View Full Version : Vienna: City of Music - City of Art - City of Craft - City of Elegance

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 12:58 AM
Let me preface this by saying a mere sliver of time - two and a bit weeks - is simply not enough time to do this constantly amazing city any kind of justice. You require a month alone to wander the halls of the museums and galleries. Then there's the activity of the flâneur, the walking of the city streets without any plan or intention, which Vienna (which I will refer to by it's native spelling from now on) is admirably suited, where intense interest and knowledge, small delights and Baroque magnificence can be accidentally discovered should you walk through that archway, or the open door over there with a light behind it. If you should weary of such exertion then the magnificently planned and astonishingly efficient U-Bahn is always a short stagger in any direction.

Be aware that there are two kinds of citizens of the city: The very polite and generous and the extremely rude and disinterested, although the former greatly outnumber the latter, and the cheery and short "Grüß Gott" (or 'God greets you') is rattled off with pleasant regularity, even by those with whom you make eye contact when passing in the street.

Anyway, enough of prefacing, let's begin this (perhaps somewhat over-detailed) photographic ramble through the city high over Turkey two and a half hours before landing, (the nation which has had such an entwined and at times, happy, and at other times, tortured and bloody relationship with Austria), simply because the view was magnificent and you should all know how found I am of pictures of snow... And perhaps because there was none on the ground in Vienna!




SWIMPAL had already spent a bit of time in Austria visiting her rel's, and had flown in from Sweden the day before I arrived after visiting her brother in that nation. She'd set up the apartment which was found on Air B'n'B and located directly east of the Schönbrunn Palace and garden complex in the Schörbrunn area/suburb,* where we spent the first three days. I suggest anyone reading this, and contemplating a visit to Wien forget about the southern side and stay on the western side of Hietzinger instead, which is much nicer. Anyway, it was still a nice place to 'land' even though the apartment didn't quite look as good as the shots on the website, and was sloppily run by a bunch of Russians. It was still Wien and not Murwillumbah!

Although I was tired from 30 odd hours of flying and transiting in the horror that is an excuse for an airport in Dubai, I was still keen to get out and so we crossed the busy road and entered the grandeur of the Schönbrunn Palace complex. The light was fading rapidly, but the Christmas markets were packed, the chestnuts roasting, the sausages sizzling and glühwein was flowing. Before we get to the markets here's a small preview of the gardens that I'll describe in a bit more detail in later posts:




(* I'm hoping Flo Mo, whom we had the very great pleasure of meeting, will drop into the thread and correct any mistakes I might make!)

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 01:11 AM
And too the Christmas Markets in the main entry courtyard to the Schönbrunn and our first music of the sojourn:


Make sure you use earphones, or a decent set of speakers for these as the old iPhone has better speakers than my laptop!

A short delay for a beer and supper will commence before my next post!

The Bigfella
12-26-2015, 01:24 AM
Those mountains had snow on them at the end of June too

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/Turkey/turkey_zps208thotd.jpg (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/igatenby/media/Turkey/turkey_zps208thotd.jpg.html)

.... and how can a man of culture, like you, not love Dubai Airport?

12-26-2015, 05:42 AM
This should be good. I'll check back in the morning. Onya Duncan.

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 06:36 AM
If you wish to visit the palace complex interiors be aware that photography within is verboten, aside from the grand old greenhouse in the west of the gardens. Also get there early, otherwise you'll be jammed into the roped corridor that the set audio tour follows and find it difficult not to be swept along by the crowds. The main Palace building also gives the visitor the first taste of the cult of Sissi, who was immortalised by Romy Schneider in a series of movies about the Kaiserin Elisabeth. The room in the whole palace that moved me most was the one where a six year old Mozart gave his first 'public' performance. He later and befriended the (also) six year old daughter of Kaiserin Maria Theresia, Marie Antoinette as a result of the rapturous reception the young prodigy received by the royal household. One is able to take as many shots outside and the grounds are certainly grand in the French tradition although somewhat shabby considering the vast sums of money the palace tickets must rake in. The main feature is the Gloriette, which is certainly more glory than ette!




It used to be open to the elements in the middle, but now has a really grand cafe enclosed by tall windows with staff dressed in white shirts and waistcoats and a violinist and pianist playing sonatas and other ditties, to which the customers gently applaud after each movement. Breakfast is quite the treat there by the looks of what was being delivered to tables, although we only had coffee there.

The view from the Gloriette is really quite good:


... Even in a fog:



Paul Pless
12-26-2015, 06:57 AM
City of Sausages???

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 07:08 AM
One last one up close of the Gloriette:


The 19th Century greenhouse, the Palmenhaus, was really quite remarkable, not the least because I found it quite odd to travel half way around the globe to find quite a number of trees and plants I have growing in my garden on display in Wien!



Wandering the gardens in the two hours of darkness before they shut was an eerily beautiful experience.



The other building of note is the Wagenburg Museum, which houses a huge array of the Imperial carriages, from super-florid Baroque numbers, to pared-back Biedermeier styled carriages, childrens' toy carriages that were drawn by goats and sheep, to the amazingly ultra-gothic hearse carriage which was last used in 1986 IIRC:


This isn't my photograph, as again, photography wasn't allowed in the Wagenburg.

I shall return to adding posts in the morning! Gute nacht meine Freunde!

Vince Brennan
12-26-2015, 07:24 AM
City of Cake and Pastries!!

There really IS a reason it is easy to believe that Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake!"

Imagine what she'd have said if she'd tasted Sacher-Torte!

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 07:52 AM
City of Cake and Pastries!!
That's coming! :D

There really IS a reason it is easy to believe that Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake!"

Imagine what she'd have said if she'd tasted Sacher-Torte!
Sisi (or Sissi in the Romy Schneider movies) certainly did, but she actually preferred the cakes from another establishment, and not the Hotel Sacher, which, as I said, I'll get to in later posts.

The whole "Let them eat cake!" story is completely apocryphal and I have a degree of sympathy for Marie Antoinette as she was married off at the very early age of 14 years and five months, and had various members of the French nobility play a rough game of negative and false PR out against her and run down her reputation in public.

12-26-2015, 03:22 PM
Terrific Duncan! And it's nice to see someone looking after Marie Antoinette's interests, albeit a little late ....


Sky Blue
12-26-2015, 04:16 PM
I'm really excited for this thread. The buildings and architecture look just amazing. The food?

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 05:09 PM
Yes, she's quite the tragic and widely misunderstood figure, and like Richard the Third, history has done a great injustice to her with rubbish like the "cake" myth. Have you seen the terrific Sophie Coppola movie of her?

At any rate, I've found the Wiki page for the Schönbrunn and it describes the Palace and grounds' history better than this mere tourist has the time to, plus you get some interior shots to boot!


We left the Schönbrunn District after two nights and relocated to a much nicer and more centrally located apartment on the corner Moritzgasse and Gumpendorfer Straße in the Mariahilf District. Gumpendorfer Straße has a great array of really cool design shops and not a few architects' offices with window displays along it and well worth the walk, which is our next activity in this thread! Here's a few of the sights when we finally got into central Wien. As you can see there was a distinct seasonal feel to the dressing of the urban environment!



At any rate, I thought we were flâneuring, but SWIMPAL had a couple of tricks up her sleeve for me. The first was this terrific 'sandwich' bar called Trzesniewski on the Dorotheergasse that had been on the site for the last 130 odd years:



You could order a tiny glass of beer called a Pfiff to wash down these lovely little slices. Next stop (are you watching this Vince?) was Cafe Demel on the Kohlmarkt just near the Hofburg Palace. This was Sisi's favourite cafe and still holds the royal imprimatur of 'KuK' (Kaiser und Kaiserin) the equivalent of "By appointment of Her Royal Majesty," and once you taste the coffee and cakes you no longer are required to wonder why!




Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 05:19 PM
I seem to have answered your hopes SB! Anyway here's the lovely window dressing for the cafe:



As I said earlier this will be a bit of a rambling thread, so let us cut straight to one of the many moods of the main cathedral of Wien, the almighty Stephansdom!






The Bigfella
12-26-2015, 05:25 PM
I take it this is the wet season?

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 05:31 PM
And a couple more for good measure:


... including the consistent scene at ground level:


One would think that they might drop the price for an approximate half hour ride from 70 euros down to something a little more reasonable then they'd spend less time freezing their rear ends off and make a bucket load more money, but the city (like any other famous city) has its fair share of overpriced and under-utilised touristy stuff, but at least these carriages and their horses and drivers were all very tasteful!

Anyway, we continued (the next day by this stage I think) our wandering. I spied a big Baroque church nestled around the corner from the Stephansdom along the Graben, which we didn't pick up in any of our guide books for some reason: St Peter's Kirche.





I like a random Baroque church!

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 05:34 PM
This was also our first of a number of random choir finds which were always free (aside from a small donation of any amount for either church repairs or the refugees):


Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 05:35 PM
And one more:


I'll return later with more!

12-26-2015, 05:51 PM
Thanks Duncan, much too ornate for my taste I'm afraid but quite marvelous craftsmanship in both cakes and cathedral.
Excellent photos too!

12-26-2015, 06:01 PM
This is great Duncan! I think I'd have to go on a diet before and after though! How expensive is accommodation in Vienna?

12-26-2015, 06:13 PM
I enjoyed the pictures.

great grandma was a concert fiddler in Vienna, She was Slovakian but grandpa said back then it was the Austrian/ Hungarian empire and Vienna was like NYC.

