Sunday, January 24, 2010

Art meets Architecture

Dotted with countless art museums and architectural masterpieces, Vienna is a paradise for art and design aficionados. A stroll along the alleyways of Vienna's historic center resembles a walk through the splendor of centuries past, where not only the magnificent architecture captures the observer's interest, but their former famous dwellers may as well. 
Many an artist whose works have captured the hearts of millions has lived and walked the streets of the capital of the Habsburg Empire. 
Today Vienna still boasts a fine selection of museums with the building being just as captivating as the illustrious pieces of art exhibited there.

Kunsthaus Wien/Museum Hundertwasser - Hundertwasser's buildings have made Vienna's architecture famous even beyond the magnificence of Jugendstil and stately baroque buildings. Their unique shapes and textures appear to have drawn on inspiration from gingerbread houses, mosaic artwork and Renaissance Russian churches, adding a splash of color to even the most drab Vienna winter day.
Here visitors are often more mesmerized by the museum building with its uneven floors than the works of art on display. Nonetheless, the museum is well worth a visit; the Hundertwasser museum offers a glimpse into Hundertwasser's oeuvre
On Mondays museum tickets are 50 % off.
The non-smoking cafe next to the gift shop is a great place to chill out and take in more of Hundertwasser's playful architecture, even without visiting the museum. 
Untere Weissbergerstrasse 13, 1030 Vienna, phone: 01 712 04 95

Belvedere Palace - It is not every day that you have the chance to see artwork displayed in a (former) castle. This summer palace is a prime example of high baroque and was built by famous architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt in the early 18th century. Both buildings of the palace, Oberes and Unteres Belvedere are nowadays used to showcase art. The permanent collection inside Oberes Belvedere includes some famous Klimts such as "The Kiss", while the museum also hosts smaller temporary exhibits.
The palace grounds have been featured in many architecture guides as one of the most remarkable parks in the world. Large sections of the gardens have been recently landscaped and redesigned, including one of the main fountains which now shines with new splendor. Opening hours for the Belvedere gardens vary depending on the season and the park can be visited for free even without seeing the museum. 
The lesser known Botanical Garden (free of charge) can also be accessed via the Belvedere gardens and is a hidden oasis of tranquility in the middle of the bustling city. The park is home to many local and exotic plant species and is dotted with benches that encourage to kick back and unwind surrounded by this leafy backdrop.
Prinz Eugen Strasse 27 (Schloss Belvedere stop on the D tram line).

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

What a fantastic blog you have here! I absolutely adored Vienna when I was there, though so many years have gone by since. I still remember the Hundertwasser remnants that dotted the landscape (as well as a very awesome and TALL penguin in the middle of a field somewhere, do you know of this?) and your description takes me back. I'd love to come back for a visit, your blog is great! Thanks so much for checking out mine as well!

Best wishes!