Two of the most unusual structures in Vienna are the two Flak towers (Flakturm) in the Augarten Park. These anti-aircraft towers where constructed in WWII, and thought to be bomb proof. The physical size of these huge structures is quite daunting and to watch people in the park playing and picnicing next to these structures is just amazing.
There is six towers still remaining in Vienna, the two in Augarten are in a bad state and fenced off to the public. Fortunatly a visit to a flak tower is possible. A vivarium (Haus-des-Meeres) has been constructed in a Flak tower in Esterhazy Park, it's just off Mariahilfer Strasse (one of the Main tourist shopping areas) and it is well worth a visit.
A structure has been attached to the tower and access was need to be cut through the walls, at this point you can see how well the tower has been constructed - we were just dumbfounded at the thichness of the walls.
One of the greatest things to do here and that I enjoyed the most in Vienna is to walk around the narrow streets of the city and discover nice buildings, churches, galleries, small coffee shops and what ever have history on it.
This is another example of the nice things while walking around in this city, you just discovering interesting things, like this one, according to the text in the wall of this building Beethoven was here… long time ago.
Palais Schwarzenberg was built in the 18th century as the summer palace of one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Austria. Their next-door neighbour was Prince Eugen in his summer palaces at Belvedere. The Schwarzenbergs had their base in Bohemia, it’s the very same family that played an important role through imperial Austria and even later on, Karl von Schwarzenberg who wanted to become president of the Czech Republic is one of them.
The palace, a masterpiece of baroque architecture, designed by Vienna’s most famous architects Lucas von Hildebrandt and Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. It was begun in 1697 for the Count of Mansfeld, who unfortunately died soon after. In 1716 the Prince of Schwarzenberg bought the construction site and had the palace completed. The name of the family remained with the building, in fact the Schwarzenbergs still own the estate.
You can spot the impressive building from the gardens of Belvedere and in the background of Schwarzenbergplatz. I would like to see it from closer by, but for tourists the palace and its grounds are out of bounds. The palace was to be turned into a luxury hotel in recent years but the investor ran away and the refurbishing never took place. There are some rumours about its future but so far it is unclear what is going to become of this remarkable building. Let’s hope there will be an adequate solution soon.
This building is at 42 Linke Weilzeile, immediately next door to Otto Wagner's "Majolicahaus." It gives an idea of what Wagner and his Jugenstil contemporaries were rebelling against. Hyper-elaborate mouldings, human figure statuary, a pleuthora of fussy detailing. . . This is in many ways the typical 19th century Vienna Apartment Block.
I wandered past the Vienna Opera House on my way from Karlsplatz to Stefansplatz.
It's not my sort of architecture..twiddly wedding-cake style isn't. But my eye was caught by a series of energetic (and rather slim) cherubs cavorting in plaques around the side facing Operngasse. I bet there are more on the other side, but I did not check.
I liked them because each plaque showed a cherub doing something entirely different...leaping, skipping, posing, playing the violin...
They looked full of life and pleasure, and they made me smile. Have a look for them when you visit the Opera House!
A little further on my wander I passed the Kapuzinerkirche.
This is, of course, the location of the 'Imperial Crypt' where members of the Hapsburg dynasty are interred.
It's quite an old church, dating from the late 1500s, and i poked my nose inside to have a look.
But what really intrigued me, apart from the rather nice ?fresco? above the entrance, was the ironwork on the gates which enclose a huge statue of Pere Marco d'Aviano, once called 'the saviour of Vienna' . In the 1600s he served as preacher in campaigns against the Turks, which is presumably why the gates have images of Turkish warriors.
You can't miss the statue, on the exterior to the left of the church entrance. But do take a moment to look at the gate details: they are rather fun, and a good indicator of warrior costume and weaponry of the time!
You'll find the church on Tegetthoffstrasse, by the Neuer Markt and near to Stefansplatz.
Central Vienna has many, many buildings of the 'frilled and twiddly' type (I'm no expert, so I don't know the exact term for building styles).
It's always worth looking closely at such architecture. There are very often smaller details which are missed at first glance. I especially enjoy looking at the sculpted heads which so often adorn the frontages. Sometimes (as in the photos here) they are almost certainly portraits of ...presumably...the people for whom the building was constructed...
I found all of these within a few streets of Stefansplatz. I'm certain there are many, many more in central historical Vienna.
Lions and dragons, scary faces roaring at you, chunky cherubs struggling with eagles or big fish....
Look up as you walk around central historical Vienna and you'll find them all....and more...
All these within a small area around Stefansplatz.
roland rainer is against skyscrapers because they don't fit human nature. he has developped the concept of *concentrated flat construction* the settlement tamariskengasse at the periphery of vienna is an example of the famous viennese tradition of the *gemeindebau* he wanted to satisfy the special austrian greed for one family houses. it is situated tamariskengasse 102, you can go there with U1.
Also in this quarter you will find this piece of 'ART' in the underground toilets I don't know what you would call it as it is made up of a stack of toilet pans with a flowing waterfall.??!! [or is it somebody taking the P***.] there is more of this artwork in the toilets themselves but this time round I did not have the time to spend and check it out for my self
The Millenium Tower is part of a shopping and office complex on the western side of Vienna, adjacent to the Danube. The architecture and design is reminiscent of similar mixed-use projects in the United States - anyone nostalgic for Atlanta or Dallas should pay a visit here. The shopping mall attached to the Millenium project is actually quite useful - there are times when a good shopping mall can be just the thing that you need.
Neptune with his trident overlooks cascades flowing into a large pool.
is is not only your tourist guide who shows you all the historic and famous places - just go into the side streets - each facade tells its own story
max fabiani, a student of otto wagner, has surpassed his teacher's concept with this tile covered house called *portois&fix*.
it's situated in ungargasse 59-61, you can go there with tramway 0.