A Tourist in Vienna

I previously posted about traveling to Vienna, Austria to participate in the photo exhibition “Pretty Raw“. However, beyond helping set up the exhibit, I did have some free time to wander around Vienna. It is a wonderful city in which to photograph.

My first day in Vienna was the day before “All Saints Day”, which I learned was a major holiday in Austria. Most shops close and people travel to be with family and attend church services.

The Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit Church) hosted a wonderful classical music concert as part of their celebration and worship. The exterior of the church is quite plain, however the interior is surprisingly opulent with wonderful twisted columns.

However the masterpiece is the remarkable Trompe l’Oeil painting of a dome on the flat church ceiling, executed by Andrea Pozzo in 1703.

The eye is easily fooled by this painting  into believeing there is a dome over the Jesuitenkirche
The eye is easily fooled by this painting into believing there is a dome over the Jesuitenkirche, when the ceiling is actually flat.

Although All Saints Day remains important, the American tradition of Halloween has recently become popular, particularly with the younger set. The night of the 31st was full of young people decked out in elaborate costumes, either just “hanging out” or travelling between parties. Even the stores have gotten into this tradition with window displays based on a Halloween theme.

The Scream
Can The Scream really sell fashion?

My hotel was near Karlsplaz, one of many plazas in Vienna. It is the site of Karlskirche, widely considered the most outstanding baroque church in Vienna.

Named after St. Charles Borromeo, a reformer and healer of plague victims in the 16th century, Karlskirche was built by order of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI between 1713 and 1737.
Named after St. Charles Borromeo, a reformer and healer of plague victims in the 16th century, Karlskirche was built by order of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI between 1713 and 1737.

Karlsplatz is also a significant transportation hub where several Underground trains (the “U-Bahn”, or simply “The U”) and trolley lines converge. A park gracefully slopes down to one of the entrances to the U while the roads, buildings and trolleys remain above.

Entrance to the Karlsplatz Underground station from Resselpark
Entrance to the Karlsplatz Underground station from Resselpark

The Karlsplatz station is a city within itself with restaurants, stores and passageways to different points around Karlsplatz – eliminating the need to cross busy streets. The various U lines are color-coded. Glowing strips in the floor or ceiling lead one to the proper platform.

Karlsplatz Underground  Station Interior
Karlsplatz Underground Station Interior

Before the U there was the Stadtbahn. When construction began in 1981 to replace the Stadtbahn with the more modern U the original 1899 station was slated for demolition. A public outcry ensued as the station was a well-known example of Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) architecture, designed by Otto Wagner, an important member of the art movement known as the Vienna Secession. In response the station was disassembled, and reassembled two meters above its original location.

There is so much more to describe about the wonderful city of Vienna. However, I think I will end this post with a gallery of some of my other photos.

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