touch of warm wooden railings, polished with others hands for two centuries. I can infinitely looking at twisted lattice a simple (just the staircase!), but elegant ​​moldings on the ceiling and ceramic floor. I feel that the architect was thinking about those who will be walking the stairs, opening doors, touching the railing; he cared about aesthetics and comfort of residents, as well as about the impression of visitors. I like it there!

I really like the ceiling height of 4.5 meters, creaky parquet made of really good wood, which can (and should!) once a while being polished, with remove a few cantimeters layer for better result. I adore huge windows with double glass, with some special snaps and ledges - again, for comfort and good look and etc., etc., etc. I would like to live this way forever, and even the old building means many potential troubles - I accept it completely.

So, what about my 29th floor?
It's fresh-renovated and almost empty flat of the mom's friend. She left for vacation and agreed we'll live here for 2 weeks. MANY thanks, really!
First of all - it's the great view. We took pictures from here many times, but I hurry to share with you the freshie: night look from the window.


I already mentioned skating paradise of the island, parks, family activities and the rest. This building is part of Vienna Skyscraper area, and it proudly included in every travel-guide. Mmmm...modern architecture, nice facade, fast lifts, GYM, laundry room, garage and the doorman downstairs. Building is staying aside of complex of UNO-city, on the hill - alike the churches used to be built. Because this lonely stay - it's always windy around. When wind getting strong you can hear it whistles between the walls. The spire at the top - probably for beauty. I know that the architect has won many prizes for this building. Well, God bless him. The building is really visible from Vienna Woods and from everywhere else in the city. A spacious lobby is clearly visible and is equipped with video cameras, for security reasons, I guess. Everywhere you go inside - you need the key. There are few lifts for different purposes, and you should be an aborigen to understand the logistics of lifts. What else is constantly annoying - for getting out/in of the lift-area - you should fight with incredibly heavy hermetic refractory door. Defeating the door, you are getting into a long corridor with no windows. Cold fluorescent light and identical doors aligned in the line, like in hotel or hospital. Should I continue the description?

Posted by vanessa 21:49 Archived in Austria Comments (1)

Technishes Museum Wien

Photos are random, mostly photos of "photogenic" items. It can't illustrate how excellent this museum is. The exposition is so layered, intelligent, intriguing and so large that everyone can find the catch. I have seen there visitors of all kinds and ages - from toddlers to crumbling eldery, and also hiperactive schoolers, sedate middle-aged couples from working-class districts, kissing students, elegant seniors, the group filming video, and someone who slept on comfortable couch under zeppelin. Ticket is not cheap and museum is large, as I already mentioned; many people come to museum for whole day. They bring sandiches and even take a nap.

Yes, yes, it's not only about machines. It's very much about human being, and a lot about industry - I'm not a techno-frick but 100 years old print-house struck me. And I'm speechless about stunning locomotives!


Posted by vanessa 15:31 Archived in Austria Tagged museum wien technishes Comments (0)

The place, where trams are sleeping


In the way to Technical Museum (which is great!) we found
the place where trams are sleeping.
Exciting! :-)


Posted by vanessa 13:52 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna transport wien tram tramway Comments (0)

Work... but thinking of travels!

About positive Aussies and about Maria-the-bloodsucker.

overcast 18 °C

We are running from here two different projects.

The first project is design of Application (medical) for iPad. Application itself is serious, just business, I don't think it will be interesting for you. But the man after it - just a pleasure to have a business with! (He is) sharp, professional, determined, and pays in time!

The second project is illustration and translate (to English) of Volume 1 and Volume 2 of book series for beginner pianists. If you remember, the last summer I illustrated the 3rd book for adults.
I let you peep.

BOOK_1_cover__face.jpg BOOK_2_cover_face.jpg

Sample of translate - one of many (below)

Reflections on the Saint - Saens

I heard once a concert
Created by Saint-Saens,
Immediatly wanted
To send him révérence.

Fish jumped in the water
And played hide and seek,
But my confused fishy
Just bubbled instead of sing.

They doesnt make a pause,
They warp without sence
They sending their applause
To glorious Saint-Saens.

