Tag Archives: Vienna Austria

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

Me, a Ball and the bow tie


Haven’t been to a Vienna Ball since we moved back to the city but it’s time to correct that omission.

This evening it’s the Vienna Medical Doctor’s Ball and we are going to be joining friends for what will hopefully be a wonderful event at the Hofburg, lasting till 5am.

Now I’m the sort of person who is happy enough wearing a suit but tends to leave the tie in the wardrobe and this evening my moth eaten collection will continue to remain there. However, I will for the first time in my life be going forth wearing a bow tie. How this strange new experience works out I shall report in a future posting – maybe. But as Whovian’s would quote, the Doctor says “Bow ties are cool”.

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Filed under Entertainment, Vienna Balls, Vienna Life

Blog Stat’s – 2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Filed under Blog Stats, Vienna Life

Winter takes a short break (or a melt in the park)


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December 26, 2012 · 4:25 pm

Should Vienna host the 2028 Summer Olympics?


The government of Vienna is to hold a consultative referendum in March 2013 and one of the four questions concerns the Summer Olympics.

The question of a bid to host the Summer Olympics of 2028 is one of four questions to be put to residents by the City State government of Vienna. If you lived in Vienna how would you vote? Would the Olympic Games held here, in the heart of Europe, encourage you to visit this wonderful city?

While the Games may be the most ‘sexy’ of the four questions, the one that is likely to continue to cause the greatest debate will be the matter of the short-term parking scheme that has already been extended to a number of outer districts. While the recent changes have lead to more on street parking spaces in the districts concerned (residents have to pay for a parking permit & commuters are discouraged by the high cost of short-term parking) neighbouring districts, without the scheme, have suffered from increased pressure on street parking.

Interestingly the question isn’t a straight one of ‘Are you for or against the scheme?’ Instead Vienna residents will be asked ‘How is the parking situation and quality of life for Districts residents to be improved?’

A)     Parking regulations should be established for each district.

B)      There should be a solution for individual districts (with regard to the neighbouring districts).

Thus the Red/Green (Social Democrat/Green Party) coalition avoids being challenged directly on the existing expansion of the scheme and instead asks voters to support a citywide expansion or the new status quo. Personally, I think there are merits for Vienna in the parking scheme but the coalition appears to be cautious in defending/promoting its policy. Based upon reports I’ve read and the reality I’ve seen on the streets, the value of the scheme has yet to be either confirmed or refuted, which may explain the question (and inclusion of other questions) in the referendum.

The scheme:

  1. It is now easier to park in districts with the newly introduced scheme and a nightmare in neighbouring districts.
  2. There has been a lot of criticism from the State of Lower Austria, which geographically surrounds Vienna, many of whose citizens commute into the city.
  3. Lower Austria has talked about Vienna based businesses now wanting to relocate because of the impact of the parking scheme.
  4. The expansion of the parking scheme has added to Vienna State income at a time when the City’s government is investing heavily in improving the public transport infrastructure.
  5. Parking/traffic was already one of the biggest concerns in Vienna before the expansion of the scheme.
  6. In the first month or so of the schemes expansion the level of traffic using the motorways into Vienna did not drop significantly (something that would be a negative if the pattern remains unchanged over time).

The remaining questions, one asks people if the services of water, sewage, refuge collection, energy, hospitals, public transport, should be protected from privatisation. The other seeks support for expansion of social/domestic solar power projects.

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Filed under Environment, Transport, 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

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Filed under Christmas, Festivals, Holidays, Vienna Life

A playground for young and old in summer or winter


Back in February I blogged about my day around the Old Danube area of Vienna, enjoying the chance to walk on the frozen waters and watching others ice skating, skiing, practicing ice hockey and generally making the most of this outdoor winter playground.

On Sunday, with the sun shining down on a glorious Viennese day, I was back once again to take pleasure in some of the summer fun available in Vienna’s water world.

One advantage of this area is that there is a good scattering of restaurant around the water’s edge and our first port of call was Zur Alten Kaisermühle….

A lovely place to sit on a sunny afternoon, you can relax while in the distance watching others swimming, sailing, fishing, boating and generally mucking about on the water. Helpful, friendly staff added to the agreeable environment. Alas if you are a vegetarian (such as me) then the menu is very limited, however the meat eaters in my party reported that the flesh was good…..

After lunch we took as stroll. Whether from the water’s edge or from the vantage point of a bridge it was easy to see the attraction of the water’s to anglers, they are simply teeming with fish….

There are a variety of options for spending time on the water but on this occasion we decided to hire a paddle boat, which in the hot sun turned out to be a little more energetic than expected but great entertainment for my nine year old daughter.

Our journey by paddle boat was not without some delay and obstruction when one of the local swans decided to investigate our craft and refused to allow us to pass….

Some parts of the water’s edge provide open access to the public. Others are occupied by boating or swimming areas, as well as restaurants and other facilities. But also occupying space around the Old Danube are small houses with petite gardens and/or piers for mooring boats…….

The lure of the paddle boat was not for everyone last Sunday but luckily on the Old Danube there are a wide range of options….

As we departed I was reminded that further down this waterway I had watched dragon boat racing last June – something I included in this blog post

Useful link: http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/green-vienna/summer-at-old-danube

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