Showing posts with label austria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label austria. Show all posts

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Searching for the Hidden Vienna

From the moment you arrive this is a city that sings and echoes its personality – from the colourful graffiti, to Mozart’s music notes and image, perfect cakes and the stories everywhere.
Many composers lived here – Hadyn, Schubert, Strauss, Beethoven and of course Mozart. We were pleased to attend Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. Opera expresses a big emotional dynamic range – plaintive pleading, soft caressing, comic timing, absurdity and questioning, heady emotions, collective joy, contemplative heartbreak….

This is a small country of 8m who have fought for their survival at the heart of Europe. A crossroads place with Russia on one side, Hungary and Germany on the other. Austria at one time was the centre for the Habsburg empire. One senses today the European Project is alive and well here

There is the well-known tourist Vienna –the tour buses, the horse drawn carriages, the coffee houses, the imperial palaces. There are glittering rooftops, ordered cycle ways, the walks in the old quarter and of course luscious and light cakes! Of The Sisi museum stories and the moving images of Empress Elizabeth and of her tragedy, the reluctant princess. 
This is a city for music lovers, bookshops and art. People are very polite, well mannered, positive and hardworking with a good attitude to life. You find answers here – perhaps.

Then there is underneath the real Vienna – of a warm, proud and friendly people – proud of the heritage of their city and it’s history.  We took the first class underground system to the Schonbrunn Palace on the sunny Saturday, but found it packed out with bus loads of tourists. So instead we headed back to the Vienna old quarters.  

At the St Stephendom at the heart of old Vienna, inside the light seems to play tricks as it dances on the very tall dark columns and lays soft shiny highlights on the gold statures. We search for the quieter cobbled by ways behind the dramatic light and shade of the cathedral and find a small coffee shop near Mozarthaus to stop and enjoy the moment. We discovered the Vienna Peace museum and the Austrian Journalists Club (OJC) – The Vienna International Press centre.  

St Stephans
In Vienna’s 1900s Liberalism battled absolute power.-
The Succession Movement. ARTISTS – Klimt, Kolo Muer, Otto Wagner – all died 1918.
There was also the artists Max Licberman, Eduard Munch, A Rodin.

There were many posters of Austrian painter Schiele’s work.
Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918) – Symbolism to Expressionism “There are only a few, very new new artists. Chosen ones. The new artist must absolutely be himself; he must be a create; he needs to have the base on which he builds inside him immediately and by himself, without using that which has been handed down from the past. Only then is he a new artist.”
Vienna Museum Windows for Peace
Places to visit -
*Hofburg Palace and Imperial Palace
St Stephansdom,
Scots Quarter
Vienna State Opera


Vienna Peace Museum
On my trip to Vienna the Danube flowed with the stirring of violins strings and the operatic mounting songs of drama and hope. There were grand palaces, the sound of horse and carriage on cobbled byways and the red images of Mozart! And there was the symbolism of words and art.

One message stood out too among the many colours and sounds and images – a message of unity and of peace – from the Picasso’s Dove of peace image, the artists Sciele’s experience of WW1 - and the Vienna Peace museum we stumbled upon when we stopped for coffee and cake in the lane near Mozarthaus.

Picasso's Dove of Peace
What did you do for peace today?

In Vienna old town , near MozartHaus, we sat for a coffee and cake. Oddly we were talking about peace in Ireland and how no-one wants a hard border there with Brexit, but will the south want a united Ireland and all the problems? 
After we noticed a small cobbled alleyway and posters of Lennon, Mandela, Mahatma Gandi, and Vienna's Bertha von Suttner. discovered this was the Vienna Peace Museum Windows, the first in the world. Beside this there was a narrow stairway to the Austrian Journalist Club (OJC) – the Vienna International Press Centre.  Oddly we were talking about peace in Ireland and that no one wants a hard border again after this foolish Brexit. 

Austrian painter Egon Schiele,Russians wanted war to end as much as we did.’

Looking for peace when night fell….

Windows for Peace lies in the very center of Vienna, beside Stephansdom and Mozarthaus Vienna - and includes the streets: Schulergasse, Grünangergasse, Blutgasse, Franziskanerplatz, Domgasse, Stroblgasse and Singerstrasse, situated in the center of the Vienna.

Austria was once at the heart of imperial struggles and empires. Today the grand palaces are showcases of a past that is remembered and respected – but not about today's world. The European project is alive and well here and has brought 70 years of peace in our life times – why should we throw this away on a foolish UK Brexit?

We stand on the brink of turbulent times today.
VOTE for peace!

As I flew home, I thought of the ease of travel today and how, I hope, ‘otherness’ is not as it once was…./

We must never forget the horrors of war and the needless sacrifice…

Egon Schiele