I cry my eyes with this project.
Maria - the tiny and breakable creature, so insecure, fearful and weak - she is a real blood-sucker! Not that she is meaning or nasty (better she would be!) but her disastrous ignorance and complete inability to articulate own thoughts frustrates me. I perform figures of eights in the air, trying to make up the poor raw material into something acceptable and it's like talking to the wall. I feel useless and used, I feel that I lose my time. It doesn't bring neither pleasure or satisfaction nor money (the low-cost project).
I beseech you, for your own good:
N E V E R - E V E R - D O - N O T work with Maria Rubin (Klugerman), a music teacher from Holon. This is one of the most frustrating cases in my 25-year career.


Except of being in Vienna, I travel around. You will find my travel-reports in this blog, and also updates of those that were visited in the past. Right now, in mid Aug, we relocate to another place in Vienna. We'll stay there for 2 weeks and then ... guess what?
:-) Yesss, we will be in the roads again.
Not exactly cause we wish to do, but we dont have a place to stay in Vienna. So, instead of paying expenses in Vienna we will pay it in other place(es).
We are looking for inexpensive but attractive road for two weeks 28/08-10/09, then we have to return to Vienna as we have a flight from Vienna at midnight September 12th - to 13th. Any suggestions are welcome!

Posted by vanessa 19:09 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna travel book teacher work music piano maria illustration rubin Comments (1)


Stift (Abbey) Klosterneuburg - just 20 mins from Vienna

storm 18 °C

Klosterneuburg (Austrians prononce it beautifully) is a small historical town, situated immediately north of Vienna, after Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg hills (They are famous Wienna Walds). Easy to reach with train or bus, and, even easier by car. Nice architecture, wineries and church.

But the real pearl is 900 y.o. Stift Klosterneuburg (Klosterneuburg Monastery) with its winery, art collection, Cultural Heritage, sumptuously decorated rooms and concerts of live music.

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Town itself is little and half an hour is enough for a walk through the center, but Stift is very big and interesting. Part of it you can explore yourself, listening to radio-guide. But other places can visit only with guided tour. Normally it's in German, which I don't know, so in Wine Cellars I was bored. But sacre-tour included various "hidden" places, the guide opened them with the key and locked after us again. Also we were alone, with no group, and she was talking English - really interesting.

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Original Hungarian Crown and ... decorated skulls of VIP persones.

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The clock in Imperial Rooms (photo from the right) has holes from bullets - the traces of Russian occupation.

I came to conclusion that the pearls of the Klosterneuburg Abbey are the treasury-collection, the sacre-tour and winery. All the rest: the palace, the museum, garden and etc - are less important but, accompanied by the rich historical heritage, all this together is a good reason to visit and to enjoy.

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These are my favorite, outstanding art nouveau pieces.

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Museum - art collection of the abbey. They also have collection of contemporary art, but it's boring and unworthy of attention.
And the last that I want to mention is the wooden sculpture of Jesus (below). Here is the rare combination of great knowledge of anatomy and still live emotion - perhaps the sculptor was a very religious man.

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Posted by vanessa 15:59 Archived in Austria Tagged abbey klosterneuburg catolic stift Comments (1)

Laxenburg Palace


Laxenburg, situated just about 15 km south of Vienna,
was the preferred residence of the imperial family during spring and summer seasons.

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Castle is a bit artificial, alike a theatrical scenery.
It said, Laxenburg Castle has never been a real residence, but but more used as a storage for collection of arms and relics. In any case the emperor and his court were among the guests and brought aristocracy and high society to Laxenburg. This implied infrastructure and high standards of service, so the village grew up nearby.

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...and more photos:
Here is Nina.
The wasp
...some more pics from orangery nearby...

- lovely place for keeping business. I liked the building, especially large windows.

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Posted by vanessa 11:04 Archived in Austria Tagged laxenburg Comments (0)

Schloss Artstetten

Franz Ferdinand & his family

sunny 25 °C

Here the life and times of Archduke-Heir Franz Ferdinand.
His family, his home, his military career and his hobbies.
His personality, his happiness, his life and his death.

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Why would I be interested to know him better?
Because it's the same Franz Ferdinand, who was assassinated in Sarajevo.

His death was the immediate cause of World War I.

Couple of years ago I found that WWI is much closer to us that we use to think. In 21th century, we are still dealing with WWII, like it was fresh. WWI stays in shadow, and this shadow gets blurry. Being a fan of the time that boundaries between the 19th and 20th centuries, I feel connected to early 20th century: not only to art and incredible technology progress, but to people who made the history, to events and to the the rest.

