Monday, May 7, 2012

Vienna, the Habsburg City

Opinions abound as to which of Europe's capital cities is the most interesting or most beautiful.  After a week in Vienna, Gertrud and I rank it high in both categories but also believe it may be Europe's most livable capital.  As much as we like visiting Paris, Rome, London, Madrid or Prague, we can't see ourselves living in any of them.  But we could see ourselves in Vienna if we were younger.  Obviously the fact that we speak German is a primary consideration, but Vienna's manageable size of less than two million, its music and arts, temperate, four-season climate, Austria's beautiful mountains, and close proximity to Italy and the Adriatic Coast are also very appealing.

From a tourist point-of -view, the primary attraction of Vienna is the legacy of beautiful palaces, buildings and the arts bestowed on it by the Habsburg Dynasty.  Click on the following links for more information.

A more recent Viennese personality and one of my favorites, is the late Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser, a colorful twentieth century architect and artist, little known outside of Vienna and European artistic circles.  He was born as Frederick Stowasser to a Jewish mother who kept him under the Nazi radar by having him baptized Catholic and enrolling him in the Hitler Youth. Vienna's Hundertwasser Haus and Museum are memorials to his talent. Late in life he emigrated to New Zealand.   The only other architect/artist who I can think of who might be compared to Hundertwasser would be the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi who designed several unusual buildings in Barcelona. 

Here are several links on Hundertwasser and his art:

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