Category Archives: Vienna Life

This made me laugh. Catchy song and fun video


Well done to the students at Vienna’s MODUL Uni for making fun music video – not bad PR for the Uni and City.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7slOAJgn010

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Vienna, a city of oases with history


Wandering through Vienna’s streets it’s always worth keeping eye open for courtyards and passageways in which nestle shops, restaurants and galleries. Be warned they are not always obvious to the uninitiated despite the efforts of entrepreneurs to attract your attention with strategically placed signs. Part of the problem can be that despite the signs it’s not always obvious whether a doorway is a private or public entrance. Moreover, Vienna streets have so many signs directing you to shops or indicating offices and alike that after a while you tend to filter them out, the way we manage to not quite watch the TV commercials.

Many a Vienna passageway or courtyard provides a wonderful setting for restaurant, bar, or heurigen, a peaceful oasis in which to drink, eat and chat. Others are often home to interesting independent shops. If you do discover or regularly frequent such a location it’s always worth asking yourself about the history of the build(s) which surround you.

A favourite location of mine forms a useful short cut from the Vienna English Theatre and Veganista (the Vegan ice cream shop). It also has a surprising history.

Despite housing galleries, shops, restaurants, offices, apartments and flats (with assorted business signs on the main streets) the passageway linking Lerchenfelderstraße with Neustiftgasse is one of those locations that people seem to often miss. More than once lifelong residents of Vienna have been surprised when I’ve suggested we take this particular short cut. It was a the result of such surprise – and over a rather delicious vegan ice cream standing across the road looking at the buildings Neustiftgasse entrance – that we began to wonder about the buildings history. The name chosen for one of the restaurants, Monastiri, stimulated the debate and after a quick search on the internet we were deep in conversation about the former monastery built in 1847.

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So next time you find yourself walking down a Vienna street watch out for one of those oasis with a history.

 

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Filed under Architecture, Vienna Life, Wine, Beer & Food

Summer nights in front of City Hall with a film


The Vienna Music Film Festival is taking place in the Rathausplatz. I was in the platz for a bite to eat yesterday and took a few pictures but I’ll be heading back to enjoy some films on Vienna’s warm summer nights.

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Here’s a link to the Festival programme

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Filed under Entertainment, Festivals, Music, Vienna Life

Gem of a building – lesser known Vienna


Gem of a building – lesser known Vienna

I’ve driven passed Nußwaldgasse, a quiet side road in Döbling (Vienna’s 19th District), so many times without realising that only a few 100 metres away stands a gem of a building. When I first saw Nußwaldgasse 14 I immediately wonder about its original purpose. Even in my wildest imagination I would never have guess that someone would employ such a beautiful and interesting design to house a factory making insecticide.

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Die Zacherlfabrik (Zacherl factory) produced insect powder from pyrethrum imported from Tbilisi in Georgia. The original factory was established in 1873 and the building was re-built between 1882 and 1892. This Wikipedia entry describes the building as a rare example of ‘commercially motivated oriental historicism in European architecture’.

Today the building use includes providing a venue for concerts and art exhibitions.

 

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Filed under Architecture, Vienna Life

Roman Cavalry displace their skills at Carnuntum – A day amongst the Romans (Part 2)


The four riders wonderfully brought Roman Cavalry history to life, providing the crowd with an excellent display during the recent Roman Fest at Carnuntum Archaeological Park.

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Carnuntum which is situated next to the Danube River, about 30mins drive from central Vienna, was a Roman Provincial Capital and today visitors can experience the feel of Roman life by spending time exploring a set of wonderfully reconstructed buildings. Images of the site on a normal visitor day can be seen here and here.

A few images from the Cavalry display:

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Filed under Activities for kids, Austrian History, Festivals, History, Out and about in Lower Austria, Uncategorized, Vienna Life

The Physician, religions, work and fun – A day amongst the Romans (Part 1)


Carnuntum Roman Fest – Part 1

It’s not every day that you learn how to take an arrow head out of someone’s skull, sit in a Roman Villa with soldiers and citizens milling about, or find out about the latest cosmetics and fashions in (Ancient) Rome.

Carnuntum Archaeological Park is always worth a visit but yesterday was somewhat different as my family  joined hundreds of other visitors attending the Roman Fest.  Carnuntum which is situated next to the Danube River, about 30mins drive from central Vienna, was a Roman Provincial Capital and today visitors can experience the feel of Roman life by spending time exploring a set of wonderfully reconstructed buildings. Images of the site on a normal visitor day can be seen here and here.

My daughter is a bit of a history fanatic, something I’d like to claim comes from me but in reality it’s more a result to exposure to places like Carnuntum where you can touch and feel the past, alongside watching and reading everything connected to Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories. So for her history is something real, alive, accurate, and fun. As for me, my interested in history unfortunately makes me one of those sad people who mumbles loudly in cinema’s at ‘historical movies’ or around tour guides whose historical presentations are full of inaccuracies. My daughter and I are therefore a rather tough audience to impress and it was, I suspected, something of a relief to my wife that the Roman Fest lived up to the high expectations we have of the Carnuntum site.

A few images of the day:

Tools of the trade for a Roman Physician…..

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Luckily the Romans had a good command of German as I don’t think most of us could manage the Latin…..

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All the instruments where made by the Physician himself and based upon original Roman descriptions. His talk enthralled H, especially the bits about cutting open the skull…..

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The main Villa was full of visitors listen to the talk by the Physician or exploring the building, but also some of the City’s military……

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Outside the main Villa near the shops order was being maintained by the local auxiliary…..

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I wonder if this chap was in need of the Physician or had already been to see him?……………..

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I was outvoted as we passed this cosmetics stall on the main street and some time was spent chatting about (and buying) some Roman creams etc……

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As the discussion of perfumes and creams continued, I was distracted by the public announcements on the new status of the Sect known as the Christians……..

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Not to be distracted by this talk of the Christians, I wandered further down the road to watch the priest perform a more traditional ceremony……

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The Roman Fest had plenty for the kids to get their hands dirty and minds active. From designing mosaics…….

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….or ceramic painting……

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While other children painted shields and swords, H decided to practice her catapult (sling shot) skills….

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Then on to exercising the brain with a Roman board game…..

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While wandering around you had to keep an eye out for the traffic……

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…..but wandering was the thing to do as there were so many sights to see, people to talk to and things to do. Other distractions meant that we missed the wedding but I did get some shots of the wedding party preparing……

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In addition to the slaves, there were some free Celts at the festival and H had her name translated……

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Finally, visiting military units were encamped around the edge of the site and here are a selection of images from the camps…..

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Filed under Activities for kids, Austrian Roman History, History, Out and about in Lower Austria, Vienna Life

Colours and patterns from the pond


Hope you enjoy these images from the pond:

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Filed under Garden Pond, Green, Vienna Life, Wildlife