Andre says that my verbiage sound (just as naive and funny) alike the quotes taken from "Good Soldier Švejk"of Gashek.good-soldier-svejk.jpg
I was not lazy and found online the pages where
Svejk is talking about the event in Saraevo.
Man, it really very similar to my vision of the situation ;-P
Hah, he is right then!
So what?

Schloss Artstetten (13th cent) was bought by imperial family of Habsburg in 19th cent, and it used to be home for Franz Ferdinand. Now it's private property of one of the Hohenberg Family and it is quite logical that most of the documents, photographs, personal belongings and all that concerns the family is stored here. I have my favorite objects and they seem to me the most interesting in this exposition. It's not objective review, but reflects my vision; so if you are keen in 20th century history and facts more then I do (and really it's not difficult to be) - you probably will find another interesting artifacts and will choose different objects.


Here is the list of exhibits in random order:
- European Maps, dated 1912
- collection of hats
- family photographs: not only an official portraits, but kids and teens posed to camera. Ladies, beautiful like flowers, men with thoroughbred faces. Men, women and kids - they all have incredibly straight back - perfect posture. The ease and elegance of the gestures - the fruits of a good education. They look familiar, look modern and very real people. At least that how I feel about them.

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On the left picture: Sophie - FF's daughter.
In the center and right side: FF with his wife, Sophie Chotek

And then - there is a photo of this teenager who shoot the Imperial Pride. Young man, with very bright eyes and absolute belief of the rightness of the offense. Here is a photo from the newspaper: bustled crowd, policemen are pulling the guy out. He looks short and slim. Here is Gavrillo Princip - the son of a postman. Now his memory is treated as he was a national hero. Gavrillo joined "the secret Black Hand society" (a nationalist movement favouring a union between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia). Princip was one of three men sent to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The three men were instructed to commit suicide after killing the Archduke.

Princip was arrested. He was too young to receive the death penalty, being a month short of his twentieth birthday at the time of the assassination. Instead, he received the maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. He had tuberculosis and dead in 1918 in the prison.

I continue thinking about it. I would like to know what his father-postman was thinking about it?
Murder is never acceptable, but I could understand murder for personal reasons: hate, jealousy, even robbery and vendetta make sence. But political murder? Why someone will do this?

Posted by vanessa 13:52 Archived in Austria Tagged franz schloss sophie murder wwi tuberculosis artstetten ferdinand shweik archduke saraevo gavrillo princip chotek Comments (0)

Aggstein Ruins


It's no matter if you hiking, driving or enjoy the water-way in Wachau, you can not miss widely visible landmark: jagged silhouette of the castle at the top of the emerald-green, forested mountain.
It looks very dramatic.
Normal and immediate response: "Look, look!" and you are poinitng and grabbing the camera.
In the photo fairytale castle looks ridiculously small and blury - photographed against the light. But it still very beautiful.
I'll skip the photo from the Danube (popular river cruise in Wahau Valey), but want to take you directly into the castle.

Picking closer you will not be disappointed. The castle sits 300m above the Danube river. It is great size and beautifully restored and there are amazing views from the top.

Built in around 1200 Aggstein Palace flourished in in 12th and 13th centuries,
then it changed hands and was rebuilt 14th century,
then it was burned down by Ottomans, has bought and revived by the new owners in the 17th century and then, after the death of owners, the castle was seriously neglected. It changed hands also later, during few ages, but already as Aggstein ruin, not an alive castle.

It is said Aggstein considered impregnable. As a matter of fact, there is no evidence that the castle was ever stormed by direct force. Only other measures, such as starvation from siege, would lead to the conquest of the Castle.

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Do you know what is it on the photo below?

Right, its the loo. It's the loo in one ot the watchtowers. Soldiers have to be feed well, and how not to do the poo in the post ?
This is destroying our stigmatic view of "grimy and undeveloped Middle Ages". Through a hole in a wooden latrine see magnificent scenery of Wahau Valley.

Posted by vanessa 06:48 Archived in Austria Tagged ruins castle aggstein ruins_aggstein Comments (0)


It's very very hot in Vienna

sunny 34 °C

Oh, my.. it's so hot in Vienna that I just looking where to hide myself.
Today 6/08 - is Andre's birthday and we had plans of hiking in the woods, but cancelled.