C. Ross
12-26-2015, 06:22 PM
Superb Duncan! I was there in late August with Seattle Daughter and Paris Daughter, and we had a swell time too.

Coffehouses coming next? We tried Cafe Sperl and Cafe Central (twice). I'm eager to compare notes.

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 06:23 PM
Rick, you can get accomodation for about 100 - 120 Euro a night for a nice apartment on Air B'n'B not that far from the city centre, and with the amount of walking we did I actually lost a kilo and a half in two weeks despite all the cake, sausages, schnitzels and other fatty foods!

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 06:25 PM
Cris, we did Central as well which is coming up. We did walk past Sperl on our Gumpendorefer stroll, which was apparently Hitler's favourite!!

12-26-2015, 06:37 PM
Someone in Austria was prepared to mention Hitler?

100 Es sounds pretty good! I think Ms T and I will have to go to Europe one day. I hadn't really considered Austria but maybe we should after slumming it around the fishing ports of Spain and Portugal ...


12-26-2015, 06:49 PM
Someone in Austria was prepared to mention Hitler?

100 Es sounds pretty good! I think Ms T and I will have to go to Europe one day. I hadn't really considered Austria but maybe we should after slumming it around the fishing ports of Spain and Portugal ...


I'll be on the West coast of Scotland after the fishing ports of Spain and Portugal .... then off to Southern Italy and Sardinia.

The Bigfella
12-26-2015, 07:05 PM
Someone in Austria was prepared to mention Hitler?

100 Es sounds pretty good! I think Ms T and I will have to go to Europe one day. I hadn't really considered Austria but maybe we should after slumming it around the fishing ports of Spain and Portugal ...


Yeah, Dad lived in Austria for a while. He lived at a place called Marburg, south of Vienna for a year - but since renamed Maribor and now the borders have moved a bit and it's in Slovenia.

He moved to Spittal, also in Austria, for a couple of months before moving to a holiday camp in Bavaria for three years. The architecture at his places was certainly down-scale compared to these rather bourgeois extravagances. Food seems a bit different to the photos he had too.

Sky Blue
12-26-2015, 07:15 PM
The stonemasonry of Europe continues to be of tremendous interest to me, probably mostly for the lack of the same here in the states, where such buildings today could not be affordably constructed nor would likely pass earthquake codes, at least anywhere on the West Coast. Many of the older universities in the US have a collection or two of such buildings, but nothing like what exists in Europe. Such buildings, art in and of themselves, are a big part of the extant mood on the streets of Europe, at least to this foreigner.

An exciting place to live and work if one was a young architect interested in these buildings and their construction methodologies and how they might be refitted to accommodate new uses and technologies.

Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 10:51 PM
There is a possibility of my being able to work there as a landscape architect SB, as I'm eligible for a British passport. I'd love to, but I have to finish my slew of projects at home first (including finishing Looe) and learn German. All achievable! Let's continue on from St Peter's Kirche, turning left up the Kolmarkt and the end of the street is bookended by the Hofburg, the imperial Habsburg residence in town:



The cupola is open at ground level and designed as the porte-cochère for the two wings of the palace:


Obviously not the tradesmen's entrty!

I like this shot. Very 'Midge Ure!' As is the one after!



The above and below shots are taken from Heldenplatz which is accessed from the city centre by walking underneath the Hofburg cupula, and the below is the Neue Burg wing of the Hofburg complex and houses the reading rooms of the Austrian National Library as well as an astonishing collection of musical instruments as part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunsthistorisches_Museum) which has it's main section in a purpose built building that also formed part of this last big expansion of the Hofburg complex when the old Wien city walls were demolished to make way for the Ringstraße.


Duncan Gibbs
12-26-2015, 11:31 PM
I almost left out the Wien Pestsäule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pestsäule,_Vienna), the monument on the Graben near St Peter's, completed in 1693 to the victims of the plague of 1679:


We'll return here when I get to the detailed photographs of this important artwork which were taken during one of the rare sunny days. It didn't actually rain, aside from one day, but the weather had a distinctly overcast and often, very foggy character at this time of the year.

And now to one of Wien's greatest sons, Joseph Haydn, who 'retired' to the Mariahilf district around the corner from where our apartment was. Of course the whole landscape around his house in his days was almost totally bucolic. At any rate the short pilgrimage from our digs was compulsory! Visitors will note this arrangement of flags dotted about the city, with an accompanying plaque in German underneath. These indicate places of historical significance.


The courtyard garden was Haydn's own creation and has recently been restored, both in form and plants from drawings and notes by Haydn and his many visitors.


This was a Napoleonic cannon ball that landed in the courtyard, much to Haydn's great distress, during the same siege by that particular Frenchman which saw Beethoven scratch out the dedication to Napoleon on his 'Eroica' symphony.


The whole affair was evidently too much for our maestro and he shuffled off his mortal coil less than 20 days after the fall of Vienna. Apparently Napoleon himself came to pay his respects upon news of Haydn's passing and posted a guard of honour outside his house. Here's his death mask after one of the most productive 77 years anyone could lay claim to.


And here's the stub end of one of the last vectors by which all that glory and genius was transported into this World and into immortality.


12-26-2015, 11:47 PM
I'm impressed now Duncan! I thought your tastes were more aligned with that heavy Russian noise rather than the (exquisite) Baroque?


Duncan Gibbs
12-27-2015, 12:52 AM
Just you wait Rick! I've hardly gotten started!

The Bigfella
12-27-2015, 12:53 AM
Just got started? You seem to be hovering around the end.... death masks, hearses.

12-27-2015, 01:18 AM
Just you wait Rick! I've hardly gotten started!

Hmm, are we to look forward, then, to songs about lonely goatherds?


C. Ross
12-27-2015, 01:26 AM
Hmm, are we to look forward, then, to songs about lonely goatherds?


That's Salzburg. And fictional. Heaven forbid.

12-27-2015, 06:33 AM
Fictional? Nein!! Does this also mean a doe isn't a deer, a female deer? Tell me it isn't sew!


Duncan Gibbs
12-27-2015, 06:35 AM
Wooden and hung on strings more like it. Anyway... Back to Haydn Haus!

Here's a picture of our maestro sitting down at...


... this clavichord, upon which...


... he composed all the canons framed upon the wall behind it:


If only these keys could speak, what stories they would be able to tell us! Note the initials J.E. since he was in the employ of the Esterházys until the last.


The clavichord was later owned by Johannes Brahms, who, as we will see later was an avid collector of keyboards. In the house is a small room dedicated to Brahms who is credited with keeping the memory of Haydn alive through the 19th century. And finally Haydn's own forte piano:



IIRC The Creation and The Seasons were composed upon this instrument. Anyway, I'll return in the morning with more! Gute nacht meine Freunde!

Duncan Gibbs
12-27-2015, 05:16 PM
And now good morning!

This is the one and only picture taken in the Wien Museum Karlsplatz (I thought I'd taken more), and SWIMPAL was the photographer. I'm standing next to Klimpt's 1902 portrait of Emilie Flöge.


The museum, previously known as the Historisches Museumder Stadt Wien is terrific and paints a vivid picture of the history of the city, in particular the second Turkish siege of the city with a terrific collection of arms and artefacts from both sides of that conflict. There are also exhibits of everyday life alongside imperial court life and cartographic displays. Well worth the visit!

Then there is all the Secessionist architecture dotting the city (and before anyone asks, no we didn't get to see any Hundertwasser buildings!) in particular the first significant set of apartments designed by Otto Wagner, The Majolikahaus, that sit beside the Naschtmarkets, (a terrific set of open air permanent stalls that sit atop the U-bahn between Kettenbrückengasse and Karlsplatz).





As I said the apartments are a set (of two) and the second are more modern again:



Duncan Gibbs
12-27-2015, 05:28 PM


A first floor resident has taken the decoration as a cue for their own additions:


At the other end of the Naschtmarkets is the Secession Museum (also known as the Golden Cauliflower), which was small and expensive to get into, with only a single room of exhibitions, so we simply wandered about the outside.


Nearby is the primary station of Karlsplatz which was the first U-bahn station designed by Otto Wagner,* along the U4 line and also includes the Otto Wagner* Pavilion which was unfortunately shut during the off-peak season. There are also a number of other stations, balustrades and other items also designed by Wagner* along this line.


(ETA It was not Adolf Loos* as noted above but Wagner. We'll get to Loos later!)

Hugh Conway
12-27-2015, 07:11 PM
Unsure if you've returned - but Loos fan? Have you been to the American bar? The raiffiesen bank by the hofburg is worth a gander. For more trAvel the freytag & Berndt shop has(d?) maps and guides for most anywhere on earth.

Duncan Gibbs
12-27-2015, 08:14 PM
I've been waiting nearly 30 years for that first cocktail at the America Bar! It was quite literally packed and smokey when we went and uncomfortable so we stayed for one drink only. The bank is beautiful inside, but because it's a bank I wasn't allowed to take any shots, although I did capture the facade, which is coming up!

