Tag Archives: #worldtraveler

Euro18: Belvedere

The view from the Marble Hall.

The Upper Belvedere in Vienna is the home of centuries of Austrian painting and arts.

I spent an afternoon there on Thursday.  And what a lovely afternoon it was.

The Baroque Belvedere palaces, Prince Eugene of Savoy’s summer residence, were designed by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, one of Central Europe’s greatest Baroque architects.  (Prince Eugene was a big military genius who was the second most important person in Austria, after the Emperor.)  Flash forward to 1955, and the treaty that returned Austria to an independent state was signed in the Marble Hall; and to 1970, when the SALT talks between the USA and USSR were held in the Marble Hall.  I walked in that very hall today.

The museum is justly famous for its collection of Gustav Klimt.  The entire collection is thoughtfully displayed and coherent in these grand rooms.

Here are some of my favorites from the day:

Iconic paintings of Empress Sisi and Kaiser Franz Joseph I —

A Rodin bust of Mahler–

A Munch painting —

Napoleon —

St. Sebastian —

Young Cupid — 

Stephensdom —

And of course, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss —

I noticed several of these Messerschmidt busts in the Imperial Furniture Museum on Tuesday.  I’m glad to know more about them now!:

Here’s another painting that really grabbed me —

Klimt is everywhere.


Euro18: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

The Great Hall of the Austrian National Library is a Baroque wonder. Built by Emperor Karl VI in the 1700s, it has survived the empire, the Nazis, and the tourists.  And it’s stunning.

My visit on Thursday could have lasted hours.

Facing the center of the hall is the extraordinary collection from military hero and aesthete Prince Eugene of Savoy, who built the Belvedere as well.

Manuscripts of Mahler (top) and Bruckner.


Euro18: Hofmobiliendepot

The Imperial Furniture Museum is the repository of furniture from various Hapsburg palaces in Central Europe.  Apparently, when various people went to various castles or lodges, furniture moved with them!

The collection is arranged in like displays: candelabra are grouped together, as are wall sconces for candles.  Commodes take up one wall.  Another display is of funerary items from the Emperor of Brazil.  And then there’s the hallway of Biedermeier rooms, collected in magnificent array.

I had a blast!

Euro18: Wachau

For any away-day, I booked a Danube Valley trip, calling at Dürnstein and Melk.

So on Wednesday at 9 a.m., along with about 40 others, I boarded a motorcoach and left Vienna.  Forty-five minutes later, we were at Dürnstein, a little village in the Wachau region that is best know for its wine, its city walls, and the ruins of a castle looming over the village.  I had visited here years ago with colleagues from Webster-Vienna, so I had a cup of coffee.

But views are tremendous! —

We then took a brief coach ride to Spitz, where we embarked on a cruise on the Danube! —