Friday, September 18, 2015

Hapsburg-Renaissance Trip - Vienna Day One Continued

We here on the Eldership are quite proud of our ability to learn from past experiences. You may remember that at the start of our Spring trip this year we spent 7 crazy busy days in Istanbul where we ran ourselves into the ground. No more of that we said. So we've only allocated two and a half days of crazy running ourselves into the ground this trip before we had to a restful two week rental.

In my last post I only got you through lunch on our first full day. In the afternoon after a nap, we had scheduled a photography/sightseeing tour that was to last for four hours and started at 3:30 PM.   We got to see lots of things that were not the 'main' sights of the city.

We started off by going to visit some architectural works of a designer named Hundertwasser who lived during the first 70 years of the 20th century. Influenced by Antoni Gaudi, he was a great believer in color, circular lines, and unusual uses of space.

But first a stop at the local neighborhood plant daycare. You can bring you plants here if you are out of town or if you just want them to have a summer vacation out of the house.  I kid you not.

Okay on to the Hundertwasser stuff

We continued on with architecturally oriented things. Next we visited the Postal Savings Bank that was done in the early part of the 20th century. I forgot the architects name. But it is distinctive for its uses of light in main structure lobby (which in the day was filled with desks of bankers) and for using a thin sheet of decorative rock with special stone nails for the exterior rather than whole blocks of expensive stone.

The main bank building

The Lobby

Examples of the nails

Across the street from the bank is a building that was something like the old Hapsburg Imperial Military Building with a truly gigantic representation of the two headed eagle of the Hapsburg Empire.

Then it was on to the Belvedere Palace.
This was the summer palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy, one of the very few really successful Austrian Empire military leaders.

The Belvedere Palace has some of the best views of the city.

Then it was back into the center of the city where we saw the Corburg Palace that is now a plush hotel serving the likes of Secretary of State Kerry when he was in Vienna for negotiations (2nd officer Wive and I are unlikely to be staying here but maybe diplomat daughter #2 will some day.)  It is distinctive because there are one of the very few sections of the original city walls showing.

Our guide then sneaked us into a part of the University in a building where Hayden played some of his last concerts. We had to sneak in because somebody from the Harvard School of Medicine was giving a talk to a bunch of medical school students and big whigs.

The ceiling fresco was pretty impressive with all these scenes from historical medicine.

Including this detail shot of a cadaver dissection.  Look at the guy on the right saying, "Come on dudes, you gotta see this!"

Then it was delving into all kinds of small streets and courtyards that date from periods like the 15th and 16th centuries.

This one was cool because it was a courtyard of a convent and we even saw some nuns walking around.

We finished up our tour with some twilight scenes of the St. Stevens Cathedral at a time when all the tours were gone including a nice reflection shot off a new building across the platz.

Dinner was the other side of gastronomy - street food

We had a nice bratwurst with two drinks and a couple slices of good bread for $10 bucks

And a box of lo mein from 'Happy Noodles' for $4.50

We finished off with some night shots that our guide had suggested before collapsing in our hotel.


Tom P said...

Love all the pics... Keep them coming.

Agent W said...

Great pictures! Looking forward to more!

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

It's great that you got to see Hundertwasser.