Duncan Gibbs
12-28-2015, 04:09 AM
Next stop was up Kettenbrückengasse to the flat in which Schubert spent his last two mortal months with his brother Ferdinand, Ferdinand's wife and his four children and the flat in which he died; now known as the Schubert Sterbewohnung. This is where he wrote a few masterpieces in his dying days, including The Shepherd on the Rock. It was a very small two room affair that had a kitchen shared with others on the same floor, although Ferdinand had his piano in there as well:



This is the smaller room of the flat where the Great Franz Schubert, the equal of Mozart IMHO, shuffled off his mortal coil:


Later that evening we attended a recital of Die Tod und das Mädchen (The Death and the Maiden) quartet, which was his expression of his internal dialogue on his thoughts of dying when he was severely ill four years before his death. This was performed by the Aeon Quartet on period instruments ranging from 1758 to 1827 in St Anne's Church in central Wien and was utterly brilliant. The players performed with animated gusto and passion, as well as almost perfect timing and without a single mistake. They also presented Mozart's 'Hunt' Quartet (KV421). We had front a row pew!


The experience has been etched into my memory, and I happily choke up upon retelling it!

Let's jump about a bit now to Karlskirche which lends its name to Karlsplatz:



A note for the thrifty tourist: Entry to this church is 8 euros before 6pm and free thereafter!

Duncan Gibbs
12-28-2015, 04:14 AM
As with most of these large public squares there was a Christmas market occupying it for the month of December. This one was notable for the very cute, inventive and utterly brilliant human powered fairground rides for the kids:


See the video in the following post for the human powered train detailed below.




Duncan Gibbs
12-28-2015, 04:15 AM

12-28-2015, 09:35 AM
Just what I figured: it's all perfect. It's too perfect. Anything built in the last 50 years looks ultra-modern and shiny clean, and the older stuff looks like they made it for a movie or something. That's the way Germany is. Everything is just about perfect. Drives me crazy. :)

Enjoy yourself, Dunc. Looks like a wonderful trip.

Mickey Lake

The Bigfella
12-28-2015, 05:54 PM
Where's the masculinity in any of it? It seems like a city built by fairies.

C. Ross
12-28-2015, 06:04 PM
I wouldn't characterize it that way at all, Ian. The architecture all around the Ringstrasse in particular is solid, monumental. And that's not even counting the monument and park the Soviets built to honor themselves.

I'd agree Belvedere is lightweight and feminine. Schönbrunn Palace looks like a tough guy compared to Versailles, which it rivaled.


The Bigfella
12-28-2015, 06:16 PM
OK... I'll buy that one. How's the plumbing?

I suppose if the plumbing's no good, we could rent it for Pless's birthday bash today?

Duncan Gibbs
12-30-2015, 07:35 PM
Apologies for the delay as I've been busy with Mum and Dad (and Mum's birthday which is shared by the above mentioned Paul Pless!) and yesterday was the final flight home to Northern NSW from the hot and dry Victoria. As an aside, I don't really think cities have to be 'masculine' or 'feminine', but rather excellent places to live and thrive, along with a strong sense of community and commons and Wien has these bases extremely well covered. And if anyone has the experience of standing in front of any one of these 'effeminate' buildings, including the Belvedere, they'd have a sense that someone very, very rich and very, very powerful was responsible for such an edifice. Although the Baroque decoration may seem soft, the buildings underneath are all big and muscular, with a great sense of being grounded and fixed to the earth over which they dominate. There is also a terrific sense of history, some inspirational and some that sends a cold shiver down your spine. But we'll get to that later, although the following has a bit of both...

Let's return to the plague monument in central Wien, the Wien Pestsäule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pests%C3%A4ule,_Vienna) in more detail and brighter weather.



Here's 'The Plague' in the form of an old hag being slain by a cherub at the base:


The shops in central Wien are all very beautiful. At this point it's important to note that the official guild system is very much alive and well and even shopkeepers must undergo a thorough apprenticeship to ply their trade, so almost all the shops are exquisitely and thoughtfully dressed. Quality is more than simply a by-word in Austria!


With no rhyme or reason we'll jump back to Michaelerplatz which fronts the Hofburg palace complex where the Roman ruins that were originally built in 15BC as a fortified garrison city on the site of earlier Celtic settlements, are neatly exposed and form a kind of a wishing well for passer-by.



Duncan Gibbs
12-30-2015, 08:37 PM
And here's the Hofburg in the sunshine. It's difficult to give a sense of the scale of the thing, but perhaps by way of saying the archway could fit at least two - if not three - horse drawn carriages abreast each other as they pass underneath you, the reader might garner such an idea.


That then gives you a sense of the scale of this wrought iron fixed above the entry, like some portcullis that has taken root for all eternity.


And that cupola!


Inside this part that fronts Michaelerplatz are three attractions; the Imperial Silverware collection, 'Sisi's' apartments in the Amalienburg wing, as well as the Kaiser's apartments. I have a few shots of the Imperial Silverware collection, but bear in mind these represent just a small fraction of what is on display.


It's remarkable that this set of cups dates from the 1820s. I think they were my favourite from the whole collection.


A travelling case for silver cutlery:


Duncan Gibbs
12-30-2015, 08:47 PM
A table centrepiece; one of many on display:


In fact I've realised I took quite a few shots of these rather florid creations, but the sheer quantity and quality of the craft involved in their creation I found astonishing:





The one inside the cabinet below was given to the conquered Habsburgs by Napoleon and is still used on important state occasions to this day.


Duncan Gibbs
12-31-2015, 07:01 AM
To continue after our brief interlude with friends up the street for a NYE dinner and tipple...

There were about 20 or 25 rooms like the following:



And case upon case upon case of the art of porcelain on display:


The entire collection is breathtaking in its scope, but also shines a light on the vast wealth of the Habsburgs as well as the length of the rule over the Austro-Hungarian Empire, their connections with other royal houses Europe over. One can't help when looking at this display of ostentation and power how the seeds of revolutions, such as that of 1848 were germinated, but at the same time also think of the army of incredible talent and skill employed to create such objects. But times really were changing at the end of the 19th Century and the contrast is made stark right outside the Hofburg with Adolf Loos' masterpiece The Goldman & Salatsch Building, or Looshaus, which now houses a branch of the Raiffiesen Bank. The building was completed in 1912 and was called the "House without eyebrows" because of its lack of window rooves. Apparently Emperor Franz Joseph hated the building so much he never used the Michaelerplatz entry to the Hofburg for the last four years of his life.


As a small aside there is also a small shop designed by Loos just down the left hand side of the Kohlmarkt which is the right hand street in the photograph above. There is also a shop - the first built design - by the one of the superstars of Postmodern Architecture Hans Hollein, as well as another later shop design by the same hand. But back out to the Ringstraße and some of the more traditional piles that line it. First up the Burgtheatre which was moved to a new building on the Ringstraße in 1888, a mere 22 years before Looshaus was completed, and the contrast couldn't be greater.



Phil Y
12-31-2015, 04:25 PM
There is a possibility of my being able to work there as a landscape architect SB, as I'm eligible for a British passport. I'd love to, but I have to finish my slew of projects at home first (including finishing Looe) and learn German. All achievable!

Dunc, those are excuses, not reasons. Looe is just an old boat. Australia is not the place to brush up on your German. You do understand that you only get to do this living thing once don't you? Just GO!

12-31-2015, 04:35 PM
They way to learn German is deep immersion .... in Austria ... not Australia.

Duncan Gibbs
12-31-2015, 04:43 PM
I agree, but I want to finish Looe. SWIMPAL speaks German fluently and we just met an elderly Swiss lady at the fruit shop who'd like to carry on in German as well. She also played the violin but can't any more due to MS, but is maybe willing to teach me, or at least have a go. Plus we're not sure if Germany itself might not be a better place to work and SWIMPAL has to figure out what she'd like to do if we did move.

Duncan Gibbs
12-31-2015, 05:18 PM
At any rate, I have to learn German and be fluent in it if I was to find work as a landscape architect in Austria, including knowing all the technical terms for my work.

Duncan Gibbs
12-31-2015, 05:47 PM
Anyway, Happy New Year to everyone and let's kick off 2016 on this photographic ramble across the Ringstraße from the Burgtheatre and in the thick of one of the many Christmas markets dotted throughout Wien for the Advent month of December, and this one sits in front of the Wien Rathaus, or town hall, completed in 1883.



Here's a sample of the markets:



The above is a stall selling all things Honig (Honey) related, from beeswax candles to honey liqueurs, unfortunately none permissible to bring back to Australia due to our very strict quarantine laws. Needless to say that didn't stop me from at least sampling some of the wonderful honey from Austria, although bought from the famous Julius Meinl store near the Stephansdom! The Christmas cheer continued inside the Rathaus with lots of different activities for kids, from pastry classes to woodwork, including etching boxes with pyrography to create pokerwork.



There is great effort put in to really cater for children and young people generally in Austria and this is particularly apparent at these markets.

12-31-2015, 05:54 PM
I agree, but I want to finish Looe. SWIMPAL speaks German fluently and we just met an elderly Swiss lady at the fruit shop who'd like to carry on in German as well. She also played the violin but can't any more due to MS, but is maybe willing to teach me, or at least have a go. Plus we're not sure if Germany itself might not be a better place to work and SWIMPAL has to figure out what she'd like to do if we did move.

OK,OK, no Austria but ONLY German in the house, no English, no French. German only for all conversation.

You will learn quickly Duncan.

12-31-2015, 05:58 PM


Duncan Gibbs
12-31-2015, 06:10 PM
The interior of the Rathaus was also decked out with the standard spectacular Christmas lights:


I almost forgot this fabulous gingerbread house!


