Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vienna - Monuments and Art

Much like other major European capitals, Vienna is chockfull of monuments and monumental buildings. I guess when a dynasty like the Hapsburgs rules for hundreds of years, you run out of things to spend your money on. Seriously, the summer palace, which was only, I am guessing, a 45 minute horse drawn coach ride from the regular palace had a square footage equal to the Mall of America. Now a days, some still have an official purpose. The rest have become museums or just plain tourist attractions.

Here's old Goethe. 'Sorrows of Young Werther?'
Not on a sunny day in Vienna.

One of the Hapsburg empresses immortalized forever.
Funny, I can't remember her name.

Nothing says grandeur like an ocularis.

Yes, Astral Nomads, party of two. No, Otis will not
be joining. Pardon, where's the cloakroom and the loo?

It's always good to see some floating heads.

Not quite Canova's Venus Victrix, but a good effort.

Bad Satan, Good Angel.

Who could argue with this? The true definition
of Fascism is the merger of state and corporate power.
Sounds vaguely familiar.

Nymph meets pachyderm . Pachyderm goes pie-eyed.

Wolfgang Amadeus, Astral Wendy's favorite.

Just seconds earlier, Astral Wendy was scaling the statue
trying to steal a smooch. Luckily the polizei arrived to
talk her down.

Posters about town advertising an exhibit featuring Klimt, Schiele, and 
others. You know the Astrals were all over that. We didn't really need the
ads, viewing Klimt and Schiele was one of main reasons for going to
Vienna in the first place. 

History buffs may remember that Vienna was divided into zones
after World War II, with the Russians having a piece of the pie.
Here's a monument to the Red Army. I think part of the agreement
when they finally left was to keep this intact forever.

Behind the monument seems to be a party place, judging from
the graffiti and empty bottles.

Doesn't exactly look like a smooth ride, if
it rides at all. But the gas tank appears to
insure an awesome range. First stop,Istanbul.

This is the Belvedere, a little place for Prince Eugene of Savoy.
He's generally credited with preventing the Ottoman
Turks from seizing Vienna and thereby, preventing
the fall of Europe to the Caliphate. Usually the Hapsburgs
were pretty strict about letting lesser nobles build structures
that rivaled their own, but I guess they owed him big
time and let him have a little fun. Today, the Belvedere 
is mostly an art museum.

Ok to leave the Eurovan down by the stables?

Well, you couldn't take photographs in the galleries,
so I went ahead and grabbed some of the Klimt and Schiele
on display there:

Klimt's most famous The Kiss.
Way larger than I expected.

Schiele: Four Trees
Astral Wendy's pick of the day.

Klimt: Portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl
This was my favorite. I didn't realize it was
unfinished until I got home. I like it just the way it
is, especially with the squiggles on the lower sides.

Schiele: Umarmung (Liebespaar II, Mann und Frau)

Just incredible, almost cartoonish but so much more than that.
Literally vibrates before you eyes.

Some nice gardens between the upper and lower palaces.
I forgot to mention that Prince Eugene needed two palaces.
The upper was so opulent, I would just stop there.
Not Prince Eugene.

Female sphinxes were something of a motif,
not just here but in much of Vienna. Not sure why.
Left as an exercise for the reader.

The lower Belvedere.

Gardens, yes, but nothing to rival the Jardin de Luxembourg or
the Tullieries in my opinion.

Speaking of works of art....................

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