Classic Viennese Historicism #archilovers
That sky though
Beisl zum „Scherer” for a late lunch
Vienna is the quintessential European city. A sentimental blend of Old World class and modern convenience. Walking down the street can make you feel as though you’re floating through the clouds, ascending to some heavenly port of culture. The golden gates to Paradise can only exist somewhere along these gilded avenues featuring majestic cathedrals that tower above the Romanesque, the Baroque, the Art Nouveau. Angels rest beneath the eaves of nearly every building in this architectural ensemble, and classical music echoes around every corner. We made it a point to slow down and enjoy these handsome aesthetics. There are very few places in the world where you can sit down to an outdoor meal and be completely entertained by a wall of limestone.
Mehr Wienerschnitzel und Radler
When in Vienna, Apfelstrudel und Melange
In the early 1900s, Café Central was the meeting point of academics and artists, the “Centralisten”, as the regulars liked to call themselves: Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler, Leon Trotsky, Robert Musil, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, etc. The writer and “coffee house poet” Peter Altenberg lived so close to the cafe that he used it as his regular mailing address, workplace, living room, and salon. Until 1918, Café Central remained the only literature cafe in Vienna. Of course we were stopping here.
Journaling in a European cafe is so … but I didn’t care. We spent the rest of the evening leaned back on plush seats, sipping on Wiener Melange while live piano music drifted to our table.
The adagios in Beethoven’s violin sonatas.
The voice and laughter of Klara and Franzi Panhans.
Asparagus by itself, spinach, fried potatoes, Carolina rice, crackers.
The intelligence, the soul of Paula Sch.
The blue “Kuhn 201” nib.
The spice sauce “Cat-sup”.
My room, no. 33, in the Graben Hotel, Dorotheergasse, Vienna, First District.
The looks of A. M.
Lakes Gmunden and Wolfgang.
The full-sized swimming pool in Vöslau.
The Schneeberg railroad.
Boxed Mondsee cheese, curdsy and young.
Sole, pikeperch, young pike, whitefish.
Hansy Klausecker, thirteen years old.
Peter Altenberg, “Meine Ideale” from the collection Nachfechsung, 1916
Another night on the Ring had us crashing Vienna’s 2015 Summer Film Festival. Loud, boozy, fun right next to the Burgtheater and Rathaus. (We were really only trying to find a WC.)
The Neo-Renaissance museums on Maria-Theresien-Platz are magnificent during the day, glorious at night. We weren’t interested in exploring any of the art exhibits, so we just went for a walk through the square and took photos of the buildings. The Kunsthiswhatchamacallit Museum was built in 1888 to display the grandeur of the Habsburg art collection, including the Habsburg “Chamber of Wonders” (Kunstkammer). Its twin museum across the way, the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), houses moon rocks and the famous 25,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf.
Maria Theresa’s is Vienna’s biggest monument. The Empress is shown holding a scroll from her father, which grants the right of a woman to inherit his thrown. Her top generals sit astride horses, and her top advisers stand; behind them are reliefs that celebrate cultural leaders like Mozart and his friend Joseph Haydn, who places his hand on little Wolfgang’s shoulder.
The Neoclassical parliament building is a celebration of ancient Greek democracy, a perfect example of Viennese architectural Historicism. In the front stands Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, with her golden helmet. We continued on our late night walk, carefully avoiding nighttime bikers. We’d grown quite accustomed to jumping out of the way, especially since Vienna’s bike lanes and pedestrian paths like to randomly switch sides when you’re not paying attention.