A short walk from the Rathaus in the Austrian Parliament building, (Parlamentsgebäude, or colloquially das Parlament) which I think is loosely based on the Westminster bicameral system, although the upper house having less power over the passage of legislation than that of the Australian Senate, or even the House of Lords. The building was opened in 1883, about the same time as a whole slew of other structures on the Ringstraße such as the nearby Kunsthistorisches Museum (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunsthistorisches_Museum) and Naturhistorisches Museum (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturhistorisches_Museum). So one might imagine the mighty construction programme that the Imperial Government and Emperor invested in this grand urban design project.



The view back to central Wien from the top of the entry staircase is quite something.


Duncan Gibbs
12-31-2015, 10:29 PM
We continue with our flâneuring and come across the oldest operating tavern in Wien, Grienchenbeisl. I'll let you figure out how long it's stood there for:



These are cannon balls found on the site from the first Turkish Siege of Wien in 1529:


We'll have another random jump, this time into the present day and experience the fabulous U-Bahn train system and tram network, which is almost never more than 500 metres from anywhere you are when about central Wien and just out from the Ringstraße. Dogs and bikes are welcome on board!



Keeping with the transport and mobility theme, there are a few cute pedestrian lights about!


C. Ross
12-31-2015, 11:08 PM
...the oldest operating tavern in Wien, Grienchenbeisl.

Excellent thread Duncan! You're really capturing the place.

My daughters and I had it on our list to try, and we stumbled across it on our first night. Did you see the room with the notable signatures on the ceiling?

Duncan Gibbs
12-31-2015, 11:53 PM
Cheers Cris! We actually didn't go in all the way since we'd already had lunch and figured we'd not disturb the patrons inside. I think we walked past Grienchenbeisl at about 4.30 when it was pretty dark already, but next time we go back, we'll ensure we dine there. It's apparently big with the tourists and a bus load of Japanese turned up and filed into the place when we were there. What was the food like?

Duncan Gibbs
01-01-2016, 12:27 AM
Now we get to Café Central! And more cake! A teasing view from outside...


A short wait to be seated at this popular establishment, and then...


The cakes! Oh the cakes!!!!


It was hard to resist breathing in this, the best black forest cake I've ever had!


The cafe had that particular old world charm that can only be had in a city that has trams and a variety of newspapers!


There was also a pianist plunking away in the middle of the cafe, and it was a nice surprise when he started playing that most famous of Anton Karas tunes, the Harry Lime Theme to Der Dritte Mann!

Duncan Gibbs
01-01-2016, 08:30 AM
Nearly forgot this shot so that any future flâneurs can happily recognise this terrific landmark...


I'm sure any of the major cafés in Wien would pass muster, but Central and Demel are the two best. Hotel Sacher is of course known for its famous cake, which I was was told was a bit too rich compared with other cakes in other cafés, along with tafelspitz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tafelspitz) which is a traditional Austrian haute cuisine recipe.

But let's keep flâneuring and finding interesting sights, like beautifully appointed shopfronts with small outside display cabinets....


... Or arcades that became all the fashion in the late 19th in cities from Paris to Melbourne, and was the subject of Walter Benjamin's monumental piece of modern philosophy, and understanding of consumer culture, Der Passagen Werk. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcades_Project)


Wanderings on another day lead us to to the Hoher Markt Clock, or Ankeruhr, adjacent to which is a really good branch of the supermarket chain Merkur. The clock is a bit of a Nouveau masterpiece that plays out a historical tableau of sorts of twelve individual figures on the hour, and parades them all at once at noon.


And always we return to Stephansdom, the heart and centre of the city! And this day was sunny, so we can now see the top of the spire.


Let's peep inside this grand nine hundred year old edifice, while keeping in our thoughts, Joseph Haydn was married here, as was Mozart and it was also the place of his funeral as well as that of Vivaldi, whose house was on a site now occupied by the aforementioned Hotel Sacher.



Duncan Gibbs
01-01-2016, 08:56 AM
I love a vaulted ceiling! I'd love one for a house!!


Almost all the pulpits in all the churches are Baroque extravaganzas, with doors for access from hidden corridors for the sermoniser rather than the usual staircase the English speaking world is familiar with.


Another random leap in time and space to a rather interesting piece of public art Olafur Eliasson's "Yellow Fog" on the Facade of Verbund's "Am Hof" Building (http://artdaily.com/news/26660/Olafur-Eliasson-s--Yellow-Fog--on-the-Facade-of-Verbund-s--Am-Hof--Building-in-Vienna#.VoaBvemsjww):


A short jaunt away is the Im Kinsky Art Auction House, set in a private palace completed in 1719 for Count Wirich Philipp von Daun, who later became Empress Maria Theresa's Field Marshall. This was a random find, but one simply cannot resist an open door! Staff wandered past us as we gawked in wonderment and snapped photo's, but none shooed us away, but smiled politely and knowingly instead.





Duncan Gibbs
01-01-2016, 09:00 AM
One more of the ceiling of the grand staircase of Palais Kinsky before I return in the morning with something very special indeed!


01-01-2016, 01:47 PM
An amazing thread. Thanks for sharing with us Duncan.

C. Ross
01-01-2016, 02:52 PM
What was the food like?

Cheers Duncan! Surprisingly good. Daughter 2 had schnitzel as big as a placemat.


The barman helpfully pointed out signatures of Twain, Beethoven and Mozart on the ceiling.


And I hope you won't mind one more self-indulgent photo on your magnificent thread. Daughters on the way to the restaurant, chock full of gemütlichkeit! That photo sums up the feeling of Vienna for me.


Duncan Gibbs
01-02-2016, 07:03 AM
Cheers Duncan! Surprisingly good. Daughter 2 had schnitzel as big as a placemat.
There were a few of those types of portion sizes we came across! We very quickly learned to order the "junior" sized meals.

The barman helpfully pointed out signatures of Twain, Beethoven and Mozart on the ceiling.
Lots of helpful people like that in Wien!

And I hope you won't mind one more self-indulgent photo on your magnificent thread.
Not at all Cris! Not at all! In fact, feel free to indulge a will my friend, as we can't all be awake and in the same time zone.

One point of interest SWIMPAL has brought to my attention is the connection between Griechenbeisel and the very famous song 'Oh du lieber Augustin' (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_du_lieber_Augustin). You may recall the grated well near the entry with coins that had thrown into it? According to the story that's where the unfortunate Augustin fell down drunk on that night in 1679 having had his fill, perhaps at the very tavern in question!

Daughters on the way to the restaurant, chock full of gemütlichkeit! That photo sums up the feeling of Vienna for me.

Also brilliant was another viewing of that masterpiece of film noir I mentioned before, The Third Man! It's been a few years since I last saw the movie, so many in fact that I had become unaware I actually owned a copy until SWIMPAL dug it out of the DVD shelf this evening. Seeing the bombed out shell of our subject as shown in Carol Reed's 1948 picture, and understanding the perilous state of Austria before it finally gained its independence, (and what happened to Germany after the war), it's not that hard to figure out why both Germany and Austria have the pervading social and political views that they do. At any rate the movie is both rooted in the time of its production and timeless. Who can argue with cinematography that delivers a sense of finality like this:



Duncan Gibbs
01-02-2016, 08:06 AM
Now I'm a little behind in my promised set of special posts, that will be of particular interest to the members of this forum, due to catching up with tidying up the garden after an absence of over three weeks, which as you might imagine in the subtropics, can get away quite quickly. That and baking bauernbrot!

May I introduce the Hofmobiliendepot Möbil Museum Wien: The Imperial Furniture Collection. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Furniture_Collection)

This is a truly breathtaking establishment for anyone with even a vague interest in woodwork, cabinet making and joinery of any kind, in much the same way the Imperial Silverware collection would be to kitchen outfitters, potters, porcelain makers, gold and silver smiths.

In fact, it's of great interest to anyone with a vague interest in the idea of a seat!

It should be etched into the schedule of anyone who has plans to visit Wien. Room after room after room of the most incredible craft and artistry, all concentrated in this astonishing museum.

This is the first room we entered:



And a closeup sample of this room I particularly liked:


Then there is a room full of every chair imaginable, from almost every period of history since the mid 1600s:



The most beautiful wheelchair I've ever clapped eyes on (belonging to the lady in the portrait behind - Baroness, or Arch-duchess something-or-other - who was an avid fan of food, but not exercise and required the aid of this item due to her corpulent stature):


Now you'll have to bear with me here, because even though I have nearly a full hundred pictures to show, these are barely a dent in the scale of this museum and are my most favourite of pieces, or simply further evidence of the vastness of the collection.

Duncan Gibbs
01-02-2016, 08:15 AM
The most opulent infant's cradle that has passed into my field of vision:




The most amazing inlay art that has graced my sight:



A Wiener Werkstadt drinks trolley:


I'll have to continue with this barrage of the history furnishings in the morning, otherwise it'll be 2am before I know it, it being a quarter past midnight here now. So until then!

Duncan Gibbs
01-02-2016, 05:57 PM
Good morning!

More of my favourites from the Hofmobiliendepot...



I absolutely love ripple moulding, which is a theme I'll return to later!



A whole host of chaise lounges:




Duncan Gibbs
01-02-2016, 06:40 PM
Then there's all the amazing Biedermeier era (1815 to 1850) furniture that almost appears like the cleanest styled Deco work you might imagine.








Duncan Gibbs
01-02-2016, 06:50 PM
More Biedermeier...