In the morning, a bit confused, we made additional search and thinking and we found Phantastenmuseum.
Phantastenmuseum sits in the very center - so we had a walk there (on shadow side of the street!). It's located in Palais Palffy on Josefsplatz and dedicated to fantasy art. This museum is quite new, was opened in about 2011. 150 works by 120 artists are on permanent display in the Fantasy Art Museum. The exhibition ranges from the early beginnings after the Second World War to the present day.

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Just a step aside is beautiful Augustinerkirche = Augustinian Church. Its official name is St. Augustine's Church, although the Viennese always called it the Augustinian Church.

Originally built in the 14th century as the parish church of the imperial court of the Habsburgs, the harmonious Gothic interior was added in the 18th century.
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There are many interesting details inside (look on photos above).
I like this sculpture composition (below) too.


All this is just near Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek), which is not only the biggest library in the country and a modern centre of competence oriented to service to the public, it also offers with the Hall of State and its museums – the Papyrus, Globe, and Esperanto Museums – permanent exhibitions and theme-oriented changing exhibitions that show the public the valuable books and objects from the ten specialised Departments of the Library.

At the afternoon, looking for AC-ned escape, we went to the cinema and seen 3D movie "Ice Age 4"- nice and funny, as usual. Happily it was original version in English, with no German translation.


And after it and little shopping (viva to the Birthday Guy!) we (Andre, my mom and me) had a nice dinner in Freiraum - very nice restaurant in Mariahilfer, I already talked about it before. BTW, Freiraum means "The Open Space" in English.
I like their food - it's is thoughtful, tasty and aesthetic.

Posted by vanessa 21:53 Archived in Austria Tagged church museum film library movie kirche fantasy realism augustinerkirche phantastenmuseum augustinian ice_age Comments (2)

House of Music

another great museum

sunny 27 °C

Fresh updates from summer 2012:
Classical Sundays - there are free concerts of classical music each Sunday at 15:30. Playing violin and piano.
Very nice indeed!
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As I already mentioned, I visited Vienna many times and even lived here for months. I think I know the city pretty well. But there are always something else to explore.
House of Music (Haus der Musik) is fantastic interactive museum for music-lovers. It's all about sound, you can "cook" your own music, make voices, touch instruments and listen to various noises: from Mozart (yeah.. once again) and Haydn to New York street and Turkish mountain vilage. Impressive, must for families with young children and reccomended for everybody.


HAUS DER MUSIK Betriebsges.m.b.H.
Seilerstätte 30
A-1010 Vienna
Tel. ++43-1-513 48 50
Fax ++43-1-512 03 15
Website: http://www.hdm.at/
E-Mail: info@hdm.at

OPENING TIMES: daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Posted by vanessa 19:58 Archived in Austria Tagged museum music educational house_of_music edu haus_der_musik hdm Comments (0)

Museums of Vienna - free at Sundays

1st Sunday of each month many of Viennise museums opened for public for free.

sunny 25 °C

MOZART MUSEUM near Stephansdom appeared no free entrance anymore.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) spent the last twelve years of his life in this house. The most important works of the composer’s old age were created in this last residence, including the two oratorios “The Creation” (1796–1798) and “The Seasons” (1799–1801). Haydn was the most famous composer in all of Europe in the final years of his life, so, this house have seen many celebs as a visitors.

Haydn came into the world exactly at the right time. Music, before he began to write, had descended to the dead level of the commonplace, for the best days of Bach and Handel were over, and the other living composers were but pigmies by comparison. It was Haydn’s province to give music a fresh direction, and to raise up from the old foundation a new style at once pleasing and ennobling.

Exsept of being brilliant musician, Haydn made money and he was good in calculation. His last (!) letter said: "Today April 1st I sold my beautiful fortepiano for 200 ducates"
Read here abt Haydn.

Kind of Historical museum, displays story of Vienna of all times.
I love there original sculptures from Stephansdom at the 1st floor (was photographing them last year) and Viennese Art around 1900 (Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Carl Moll, Rudolf Gerstl).

CLOCK MUSEUM aka Uhrenmuseum
I like this one very much. Beautiful building in lovely place (narrow streets and old church near, just 2 streets from Stephansdom), great collection of clocks of all sizes, shapes and origins. Mechanisms inside, tools, decorations.

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I put here only few pics from this year, but year ago I couldn't stop to make more and more photos there.

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Variety is wider then one could imagine.

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Heeresgeschichtliches Museum - museum of Military History.

Big and very impressive collection of weapon.
Building is impressive as well.

