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Showing posts with the label Austria

State Hall of the National Bibliothek of Austria

Prunksaal or State Hall of the Austrian National Library In the 18th century, Emperor Charles VI commissioned the construction of the court library in the Hofburg. It was built between 1723-1726 from the design of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, the court architect. This Baroque library has 200,000 volumes which date from 1501-1850. The 15,000 volume collection of Prince Eugene of Savoy is part of this collection. It includes valuable manuscripts and books from France and Italy. They are bound in red, blue and yellow Moroccan leather and can be found in the central oval of the library. Together with Google, this historic and copyright-free collection was digitized by the Austrian National Library and is available at www.onb.ac.at. The statue in the center of the oval is of Charles VI portrayed as Hercules Musarum. It was “allegedly” sculpted by Antonio Corradini in 1735.  Behind him are statues of Spanish and Austrian Habsburg rulers sculpted by the Strudel brothers, Peter, Paul an

Vienna Revisited

   My carriage awaits  Sky Restaurant A local friend invited me to this rooftop terrace in the heart of Vienna’s shopping district. Great place to have lunch or stop for cake and coffee. There’s also a bar if you prefer to have drinks with friends. Note: proof of vaccination required to enter restaurants in Vienna. St. Stephen’s Cathedral This impressive Romanesque/Gothic cathedral is the iconic symbol of Vienna. The colorful patterned roof is made of 230,000 glazed tiles while a mosaic of double-headed eagle graces the south roof and the coats of arms of Vienna and the Republic of Austria are emblazoned on the north side roof. The two front towers are Romanesque in origin. The interior of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Café Central This elegant café has been around since 1876. It was the meeting place of famous people like Sigmund Freud, Leon Trotsky, Peter Altenberg (poet) and a host of others. The café is in the Palais Ferstel on the corner of Herrengasse and Strauchgasse. They’re open fo

Graz, the City of Design

  Graz is the second largest city in Austria. Just two and a half hour by train from Vienna, it's the perfect long weekend getaway. With loads of history, architectural diversity and lots of terrace cafés, this UNESCO City of Design has plenty to offer and will easily keep you longer than planned. The Kunsthaus or art museum has been called many things - the friendly alien, whale and porcupine. It looks like a giant pickle to me from this angle. The rooftop of the Kunsthaus that gave it the nickname, friendly alien. View of the red rooftops of the old town with the Rathaus in the center, taken from the Schlossberg. Old town Graz is a Unesco designated World Heritage Site. How to get up to Schlossberg (Castle Hill)? There are 206 steps to climb to the Schlossberg. Thank goodness there are other choices to reach the top. There’s a lift at the bottom of this hill and a funicular just down the street. The funicular fare is included with the day transport pass and the lift fare is €1.30

Mirabell Gardens

Small Parterre The Mirabell Gardens were laid out in 1687 during the reign of Prince-Archibishop Johann Ernst von Thun. It was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach within the Mirabell palace grounds and redesigned a few times over the years. One of the characteristics of a Baroque garden is how it incorporates vistas outside the garden into its design. This feature is evident from Rosehill, on the south side of the Palace. Our eyes are drawn from the Small Parterre to the Fountain of Pegasus and beyond to the dome and steeples of the Cathedral of Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress. 

Salzburg's Chic Store Signs

    Wieber

Hallstatt - A Village with a Clone

A picture paints a thousand words. So without further ado, here's Hallstatt. Hallstatt

Salzburg

"Framed by mountains, crowned by the Hohensalzburg Fortress and divided by the turquoise Salzach River, the Salzburg landscape is pure drama.” Frommers This view

Vienna, Salzburg and Budapest

  The Kiss by Gustav Klimt from the digital show at the Atelier des Lumieres Everything seems big in Vienna - its buildings, the wide boulevards, its palaces and its art collection. But it has a cozy feel that warms up to you soon after you arrive. Within the old city once surrounded by walls, are many testaments to the power this capital once held. I strolled to church on a Sunday morning and attended mass at the Church of Maria am Gestade, a Neo-Gothic structure that sits above a flight of stairs on Heinrichgasse. The space is small and narrow, so much so that its nave does not run on a straight line from the altar. Nevertheless, this church is still one of the most beautiful and intimate places of worship in Vienna. The size of the art collection at the Kunsthistoriches is formidable but rewarding for the viewer. It appears that the Hapsburgs were serious art collectors. There are Mid-Eastern, Western, and decorative arts on display. (Sadly the Egyptian collection was closed on the