This is a waste paper bin believe it or not! (Apologies for the angle, but the shot was difficult to take without setting off the motion alarm barrier!)


A fantastic desk:


You'll note that this was set up as a sample room, of which there were about fifty, maybe sixty such examples, the next including a 'Giraffe' piano; an early version of the modern upright.



Corridors of rooms...


A 60 or 70 metre corridor of seats from the 1600s to the present for museum patrons to sample for comfort, or otherwise!


C. Ross
01-02-2016, 07:04 PM
Stunning stuff. I'm crazy about Biedermeier. IIRC it got hot very hot maybe 20 years ago and the prices went out of sight.

Duncan Gibbs
01-02-2016, 07:07 PM
Large scaled quartered book-matching to the left of me!


Quartered book-matching the the right, this example being a wardrobe (belonging to the unfortunate Crown Prince Ludwig) that had a secret door to its rear that the patron could walk through, (and we did!)



More amazing inlay work:


Even the art of the snuffbox (and pipe smoking) was given an extensive display.


Then we arrive at a set of rooms devoted to the act of ablution, this first example being a wash-stand.


We'll continue with this section of the museum later this afternoon.

01-03-2016, 12:53 AM
Were there any boats?


Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 01:00 AM
Coming up, but not at the Hofmobiliendepot. ;)

Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 05:33 AM
Now this being the Imperial Furniture Collection you'd expect there to be an assortment of thrones....

... And there is!



As well as a collection of bidets:


A sample from amongst the first commercially available toilet tickets!!


Then there are the accessible storerooms with ancient and unrestored furnishings piled high at ground level and on mezzanine:



John B
01-03-2016, 05:59 AM
Were there any boats?


Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 05:59 AM
In amongst all the jumble of the store room are priceless treasures such as this portrait of Kaiserin Maria Theresa:


Many of these original period and actually-used-by-the-Habsburgs items were used in-situ in both the Hofburg and Schloß Schönbrunn for the filming of the Romy Schneider 'Sissi' pictures. Throughout the storerooms and in other parts of the Hofmobiliendepot are small displays with dubbed versions of the movies picking out the items used by turning the rest of the footage into black and white, whilst leaving the furnishings in colour. It's funny to hear Romy Schneider's 'Sissi' in Arabic or Japanese!

I was sure I took more shots of the Secessionist Wien Werkstadt section, which was also huge, but I seemed to have edited it down to this one picture of Josef Hoffmann's famous chair. This is THE first of this particular chair!


Then there was the Thonet section, which demonstrated the first industrial revolution in joinery:


Chair Number One:


An early catalogue:


A bending jig:



Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 06:07 AM


The collection then worked its way through the Twentieth Century to the present day:


Including an amusing take on the past...


... and the idea of the magic carpet!


There was also the Walking Chair:



Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 06:08 AM

Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 06:38 AM
Very, very, very old objects are presented in an interactive way:



Then there was this room, perhaps the most intimate and interesting room in the whole museum, where the work and art of the cabinet maker is revealed. The wall panels could all be pulled out to reveal different timbers in different states of finish and with different finishes.



An 18th Century chair revealed:


Of particular note was this Rubio Pattern ripple moulding machine:



Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 07:02 AM

The workpiece it fixed to a carriage that is cranked underneath a moulding cutter set into the tensioned mount in the centre. This moves up and down according to the iron pattern mounted on the sides of the carriage.


The mount pivots from bolts on the main case:


The same principals are used to create ripples from side to side as well, and these are the raw results:



This large machine in the middle of the room produces perfect repetitions of intarsia inlay by using the momentum of the large wheel to push a very sharp blade through a glued up block of the pattern.


The workpiece is pushed down and the blade cuts under it:


Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 07:12 AM
The finished intarsia patterns are pushed out to a tray...


... while the whole mechanism works much like a piston:


And these are the finished results:



And if anyone wants to build such a machine the museum kindly provides a plan for it:


There is one more section, a special exhibition still currently running, in this wondrous institution that I will save for the morning, before we find the exit and go back out into the city again, and go visiting a friend!

John Meachen
01-03-2016, 04:02 PM
What a fascinating machine-many thanks for posting this in particular and the other items in the thread are a strong inducement to visit the places you mention.

C. Ross
01-03-2016, 04:09 PM
Keep it coming Dunc. This is outstanding stuff! Makes me want to return.

Duncan Gibbs
01-03-2016, 05:24 PM
Me too Cris! Me too! :D

First day back at work, so I'll continue posting closer to lunch in a few hours.

Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 05:28 AM
Sorry for the delay, but the first day back at work got in the way. C'est la vie!

Anyway, to the special exhibition at the Hofmobiliendepot, a terrific journey through light and lighting since the invention of the first electric bulbs by Swan and Edison almost simultaneously in 1878 and 1879, to this day when light has been able to store sound and completely revolutionise just about every single aspect of out existence in 2015 since that first filament bloomed with incandescence 137 years ago.


But of course what we really want to see are the light fittings! I can't tell you what each one is, however needless to say, the exhibition covers a good gamut of these most basic carriers of the electric flame since the beginning of lighting. And so here's a brief sampling. The first two are from the Bauhaus, the 1928 Wilhelm Wagenfeld 'Bulb' table lamp, but I particularly like the pendulous geometric number by Gerrit Rietveld 'Hanging Lamp' from 1920.



The next from the 1950s IIRC:


And another group from the 1940s:


The next group from the '60s:


Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 05:37 AM
And contemporary lighting design:






This included exploration of the relationship between light and space in this beautiful room:


Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 05:44 AM


These are my favourites from the whole exhibition:


These are laminated veneer with OLED standards (more on OLED in a second):


And my absolute favourite!



I think this to be one of the most stunning works of lighting and design I've ever seen! Sadly I can't remember who the designer is.

A boxed history of LED standards:


Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 05:46 AM
This one needed a video to best describe it:


Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 05:55 AM
This is a display showing how OLED (Organic LED) standards are made:



And this concludes our marathon at the Hofmobiliendepot! We thought to ourselves, "Imperial furniture, blah, blah, blah! There might be something interesting there, but it should only take a couple of hours to look at it all!" Well, we stayed there all day, gobsmacked by this Heavenly museum; totally and utterly gobsmacked.

And here's the crucial thing about Wien: Be prepared to throw your plans and schedules out the window and just soak up the experience and not be disappointed at all by brushing off such timetables. Be there then!...

Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 06:00 AM
... Just stop and listen to the amazing buskers:


One question I have is what the hell is their tune? I recognise it! I think it's Mozart, but cannot for the life of me think of what it is, nor can anyone I've showed it to name it. I'll be eternally grateful to the person who can!


01-04-2016, 06:56 AM
Rossini, Il barbiere di Siviglia: Overture


Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 07:42 AM
Ha! That was my first thought, but I got convinced otherwise! :D :o

Anyway, I was going to ask the readers of this thread to take a stab at where I was and who I was with in this shot. I mean Rick was asking about where the boats were. And so you've entered this thread at exactly the right time!


Introducing Flo-Mo! AKA Stefan, our very kind and gracious host for a day, and his own far better behaved version of that Lemmonyhands fella model man! (What was that action figure bloke called again?)


And his fleet! Or most of it anyway.


The rest arranged in his main workshop especially for our viewing pleasure!


Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 08:02 AM


I really loved this canoe that was nearing completion, very similar, but an improved version of the ship directly to the right of Stefan in the second last shot of the above post. It was so light yet so strong, and very, very beautifully crafted!


The workshop is set in the grounds of a monastery in Mödling, a town to the south-west of central Wien and now absorbed into greater Wien. Stefan tells us that although the buildings only contain a few monks, where there were once many, now the apartment below his workshop houses a family of refugees, whilst the main building houses 200 (?) other refugees. We heard a great deal about the many programmes and charities set up in both Austria and Germany to help integrate the Flüchtlinge and the positive social and economic outcomes for both them and the host nations on Austrian TV.

Some of you may recall seeing Stefan's beautiful one-sheet boats being handed out of one of the first floor windows to be transported to their natural element.


Of course all this talk of boating made us quite hungry!


Stefan had Tyrollean fried liver, SWIMPAL had a deer ragout with knödel, lingonberries and pear, and I had Austrian goulash! All very yummy and the Ragout from the 'Wild' menu!

01-04-2016, 05:35 PM
That would be Simon.

Great workshop and BOATS! Congratulations and cheers to Stefan! Just canoes or do you build other boats? A business or a hobby? A lot of interesting designs there! Any chance of a bit of indulgence Duncan? I mean, we have had to put up with all that awkward furniture ....


Duncan Gibbs
01-04-2016, 06:08 PM
Ah yes! Simon! He's such a rascal!

Stefan has his website which has a much better range of both descriptions, pictures and videos of his boats, as well as some of his wonderful architectural models in case you missed it in his signature panel:


He's built a great variety of models including Whitehalls, a Mirror 16 and a bunch of others. More soon, but I will reassess some of the shots from the workshop, just for you Rick!

01-04-2016, 07:01 PM
Good on you!


