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Hundertwasserhaus

Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian painter, graphic artist and environmental activist, conceptualized Hundertwasserhaus. Together with the architect, Joseph Krawina, his ideas were realized with the creation of Hundertwasser House in Vienna’s 3rd District.  Hundertwasserhaus is a 52-unit apartment building owned by the City of Vienna.  Hundertwasser shunned straight lines. He thought they were “godless” and “is something cowardly drawn with a rule, without thought or feeling; it is a line which does not exist in nature.” Notice the uneven lines drawn across the façade of the building and how colorful paint defines each floor within the lines resulting in a wave of colors.  Tenants are allowed to decorate or alter their own windows. Hundertwasser believed buildings should coexist with nature.  Nowhere is it more evident than in this rooftop garden. The apartment building also has its own dome.       “Tree tenants” add to the natural landscape in an urban structure.  A little fores

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

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