Impressive (did I already mentioned this?)
It's a real paradise for boys of all ages, but all the rest of visitors will found lot of interesting objects and information.
I loved rich decorated arms, uniform of different times and armies, lotsa historical photos, various tents, plates and pots - presenting evolution of technology not worse then Technology Museum.

It's possible take photos inside for little payment - about 2 Euro.
Don't even think to combine this museum with another one at same day, watching collection of the Arsenal, even briefly, takes few hours and you r getting overloaded after, so give a rest to your mind. You'd better stay in the yard - building and all around really worth a proper watch, even military but nice architecture. Also it's not far from the Belvedere palace, so after such smooth and informative visit inside the walls you can spend lovely time visiting Belvedere garden, especially pleasant in summer time.

Address: Oswald Thomas Platz 1. (actually it's in the entrance to Prater Park, same building where planetarium)
Opened Fr-Su and holidays 10.00-13.00 and 14:00-18:00.
Small museum. Has a fascinating (at least fascinating me!) story at the background. I just been there the last Sunday (5/08/2012), will write couple of lines and update photos a bit later.

Posted by vanessa 17:00 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna museum free tip sunday Comments (0)

Academy of Fine Arts

Gemäldegalerie: Rubens, Rembrandt, Bosch and Cranach...


About Art Academy of Vienna
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna was founded in 1692. Going through long history of Emperors and court-painters, Academy became "the supreme government authority for the arts" under rule of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in 1872. In 1907-8, young Adolf Hitler, who had come from Linz, was twice denied admission to the drawing class due to professional incompetence. He stayed in Vienna, subsisting on his orphan allowance, and tried unsuccessfully to continue his profession as an artist. Soon he had withdrawn into poverty and started selling amateur paintings, mostly watercolours, for meagre sustenance until he left Vienna for Munich in May 1913.
From here came Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner and many other famous and brilliant artists.

Gemäldegalerie: Rubens, Rembrandt and van Dyck. "Last Judgment" by Hieronymus Bosch, Francesco Guardi, Lukas Cranach, Titian ... Art collection of Academy is modest in comparation to Kunsthistoriches Museum, but when you there, your visit and your impressions feel much more personal. It's hard to explain, but the Academy has a special charm, maybe because you go to the gallery passing the classroom or due a painted ceiling - it's hard to say. Personally for me, the atmosphere of art school alone is extremely attractive.

Posted by vanessa 16:19 Archived in Austria Tagged art gallery museum wien academy rembrandt fine_arts hitler acaademy_of_fine_arts rubens künste Comments (0)


sunny 27 °C

The Abbey - the most famous sign of Melk.

Historical building of post office.

Wanna milk?

Wanna sausage?
Or wanna art?


Posted by vanessa 19:13 Archived in Austria Tagged abbey melk wachau Comments (0)

Schallaburg Castle

sunny 28 °C

Schallaburg Castle is a very nice Renaissance castle, in short distance from Melk (shattle is running from Melk train station). There are also garden, exhibitions, restaurant and three walking-paths through the forest, around the castle.

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The main part of the fortress dates back to the Middle Ages but the oldest part is roman ruins and the chapel is Gothic. That is very typical of castles that have managed to be viable and livable for so many hundreds of years. Things get added and changed over time. The castle, as it stands today, was completed in 1572 by the Losensteiner family. It was based on the Italian palazzo style, that was trendy at the time.

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The Losensteiner family had a love of art and the money to back up their passion and the courtyard still shows it. It was the tournament grounds and it is decorated with cantilever stairs and terracotta mosaics. One of the terracotta figures recreates the figure of a woman with the head of a dog, which is famous for legendary stories associated with the castle.

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The gardens, as they are now, in what was the tournament grounds, were refurbished in the 70′s. There are historic roses and Renaissance Apple Orchards and herbs and ornamental trees and bushes. Some herbs are discribed as medical. I guess so - in 15th century all medicine was natural-based.

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They exhibit in the castle temporary shows of very various themes. Right now it is “Golden Byzantium & the Orient”, other one was regards to Napoleon - to show what it was like when Napoleon and his army occupied Schallaburg for a short time, etc.
There are also concerts, events and festivals are running in the Castle.

It's very nice forest road leading from the castle to village

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Posted by vanessa 06:09 Archived in Austria Tagged village garden castle forest schallaburg Comments (0)

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