Duncan Gibbs
01-05-2016, 05:42 AM
Here you go Rick! This is the best I can do, as I'm unfortunately not there any more. Here we're discussing boaty stuff, including the construction prototype model of one of Stefan's canoes:



We also had a bit of a flâneuring session about the old Mödling town centre, before our lovely lunch, where we though we might be able to see Beethoven's bucolic escape pad from Wien near the edge of the old town in a big old court house. But it being Sunday (and maybe occupied by someone else these days anyway) we had to make do with a short wonder about the courtyard and a gaze upon the stone plaque on the street frontage. Here's some of the views about this picturesque town centre:




Then we came to the very large Mödling Kirche up above the town and with the Wienerwald (Wien forest) above it and the town. This is the ossuary that was positioned adjacent to the church entry:



Duncan Gibbs
01-05-2016, 06:10 AM
The church proper and note the rendered face which still holds the faint images of an ancient mural:


Apparently (or so the possibly apocryphal story goes Stefan told us) this door bears the marks of the swords of the invading Turks in 1529 when the population of Mödling took refuge in the church. Eventually the lock was broken and the entire group of men, women and children massacred inside the sanctuary, but this is perhaps a bit of propaganda that has filtered its way down through the centuries.


The main entry looked in rather better condition:


The stained glass windows were really quite impressive, both in size and detail:



Being completely ignorant of religious ritual, thinking myself as a tourist from the future in this ancient building, I was given an abrupt dose of disapprobation by an elderly gent when he came up to me and asked, "Do you speak German or English?" "English!" I replied. He quizzed me further, "Well do you think this is a museum or a house of God?" "It's a church." I answered. "Well take off you hat!" I felt the rest of my time in any church we visited was best spent warning hat wearing men that they may incur a similar burst of wrath from tall and scary, old guys with a strong sense of the devoted about them!

But for a brief moment let's forget about churches and concentrate on the cross-breeding of hardware, toothbrushes, buttons, lego and chocolate at Mödling's Christmas markets!



Duncan Gibbs
01-05-2016, 06:36 AM


Stefan then took us on a drive over the hillside from Mödling and past a beautiful landscape of rolling hills studded with vineyards...


... and to the stunning little chocolate box town of Gumpoldskirchen which lays about four kilometres south (as the crow flies) from Mödling where Stephan took us to a traditional Heuriger, the wine taverns of Eastern Austria. This still had the big old wine press in the middle, and a barrel topped section of floor where the old wine vat was still set into the ground. We had tea and strudel as it weren't in a wine drinking mood at that point and Stefan had insisted on driving us back to our digs in Mariahilf.


The townscape, with its ur-tasteful Christmas lights!


Another Heuriger courtyard/laneway, as they all have these types of entries, where patrons sit outside in the summer:


Then we wondered up to the local church where we had another random advent choral concert sprung on us!


There were about six choirs all from this town of just over 3,700 people, comprised from all age groups, and they were all universally excellent. When we first arrived the organ started barrelling out some Bach in a wobbly but passionate blast which, despite the mistakes of the player, still got me in the heart! And then...

Duncan Gibbs
01-05-2016, 06:41 AM
... the whole church, choirs and audience, sung this tune at the end:


Well, both SWIMPAL and I had a hard time holding back tears of joy, let me tell you. I was patting my breast and grinning like an idiot at Stefan who was smiling gently back at me!

We then were generously driven back to our flat by our superb host for the day. Once again my dear and new (now non-virtual) friend, thank you for a most memorable and excellent day! :)

Tom Hunter
01-05-2016, 11:25 AM
Duncan thank you for taking the time to post all of this. I was in Vienna at the age of 19, back in 1985, this brings back a lot of happy memories.

C. Ross
01-05-2016, 08:56 PM
Duncan. Thanks again! It's a city with so much. Did you get to the Kaisergrüft?

01-05-2016, 10:07 PM
Stefan/Duncan, what's that little rowboat in the middle of the table? It looks particularly nice to me.


Duncan Gibbs
01-05-2016, 10:41 PM
Tom, cheers! There's at least another page or so left to go, so stay tuned! Plus SWIMPAL has finally downloaded all her shots, so I may revisit a few of the subjects.

We didn't even know about the Kaisergrüft Cris. Is Kaiserin Elisabeth interred there? Yet another thing we missed, amongst the many other things including the Albertina, so on and so forth... How long we you in the city for?

Rick, (and Stefan will correct me if I'm wrong), I think it's a Whitehall.

C. Ross
01-05-2016, 11:51 PM
We didn't even know about the Kaisergrüft Cris. Is Kaiserin Elisabeth interred there? Yet another thing we missed, amongst the many other things including the Albertina, so on and so forth... How long we you in the city for?

One hundred and forty eight Habsburgs are interred there, with two notable exceptions: Marie Antoinette (in Saint Denis Cathedral) and Franz Ferdinand (in Arstetten Castle).

Empress Marie Theresa, wife and mother of Holy Roman Emperors, mom to Marie Antoinette, opponent of the reform-minded Masons and therefore presented by Mozart as the Queen of the Night in Magic Flute, has pride of place in an underground but still sun-lit main chamber.


The raised sarcophagi are mostly made of a tin alloy covered with shellac.

Charles VI has some impressive funerary sculpture.


We were there for three and a half days in late August. Just enough to scratch the surface.

My favorite image: We were in the main ballroom at Schönbrunn Palace where the child prodigy Mozart was believed to perform for Marie Theresa, Joseph I, Marie Antoinette and the rest of the family. Younger daughter is mad about Mozart, Sisi, and the Habsburg story, and was quivering with excitement. It was the end of the day, mostly deserted, so wasn't it my duty to bow and ask her for the last waltz of the day? To some hummed Strauss, we danced at Schönbrunn.

Duncan Gibbs
01-06-2016, 08:10 AM
One hundred and forty eight Habsburgs are interred there, with two notable exceptions: Marie Antoinette (in Saint Denis Cathedral) and Franz Ferdinand (in Arstetten Castle).

Empress Marie Theresa, wife and mother of Holy Roman Emperors, mom to Marie Antoinette, opponent of the reform-minded Masons and therefore presented by Mozart as the Queen of the Night in Magic Flute, has pride of place in an underground but still sun-lit main chamber.
I wasn't aware of this. But I've found an interesting article about the opera by Peter G. Davis:


I almost forgot to post the one and only shot from The Mozart Haus I managed to sneak (as photography was verboten) just around the corner from the Stephansdom, where there is a very good description of the multitude of Masonic references in Die Zauberflöte, as well as a few of Mozart's other operas, along with other issues, both social and political, that had root in the libretti of his major works. It felt amazing to be climbing the same staircase that our Maestro would have been up and down on many, many occasions! This is the view down Blutgasse, apparently the place where 200 Knights Templar were massacred in medieval times, or where the city butchers had their slaughterhouses, but the name certainly suggests a preponderance of blood on the street at one point or another!


The Mozart Haus is also very well worth the visit, highly informative and really well presented. One of the staff was a gregarious Rwandan chap (an ex-organ player) who had fled that nation 24 hours before all that dreadful nastiness kicked off there. He was very happy to be working in a place imbued with the very essence of civilisation!

We were there for three and a half days in late August. Just enough to scratch the surface.
And enough to ensure a much longer return visit I hope?

My favorite image: We were in the main ballroom at Schönbrunn Palace where the child prodigy Mozart was believed to perform for Marie Theresa, Joseph I, Marie Antoinette and the rest of the family. Younger daughter is mad about Mozart, Sisi, and the Habsburg story, and was quivering with excitement. It was the end of the day, mostly deserted, so wasn't it my duty to bow and ask her for the last waltz of the day? To some hummed Strauss, we danced at Schönbrunn.
Brilliant! Well played indeed!

Although our audio guide informed us that the performance by the 6 year old Mozart took place in the smaller 'Mirror' room before we had reached the ballroom:


I have to say my heart skipped a beat when this little gem was revealed!

01-06-2016, 08:59 AM
It is a modified version (converted for stitch and glue with a hull made of two sheets of plywood (http://flo-mo.weebly.com/two-sheet-boats.html)) of Joel White's lovely Shellback Dinghy (https://books.google.at/books?id=NcrSG2KJ9uYC&pg=PP6&lpg=PP6&dq=How+to+Build+the+Shellback+Dinghy&source=bl&ots=SAaGu43q-Q&sig=FP2YVaPgjFXoSa5UAf0_Lq1bumk&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjzjJnhqJXKAhXFOhQKHapcD7gQ6AEIPzAH#v=on epage&q=How%20to%20Build%20the%20Shellback%20Dinghy&f=false).

Stefan/Duncan, what's that little rowboat in the middle of the table? It looks particularly nice to me.


01-06-2016, 10:11 PM
It is a modified version (converted for stitch and glue with a hull made of two sheets of plywood (http://flo-mo.weebly.com/two-sheet-boats.html)) of Joel White's lovely Shellback Dinghy (https://books.google.at/books?id=NcrSG2KJ9uYC&pg=PP6&lpg=PP6&dq=How+to+Build+the+Shellback+Dinghy&source=bl&ots=SAaGu43q-Q&sig=FP2YVaPgjFXoSa5UAf0_Lq1bumk&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjzjJnhqJXKAhXFOhQKHapcD7gQ6AEIPzAH#v=on epage&q=How%20to%20Build%20the%20Shellback%20Dinghy&f=false).

Thanks Stefan! I think it's really nice and particularly now that I've seen your graphics. Do you sell your plan for it? I'd be very interested in purchasing one.


01-07-2016, 07:13 AM
Hi Rick,
I do not sell any plans as I am an amateur designer at best without any training and the stuff I do is merely a hobby. The Shellback Dinghy is a very nice design and plans are available for purchase from our host: http://www.woodenboatstore.com/product/plan_11_2_Shellback_Dinghy/sailing_-_pulling


Duncan Gibbs
01-07-2016, 08:12 AM
It's of some note that SWIMPAL insisted that we watch the Helen Mirren movie 'Woman in Gold' tonight.

