Category Archives: Festivals

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.

IMG_8321

Here’s a link to the Festival programme

IMG_8319

IMG_8322

IMG_8324

 

IMG_8320

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment, Festivals, Music, 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.

IMG_8169

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:

IMG_8202

IMG_8203

IMG_8204

IMG_8205

IMG_8206

IMG_8207

IMG_8208

IMG_8209

IMG_8210

IMG_8211

IMG_8177

IMG_8178

IMG_8179

IMG_8180

IMG_8181

IMG_8182

IMG_8185

IMG_8187

IMG_8188

IMG_8189

IMG_8191

IMG_8193

IMG_8194

IMG_8195

IMG_8196

IMG_8198

IMG_8212

IMG_8213

IMG_8214

IMG_8215

IMG_8216

IMG_8184

 

 

Leave a comment

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

The Vienna party starts anew


There is always a buzz in Vienna, always things going on. However, to me, the period from the end of September through to mid-November is as close as the city ever gets to taking a pause.

Then as you start to wrap up, with autumn turning to winter, small huts start to be erected across the city, street decorations are installed and the purveyors of holiday trinkets bring forth their wares. All over Vienna the Christmas markets beginning to open, signalling the start of another year of partying in the City.

Walking through the Rathausplatz the other evening, between the stalls still being erected and those being prepared for the opening of the market on the 17th November,  I took a look at the Christmas tree that takes pride of place in front of the City Hall. Not yet decorated, this tree has got a bit of a history having already been to the Vatican where it was rejected – more on this story here in the Austrian Times.

The Christmas markets provide the City with an enhanced sense of the Christmas festivities. They also reflect the Austrian habit of socialising outside all year round. No matter how cold it gets (& even better if it snows) we will all be standing around with our Glühwien and food chatting away to friends and enjoying the party which will carry on through New Year celebrations, winter activities, spring festivals and the gorgeous summer months by the river and in the vineyards.

If you are paying a visit to Vienna here’s a link to more details on the Christmas Markets

Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas, Festivals, Holidays, Vienna Life

Magnificent entertainment in the hunchback world


On the last Sunday in May we headed south of Vienna into a region in the State of Lower Austria known as the hunchback world. Nestled within this rather beautiful hill country is the small town of Bad Schönau, our destination for a day of wonderful entertainment.

The purpose of our trip was to take H and her friend to the Fabelhaft – a festival of storytelling through words, mime, puppetry, music and magic. What I had expected to be a fun day for the kids turned out to be marvellous entertainment for ‘children’ from 4 to 104!

My personal favourite was the feet puppetry of Laura Kibel from Italy:

I’ve posted a selection of pictures from her performance here

While they loved the feet puppetry, the girls couldn’t stop laughing at the silent comedy of the KGB Clowns from Russia. Their performance captured the audience who were drawn deeper and deeper into the crazy world created by two artists who had no need for words.

A selection of shots from their performance can be seen here

Other acts (amongst others) on the day included these wooden puppets….

…musical entertainment……

…storytelling….

….and magic…..

In addition to the festival, I was also rather taken by the village of Bad Schönau and the surrounding area…

As we sat drinking coffee in the sun, outside a local restaurant, the quiet of the Sunday morning was broken by the sounds of the village band playing as people came out from a church gathering:

The local church itself sits on a small hill dominating and defining its environment:

Walking through the fields near the village we came across this tiny chapel:

From the chapel we entered a small coppice and through the trees could be seen a local castle nestling on yet another hillside:

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Activities for kids, Art, Festivals, Live performances, Out and about in Lower Austria, Theatre, Uncategorized, Vienna Life

When the last foreign troops left


It’s Austria’s official birthday today. The Austrian National Day marks the birth of the Second Republic in 1955. Although the Austrian State Treaty was signed in May and came into force on the 27th July, it was the 26th October that was chosen to mark the start of the new independent, democratic state. On the day before the last foreign troops had left Austria, ending ten years of occupation, and so the 26th October 1955 saw the Austrian 2nd Republic enjoy its first day as an independent and sovereign state.

At the end of the Second World War, Austria was occupied by the Allied powers and divided into four zones overseen by the Soviet Union, Great Britain, United States and France respectively. The ten year occupation lasted much longer than most people had expected due to the deterioration of relationships between the allies and the struggle for whether the new Austria would become part of the Eastern or Western block.

Bring us back to the present day, I note that der Standard has an article (on its website) in which a national survey suggests that only 34% are ‘very proud’ to be Austrians compared to 42% respondents a year ago. This may in part be connected to the number of high profile scandals that have been enveloping the political parties over the last twelve months or so.

On a lighter note, I have to agree with the 86% who are proud of the scenic beauty of the country and the 66% who highlighted the high quality of life. As a vegetarian I’m less inclined to concur with the 68% who mentioned the quality of the local cuisine – this is a very meat orientated country and vegetarianism outside Vienna can be challenging at times – but they are probably right none the less 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian History, Austrian Politics, Festivals, History, Holidays, Politics, Vienna Life

Greens make big culture budget cut


The Vienna Greens have halved the city council’s funding of the annual Stadfest to around 450,000 Euro’s. The report in the Austrian Independent highlight’s that this particular city centre festival, which it describes as ‘a tradition-rich series of concerts, performances and readings…’ is organised by the opposition Viennese Peoples Party (ÖVP). They are said to be furious at the decision but that the event, which is held each summer, will never the less go ahead. The Greens have also announced a cut in the subsidies for Donauinselfest which is organised by their senior partners in City government, the SPÖ.  The article points out that the cut is some 100,000 Euro’s and that the event has previously been support to the tune of 1.5 million, but I’m unclear what this coming years budget will be.

The Greens themselves will now be organising their own event in the autumn of next year called the Wienwoche.

These regular festivals are extremely popular but coming from England I still find it ‘different’ that such events are organised by
political parties with tax payers contributing, particular given that political parties are state funded here. On the other hand, they generate entertainment and income for city residents and a lot of tourists are attracted to the city for these events.

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, City Centre, Danube Canal, Festivals, Live performances, Music, Politics, Vienna Life

Putting kids to work


Well I’m about to spend my second day in a row at the Rathaus, Vienna’s gothic style City Hall. The reason being the free children’s play event in which they get to spend their time ‘working’ in a variety of jobs from banking and tax collecting through to park maintenance and construction, with roles such as postal worker, waiter or librarian to be undertaken along the way.

This is so popular with H and her friends that they were on the go doing different jobs from 10am when the event opened through to closing time at 5pm.

Whilst down at City Hall we took a lunch break and strolled into the platz in front of the building where, at this time of year you, can sit and have lunch from temporary restaurants providing food from all quarters of the world.

The Rathausplatz is also hosts a summer open air film festival  which I never seem to have time to go and enjoy.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Activities for kids, Festivals, Vienna Life, Wine, Beer & Food