23 March 2012

Walk Around Vienna, Austria - Day 8

Finally the day before we were due to depart the sun has come out and we could explore the beautiful architecture and cathedrals in the inner city of Vienna.

This blog is a photojournal of a great day out.


Statdpark is Vienna's city park and directly across the street from the Marriott Hotel where we stayed.

Our little munchkin loving the low branches she got to hang off.

Gilded bronze monument of famous composer Johan Strauss. 
Unveiled in 1921 it is framed by a marble relief.

Karlskirche (St Charles Church)

A stunning baroque church flanked by two columns and topped with an ellipsoid dome is all the more fascinating on the inside.  On the right of the interior is a glass encased lift.  An unusual feature to see in a church but it gave the visitor the first half of the ride to the cupola which is at 90m.  The next 45m was accessed by a further 120 steps.  Inside the cupola the viewer had the divine pleasure of a panoramic bird's eye view of Vienna.

The frescoes are being restored hence the lift and stairs but the best part was seeing the frescoes up close.

Karlskirche.  Bird's eye view from the cupola.

The altar portraying the ascension of St Charles.

Painter Johan Rottmayr captures the intercession of St Charles.

The oddly out of place lift.

Playground near Karlskirche

Trini had an amazing time here.  It was wet, it was dirty and we just plain didn't care.

Vienna Secession Building (aka Union of Austrian Artists)

The Secession building is an exhibition hall originally built in 1897 to represent the new Secession movement.  Interested in exploring art outside the academic tradition, Gustav Klimt and fellow artists, sculptors and architects resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists to establish the Secession group.  A white building with a gold dome atop it, the Secession's motto is written above the entrance: "To every age its art, to art its freedom".

Cafe Museum 

Opened in 1899, the Cafe Museum was exceptionally well located.  Surrounded by the Academy of Fine Arts, the Secession and the nearby Opera House, the cafe was a popular spot for musicians and artists.

Staatsoper (Opera House)

The Staatsoper was initially considered unimpressive as it seemed to lack the grandeur of other Viennese buildings.  The public reaction so adversely affected the interior designer that he committed suicide and the architect died shortly after of a heart attack.  Sadly neither of the designers saw the completion of the building.

Partial destruction during World War II gave the Austrians an opportunity to consider whether it should be restored or demolished and rebuilt.  Restoration was the decisive result.

Cafe Oper Wien (Opera House Cafe)

After chasing pigeons near the Staatsoper and having daddy spin Trini round and round in circles it was time for a coffee and cake pitstop at the Cafe Oper Wien.  A narrow and long cafe, the tables were tiny four seaters with white linen and the walls adorned with works of artist Reinhold Sautner.

Parliament House

A neo-classical building completed in 1883 decorated with Greek and Roman figures representing historians, scholars and statesmen.  The fountain in front of the building consists of a 5m statue of Pallas Athena and flanked by allegorical figures representing Law Enforcement and Legislation.

Town Hall

The new Town Hall was built between 1872-1883 in a neo-gothic style.  The central tower stands at 98m topped with one of Vienna's symbols, a statue of a knight-in-armour.  Located in a park, the forecourt is regularly used for events such as the annual Christmas fair.  This time it was decked out with three ice-skating rings.

Here Trini had her first taste of ice skating.  With jelly feet we attempted to skate around the main rings until we discovered a smaller one designed for little children where they were aided by a penguin with skis and handle bars.  It provided Trini with balance and encouraged her to skate herself around (with mummy's or daddy's help of course).  She so loved the penguin, he got lots and lots of hugs and kisses.

Town Hall

One very happy penguin.

Trini cheating.  Mummy pushing the penguin.

Votivkirche (Votive Church)

Whilst currently under external restoration and difficult to appreciate its neo-gothic facade, this mid-19th century church has two magnificent 99m high lacy steeples that are truly a work of art.

Wien University (Vienna University)

The third oldest university in Central Europe, Wien University was founded in 1365 but the current Italian Renaissance structure was completed in 1883.  The courtyard arcades are adorned with statues of famous scholars including Sigmund Freud.

Statue of Liebenberg

This memorial is dedicated to Johann Andreas von Liebenberg who as Mayor of Vienna (17th century) led his people during the plague epidemic of 1679 and defended the town during the 1683 Siege of Vienna by the Ottoman army. 

Freyung Square

We happened upon a tiny market in Freyung Sq with stalls serving freshly baked goods, cheeses and wine.  Whilst the rain was threatening and the afternoon was getting cooler, we couldn't go past experiencing a glass of €2 red wine and fresh rolls.  Very European in my opinion.

Naglergasse and Graben

Naglergasse was a quaint and narrow lane lined with high-end retail stores which led straight into Graben a fully pedestrianised street that runs through the centre of Vienna.




With a full day of exploring, a camera full of photos, snow upon us and dark descending we took off to our usual Cafe Schwarzenberg for dinner.