There seems to be some of this coincidence going on as I make new posts, since it is at this particular point as I work my way through my catalogue of pictures, processed and uploaded and in all of their pages on my photo hosting site that we come to the Belvedere, where, if a previous government looted Nazi art restitution committee had have been far more reasonable than the inflexibility portrayed in the movie, the Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer would still be hanging on the walls of this outstanding institution.

Ironically, as it is (and was when we visited) there is a terrific exhibition in the Lower Belvedere, 'Klimt/Schiele/Kokoschka und die Frauen' that not only exhibits and documents portraits of women like that of Adele Bloch-Bauer, but also the position of women in relation to these three artists and tracks the position of women in Austrian society more generally. What a shame that the old Austrian restitution committee were so pig-headed. And so we had to make do with all the other Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka paintings and drawings! Oh well!

As per usual photography wasn't allowed, so we'll have to make do with the architecture. The upper Belvedere where the main galleries are, and where some of the artworks are noted as having come to the national collection via dubious routes, and to kindly contact the management should one have information on who the actual owners are. Maybe for some even going through the process of restitution would be too painful. Some of the pictures were returned and even been lent back by the descendants for exhibit.



The gardens:




And the lower Belvedere:


Duncan Gibbs
01-07-2016, 08:35 AM
The one spot inside the Lower Belvedere we could photograph was the main entry room:


And a sneaky shot out from the Upper Belvedere:


The rather nice café in the Upper Belvedere:


And the only snow we saw in Wien, was actually made of marble!


The Belvedere deserves an entire day to do it justice and contains a priceless collection of art, but also be sure to visit the main gallery of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, which is known as the equal of the Prado in Madrid. We also met up with Stefan at that gallery two days after our excursion to Mödling, but left the gallery early to get to another concert in St Peter's, which ended up being our only disappointment, as it was white Europeans, pallidly singing African American gospel in a magnificent Baroque church. It was just ontologically wrong when surrounded by all that amazing history and vibrancy of modern Wien. It was my mistake as I mucked up the dates. I thought the day's programme was for Bach and Handel organ music and we abandoned all that lovely art all too early as a result of my mistake.

Next time!!

Duncan Gibbs
01-07-2016, 06:12 PM
Anyway, like the Belvedere, there were some parts of the main wing of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (with an identical building which houses the Naturhistorisches Museum forming the opposite enclosure of Maria Theresa Platz) and all I can say is no-one does neo-Baroque like the Wiener!


The cupola has an aperture under its first floor 'floor' through to the ground floor:


What a shame I made my mistake and we left early! As we walked back into central Wien, through Heldenplatz, Stefan pointed up to the balcony of the Neueburg and said, "In 1938 Hitler announced the Anschluss from there, and this entire square was filled with people cheering." This sent a terrible shiver up my spine!




The next day when we came back to the Neueburg section of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (an exercise in beautiful civilisation!) I snapped this, appropriately grim and wet view of the balcony from roughly the same point (although a little closer to floor level) through the frosted glass doors of this same balcony and view as the above:


01-08-2016, 03:20 AM
Hi Rick,
I do not sell any plans as I am an amateur designer at best without any training and the stuff I do is merely a hobby. The Shellback Dinghy is a very nice design and plans are available for purchase from our host: http://www.woodenboatstore.com/product/plan_11_2_Shellback_Dinghy/sailing_-_pulling


Thanks Stefan!


Duncan Gibbs
01-08-2016, 07:26 AM
I have to say I really like the Gorewood 16 (or was that the Solo 14 Stefan?) that I pictured in Stefan's workshop.

There's a really nice thread on the build technique and a bunch of different results featured at the end:


It's the one I'd most to try an build one day!

More posting tomorrow afternoon (if I get the time), as I've had a really busy day today.

01-08-2016, 06:59 PM
No more Nazis please Duncan! Definitely spoils the tone .....


C. Ross
01-08-2016, 09:24 PM


The same garden and fountain in summer....



01-08-2016, 10:21 PM
I have had the spectacular good luck of spending a lot of time in Austria, Vienna some but especially Innsbruck and the Alps. The best trip I had was from Verona Italy to Vienna, by bicycle, the last week of September and first week of October. My god! Amazing, amazing time. But no digital photos. Thanks for the post. My wife believes she is Russian but we found that at least one of her great grandmothers was born in Salzburg. My father's side is from Austria.
https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/22451_1256547986303_3102640_n.jpg?oh=f4b39670242d0 4f18a32991af38916ec&oe=574703AA

Duncan Gibbs
01-10-2016, 01:24 AM
No more Nazis please Duncan! Definitely spoils the tone .....
In many ways it's wrapped up in the tone of the city and the culture, but as it defined in opposition to it. This important in getting the vibe of how Wiener and the nations of Austria and Germany see themselves. You've trodden up and down the same staircases the Mozart, Haydn and Schubert, been in the room where Schubert died, where Mozart gave his first recital as a six year old, you've also done the same with people like Franz Joseph and Kaiserin Elisabeth, and Hitler and the Nazis. The kind history that is the most familiar within the Western scope is right there under your feet and in the walls you touch. Even though the catastrophe of Nazism has long since been represented in the ruined city, the consciousness that the city was ruined, families remain ripped apart and decimated, magnificent treasures wiped wholesale from existence. Would all the people that have gathered to cheer in Heldenplatz on the 15th of March in 1938 if they'd had been able to foretell what state they would be on the same date in 1946? I very much doubt it. And so the simultaneous acts of remembrance and creation is what makes the city even that much more incredible.

On this subject, one museum I almost forgot to mention (and I didn't get any pictures of either) was another flâneuring discovery, The DÖW or Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes (http://www.doew.at/english) (Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance). A very small, sad in subject matter, but contemplative and very important museum and well worth the time to take in, even though much of the interpretive literature next to pictures and objects is in Deutsch enough is in English to trace and understand the arc of the exhibits. Also on note is the exhibit within the Upper Belvedere is of the state of the gallery and garden complex directly after the war as a large sidebar to a larger exhibition of the work of Gerhardt Frankl who was an important returning Wiener refugee with Jewish roots and of significance in the re-establishment of the Belvedere as Austria's premier picture gallery.

When you see this kind of effort of remembrance in all sorts of ways, both large and small, all over the city, and then observe the thoughtfulness and creativity at work both in the act of remembrance and modern expression then you can begin to understand both Germany and Austria's approach to refugees and politics more generally: That set of stairs that Mozart walked up had to be rebuilt because of Hitler's Nazi war. This is important and stamps itself on the culture.

The same garden and fountain in summer....
More reason to return in either Spring or early Autumn!

Backtracking a little bit as well is a splendid exhibit at the Kunsthistorisches Museum of the life's work of the American artist Joseph Cornell... that finished today! I'm a great fan of the work of Marcel Duchamp and when I started looking at the show I remarked how much like Duchamp's work that of Cornell was. Anyway SWIMPAL had gone ahead of Stephan and I (as we went to find the Raphaels in another gallery), had seen much more of it by the time we arrived and informed me that Cornell and Duchamp met early in the piece and pretty much became life long friends.

Let's jump unexpectedly from art, history and political philosophy, and may I present how Christmas lights almost become modern sculpture...


A couple more mood shots of the building you'll see the most of when visiting...



More random shop fronts of exceptional quality:


And if you find yourself wandering the streets of central Wien on a Tuesday night make your way to M.A.K. (http://www.mak.at/en/mak_now)


... and look inside, because it's free from 6 to 10pm on a Tuesday night!


Duncan Gibbs
01-10-2016, 02:10 AM
The main exhibition at M.A.K. right now is is Stefan Sagmeister show 'How Happy Are You?' Sagmeister is a graphic artist who lives in New York and returned to Wien to create this amazing show. It's a bit difficult to describe, aside from saying measures and statements of and about happiness are portrayed and made in different, yet stylistically similar ways, all designed to trigger questions, and sometimes just a laugh.This one had a museum attendant filling up the plates held up on outstretched mannequin hands with spicy ginger lollies:


How much money do you need to be happy in the USA? The answer is here!


Then there's the rest of the museum...


I really liked this one as someone who is interested in woodwork:


... A portable wood steam bending set-up!



Duncan Gibbs
01-10-2016, 06:06 AM
There is a whole section devoted to words, type setting, fonts and the like:



Other sections dealt with the idea and application of portability, which is where we found the steam bending unit. Graphics were another topic.


Parts of the Stefan Sagmeister show were dotted throughout M.A.K. including this peddle powered neon sign.


There is also a major exhibition running in the wing overlooking the Wienfluss (Vienna River) on the early Austria modernist Josef Frank. I took a pile of pictures, but not that many turned out so well, but there was this rather nice table with this butterfly joint detail:



Duncan Gibbs
01-10-2016, 06:15 AM
There was (is?) another show there of the 100 best posters in Austria for 2015:





Duncan Gibbs
01-10-2016, 07:01 AM
Then there's a whole section that covers the Secessionist/Werkstätte movement, including the massive Klimt work 'The Tree of Life.' Here is a small selection of some of the amazing furniture that is on display there:



This is a Rosa Krenn design for an ornamental cupboard from 1912 and made by Karl Adolf Franz (marquetry work), Florian Hrabal (cabinetmaking) from Zebrawood and black-stained maple wood, and a veneer marquetry in zebrawood, amaranth, and maple wood and brass fittings:


This one I can't recall and didn't take any information on it, but it's exquisite:



And the first ever of Marcel Breuer's famous Wassily Chair:


C. Ross
01-10-2016, 10:45 AM
I'm loving the vast number of furniture pics and posts Duncan. Is there no end to the riches of museums in Vienna? I feel like we saw nothing compared to your time there. Amazing!

