Saturday at the Naschmarkt
The Naschmakrt, located in Kettenbrukengasse (4th district) is where you can shop for local produce, flowers, wines and have a pretty decent meal at one of their little cafes. Saturday is when it's the busiest with street vendors setting up their tents to sell clothes, trinkets, etc. It is when it's the most colorful. You can also choose from a selection of produce other than Austria e.g Asian, Turkish, Greek. Prices for dining are not as high as in the 1st district too.
To get there, you can take a 10min stroll from the 1st District pass the Opera and towards the Secession Building. Or, you can take the U4 train and stop at Kettenbrukengasse. I enjoy walking through the Naschmarkt just to see the vibrant colours of the flowers & fruits and watching people go by as I have coffee in the outdoors cafe. Try Cafe Do-An, I enjoy the breakfasts here
The invading army!
I’ve placed this tip under “General” rather than “to do” because it relates to a travelling and temporary display which we were privileged to see in Vienna. Should it head your way, don’t miss it.
As a surprise bonus, when we reached Vienna we found that we’d been beaten there by the fabled “Terracotta Army” of the great Emperor Qin Shi Huang of ancient China. The first Emperor of China and the most powerful man in the world as they knew it, Emperor Qin was not one to trifle with. First he united China then, irritated by ongoing border incursions by tribal groups from inland, Emperor Qin had the first Great Wall built (when referring to him, don’t even think about the cost of his projects in money or lives).
Eventually, the Emperor’s thoughts turned to ensuring his immortality. Apart from sending search parties abroad for the “elixir of life”, according to the histories of the time, Qin had an enormous and lavish mausoleum built for himself (using 700,000 labourers) in an artificial hill (4km across!) outside the city of Tian. What was totally unknown for two thousand years, was that the Emperor also had a huge underground terracotta army of over 8,000 warriors and 600 horses waiting to defend him in the afterlife. Found by chance in 1974 and since carefully excavated, it is one of the jewels of the ancient world.
The original mausoleum hill is yet to be opened – isn’t it fascinating to wonder if it will be opened during our lifetime and think what marvels it may contain! Let’s be clear, the original warriors are very carefully protected and are not about to wander the world at random. So the display we saw was actually a set of nearly 200 life-size replicas(main photo), supported by 1,000 smaller replicas (photo 2) at a scale of 1:10. In the ante-rooms were reconstructions of some of the weapons (who’d have thought that the Chinese had crossbows in about 220BC? - photo3), other lifesize mannequins with clothing of the period(photo 4), and extensive historical information and details of how they were made(photo 5). There also was a theatrette running a film about the terracotta army.
The main display was set out to reproduce the appearance of the original as accurately as possible on a small scale, in a semi-darkened room with seating at the back. There is a German commentary with lightshow but although the lightshow sometimes enhanced the effect, I felt at times it detracted: maybe if I’d been able to understand the commentary it may have been fine! Regardless of any quibbles, this was an absolute knockout display and left no doubt that the Habsburgs, for all the magnificence of their palaces and museums, had been upstaged over 2,000 years earlier by Emperor Qin!
The Vienna display finishes on 26 August 2007 – until then it is open from 1000-2000 and 2100 on Thursdays. You'll find it at:
Kunstlerhaus, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Wien.
website for the display http://www.terracottaarmee.com
Phone 01 587 96 63 27
Museums of Art and Nature History
On both sides of the Theresa platz one finds two enormous museums that might be of your intrest during stays that are longer then a weekend or that are focussed on a certain field of intrest. Here's the information links that you need:
Website Kunst Historisches (Art Historical) Museum: www.khm.at
Website Natur Historisches (Natural Historical) Museum: www.nhm-wien.ac.at
This municipal housing building was build in 1985 by the artist F. Hundertwasser who wanted to live up the rigid architecture of its time. And he succeed, indeed!!
Everything in this building is curved, colourful, creative. You can't visit the flats (they are inhabited) but you can see the postcards of some rooms in the shop below.
Lowengasse/Kegelgasse. U-Bahn Rochsug (U3)
Different kind mimes
People who earn their money like that :)
Funny to look at them and if you give some coin, they start to move or do something. In some way this may be topic for tourist trap, but I think it’s very interesting to see what and in what way they are moving.
I have seen them in many cities where I have been. Somewhere they just give flower, some are doing strange things. The funniest woman was in Muenchen – she rubbed herself with mud.