George Jung
01-10-2016, 11:07 AM
Woodenboat Travel and Tours..... already a built - in clientele. Might need a translator... :P

Duncan Gibbs
01-11-2016, 06:54 AM
I have had the spectacular good luck of spending a lot of time in Austria, Vienna some but especially Innsbruck and the Alps. The best trip I had was from Verona Italy to Vienna, by bicycle, the last week of September and first week of October. My god! Amazing, amazing time. But no digital photos. Thanks for the post. My wife believes she is Russian but we found that at least one of her great grandmothers was born in Salzburg. My father's side is from Austria.

Scan away Dave! But only if you have the time and inclination.

Is there no end to the riches of museums in Vienna? I feel like we saw nothing compared to your time there. Amazing!
On three and a half days? I refer you to my opening line of this thread Cris:

Let me preface this by saying a mere sliver of time - two and a bit weeks - is simply not enough time to do this constantly amazing city any kind of justice. You require a month alone to wander the halls of the museums and galleries. Then there's the activity of the flâneur, [...]
Go back my friend! Go back!

Woodenboat Travel and Tours..... already a built - in clientele. Might need a translator... :P
Might need an apprenticeship! Like I said the guild system is still in force. Not sure about tour guides though...

But since I'm not being paid, and not even in the country any more, let's continue with this vicarious experience! And the museums and art galleries, and it's to the Kunsthalle in the Museums Quarter we next arrive, and to an excellent exhibition called Politischer Populisimus (Political Populism). Here's the blurb from the exhibition:

Not only is political populism on the rise, but it is also making much stronger use of pop culture and artistic methods and aesthetics than in earlier years. Social media, advertising aesthetics and media staging have lent a progressive appearance to simple or simplistic slogans. Rapping politicians, YouTube clips aimed specifically at young people, TV formats and pop concerts that present political themes and aim to make prejudice socially acceptable – these are all part of the current media landscape. In turn, artistic works reflect or comment on this tendency or lend it a further, subversive level that uses the mechanisms of political populism against this trend. The exhibition brings together works by international artists who address various facets of populism and analyse it, diffract it in an ironic manner and above all point out how omnipresent it has become.

This is the quite cool video/lounge installation of Hito Steyeral from Munich 'Factory Of The Sun':



And the massive sculpture and massive photo-realistic tapestry behind the sculpture both by Goshka Macuga:


And lastly models of Chinese 'nail houses' by brothers Ahmet and Suat Ögüt:


A really good show and on until the 7th of February!

Duncan Gibbs
01-12-2016, 07:00 AM
This is a minimal post of some minimal art we spied through a maximal window during a medium walk about the Spittelberg Christmas Markets:


01-13-2016, 02:47 AM
Incredible thread, Duncan. Thanks for taking the time to post and share it with everyone.

FYI: Here's a cool Haydn site I came across on reddit earlier:


01-13-2016, 05:27 AM
Why is it called a 'nail house'?


Peerie Maa
01-13-2016, 05:40 AM
Why is it called a 'nail house'?


Google is your friend:

Duncan Gibbs
01-13-2016, 08:21 AM
Cheers Dan! Thanks for you kind comments. I just feel I had an amazing experience and really wanted to share it. I'm just glad that people are getting a kick out of it

That's an astonishing site on Haydn as well! I can see my work in front of a CAD machine is going to be made that much, much more pleasurable for a very long time! And as we draw this time in Vienna to a close it's another one of those coincidences as now we come to the Neue Burg that served as a backdrop for that ominous speech by "He who we will not name" but now serves as a container - a glass cabinet - for that most fleeting of acts of creation, music. More specifically, the instruments of this most important aspect of Wien's identity and history. There are quite the number of instruments that we the possessions and tools of almost any Wiener composer you might wish to name, including Joseph Haydn. But first we climb the stairs up, carefully not being distracted by the displays of knightly and soldierly armour that beckon off in another direction, but await our return to this beautiful city one day.


Right at the entry of the huge musical instruments exhibit of this huge secondary wing of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is a small display of that focuses on the art of the instrument maker. This is a clarinet maker's lathe:


And their parts cabinet:


The tools of the luthier:


And those of the piccolo maker:


We'll come back to another small exhibit at the entry later, but let's start in the main gallery with the great Haydn's spinet:


Duncan Gibbs
01-13-2016, 08:37 AM
A bit of time may have dulled my memory, so I think the following attributions are correct insofar as the instruments are concerned. A harmony piano that was used by a young Mozart to compose and perform upon:


An old and deaf Beethoven:


A young 'boy-genius' Beethoven at thirteen years of age, (apparently one of the clarinets may have belonged to Beethoven):


The life-mask of Schubert (apologies for the lack of focus):



And the same as a seventeen year old:


Duncan Gibbs
01-14-2016, 05:55 AM
After an overnight delay, let's pick up exactly where we were! Bellow the portrait of a young Schubert sits the pianoforte he wrote his sonatas and a good many Lieder on.


If only these key could tell stories:


I think that this was Beethoven's piano:


This is the preeminent piano maker of Vienna about the time of Beethoven, and good friend of the composer, Nannette Streicher:


I think that both the instrument preceding the portrait and the following were made by Nannette Steicher:


A "Giraffe" piano, and early development of the modern upright:


Duncan Gibbs
01-14-2016, 06:09 AM
The Wiener were great experimenters in instrument building about the end of the 1700s and early 1800s and some makers dabbled in making cross-breeds of violins and guitars:


These are all designed to be used on walks in the countryside. I particularly like the walking stick violin!


Robert and Clara Schumanns' piano, later belonging to Brahms and then Mahler:


Marler's own piano:


A Wiener piece made especially for the Great Paris Exhibition:


And instruments for a typically sized orchestra for the late 1700s early 1800s:


Duncan Gibbs
01-14-2016, 06:23 AM
The second oldest sackbut in existence made by Joerg Neuschel in 1557:


A violin from the 1560s:


There were about ten rooms filled like this with ancient and historically important instruments:


Haydn's harpsichord:


Leopold Mozart's violin! I could imagine that Nannerl and Wolfgangs' little faces contributed to the wear of the instrument's chin rest:



Duncan Gibbs
01-14-2016, 06:31 AM
This is (I think) the pianoforte reputed to have played by the six year old Mozart at the Schönbrunn in front of Kaiserin Maria Theresa and the six year old Marie Antoinette, as well as his own piano for some time:


Another keyboard that would have so many stories to tell! The boy genius


And the slightly older, young princess' portrait hangs just near this instrument and a glass harmonica she was supposed to be very good at:


Duncan Gibbs
01-14-2016, 06:48 AM
And we find ourselves back at the entry and the second small exhibit this time showing how various keyboard instruments worked from the simplest action of a clavichord, through the spinet, harpsichord, double action harpsichord to a modern piano. All the keys could be pressed so you can see exactly how the various actions work:






And a lovely little spinet that also be played. There was one other such instrument inside the main galleries, from the late 1700s, that patrons could sit down to and play.


Count on spending at least four hours on this one part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

And that's how it ended; we simply ran out of time to soak in more of this amazing city, and this was the last thing we went out to see before heading back to the apartment for arbendbrot and packing our bags for the long journey back to Australia.

Duncan Gibbs
01-14-2016, 06:51 AM
Our last morning in Wien and the foggy view down Gumpendorfer Straße from the apartment window.


Duncan Gibbs
01-14-2016, 07:15 AM
SWIMPAL also has a pile of photographs so I'll see about posting some of those, since she has quite the eye with a camera!

In the meantime I'll leave you with another of the random Kirsche choirs we came across, this time the Kärntner Singgemeinschaft in die Hofburgkapell, which was set off an entry hall, in turn set off a courtyard, through an archway under a building off the main inner courtyard of the Hofburg. Another prize for our flâneuring!


01-14-2016, 06:48 PM
Not even one goatherd?

Great photos Duncan! And very interesting content. I think you'd better brush up your Deutsche and get a job over there for a while.


David G
01-16-2016, 08:03 PM

01-16-2016, 11:52 PM
Good lord I'm exhausted. Duncan thank you so much for the pics, commentary and now I have some sense of your passion.

Duncan Gibbs
02-24-2016, 07:52 AM
Well neither SWIMPAL or I have gone through her photographs, but she did find this fabulous documentary on Wien:


The Bigfella
02-24-2016, 08:25 AM
Jaysus Duncan.... you just killed my wifi account download limit for the month getting to the latest post... which isn't even yours.

Can someone else bump this onto a new page please... quick


02-24-2016, 06:56 PM
Frankly Im all arted out after that. The palazzi are beyond me, perhaps more rococcco than baroque, nein? Torino, Heidelberg and Paris finished me off in the land of big egos!!

PM on pics incoming.

Duncan Gibbs
06-17-2016, 09:31 AM
This is a little something we discovered quite recently: The Third Man Museum.
It hosts concerts of Anton Karas's famous music: