This beautiful building designed in the Art Nouveau style by Otto Wagner in 1898 is situated just a short walk from my hotel at the U-bahn stop "Kettenbrueckengasse" on Linke Wienzeile. The building is decorated with glazed tiles of green leaves and pink roses and blue flowers... and it is absolutely gorgeous - don't miss this!! It is a private apartment building so obviously not open to the public. I saw it early on a sunny Sunday morning and it was just stunning!
The most outstanding feature in Karlsplatz, apart from Karlskirche is the bijou, green, gold and white pavillion by Otto Wagner. Wagner designed the city transit railway stations and the finest are these two at Karlsplatz (1898) and the one at Schonbrunn. The pavillion is a very fine example of secessionist architecture and the details on it are well worth examining. Flowers, leaves and loads of gilding break up the rather dull green. Unfortunately, the Pavillion is only open from April to October so I could only see it from outside. Opening hours in season are from 9 am- 6 pm daily except Monday.
At the same time as the old Imperial regime was singing its swan song with buildings like the Neue Rathaus that harked back to the mediaeval past, a new movement was about to be born. All across Europe this new style was developing, taking on different forms in different countries, but always characterised by the use of forms taken from nature and for its rejection of the historical inspiration that informed so much of 19th century art and architecture. In Vienna the new style was to become known as Jugendstil - Youth Style - and there are wonderful examples all over the city, both in complete buildings and small details.
The most extraordinary example must surely be the Secession Building with its fantastic golden dome of leaves sitting on top of a stark white cube of a building. Built in 1898 it caused a huge controversy, and continued to do so as the artists who exhibited their works there broke all the bounds of convention.
Jugendstil found its way into all aspects of design in the city in the years before WWI. Even street furniture was influenced. The Anker Clock on the Hoher Markt is a favourite example with locals and tourists alike, but two of my favourites are the mosaic nymphs on the Engel Apotheke shop on Bognergasse, the sole survivors of the many similar works that once adorned many of the city's shopfronts and a another building with flower-decked maidens - though I can't remember on which street I saw them,
Very close to Karlsplatz and the Naschmarkt, on Linke Wienzeile, are two of Otto Wagner's other most famous buildings. Right next to each other at nos. 38 and 40 they were part of Wagner's plan to transform the whole route to Schonbrun into a sort of Art Nouveau Ringstrasse. Both buildings have ground floors which are in commercial use and clearly seperate from the residential floors over head. No 38 is more low-key with gold palm leaves and medallions but no 40 is ( to me anyhow), much more striking. The tiles it is clad with are hard-wearing majolica - hence the name, Majolika House. On these reddish/pink tiles Wagner designed an elaborate flower/tree/vine motif and it is this that gives the house its freshness and charm.
Please click on photo 3 to see no. 38 Linke Wienzeile - you may prefer its gold embossed palm leaves to the red flowers of no. 40. It's hard to make a choice as they are both stylistically amazing.
Leaving Judenplatz and moving closer to Stepansdom, you come to the Hoher market . This square was once the centre of the Roman camp at Vienna but now it's a messy mishmash of cars and office buildings. It does have one fairly stunning feature though, its clock the Ankerhur. This is a massive piec eof tick-tockery and joins two buildings of the Anker insurance company. It's dark green and gold, designed in Jugendstil by by Franz Matsch in 1914. Every hour a figure moves across the clock but the big show is at noon. This reminded me very much of the glocken-und-figurenspiel displays I had seen in Germany and I was determined to be there. However we lingered too long in Judenplatz and arrived just in time to see Joseph Haydn bringing up the rear. The full quota consists of 12 figures who move across the clock rather slowly, accompanied by organ music. A pleasant diversion, worth seeing if you're in the area.
The Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession was founded in 1897 and presented its first exhibition in 1898, the same year the new Secession building was completed.
This building is considered to be Europe's first example of 20th-century architecture.
The Secession Movement was created by group of dissatisfied Viennese artists, headed by Gustav Klimt. They broke with the conservative artists associated with the Academy of Fine Arts to promote the radically new kind of art known as Jugendstil, which was inspired by the the organic, fluid designs of Art Nouveau and the more geometric designs of the English Arts and Crafts movement.
Me, happy, after leaving the building...
This was one of the first places I went, in order to see the Beethoven Frieze which is considered one of Gustav Klimt's key works and one of the high points of Viennese Art Nouveau.
link to Secession
It is good fortune that the secession still survives - even if it has now been immortalized on the Austrian 50 cent coin. The Secession was built in 1897-8 and was designed by Josef Olbrich. After severe damage in World War II it was not until the 1980s that it was restored to its original glory.
In its centenary year, it was sponge painted red. Its dome (cupola) of golden laurel leaves has been ornately restored - it is a sight to behold being an orgy of gold-plated leaves. The entrance is also grand - with the motto "Der Zeit ihre Kunst, der Kunst ihre Freiheit" - "To the age its art, to art its freedom" as well as three gorgons above the door representing Malerei, Architektur and Plastik - painting, architecture and sculpture. Above the entrance you can read the motto of the secessionist: "Der Zeit ihre Kunst. Der Kunst ihre Freiheit."
Inside there is the very controversial and famous Beethoven frieze - which looks remarkably unfinished and which was conceived as a homage to the composer for a 1902 exhibition, which was Gustav Klimt's contribution to the exhibition. Otherwise the Secession has now become a home to contemporary art - there are a range of constantly changing exhibitions - as well as a customary over-priced souvenir shop.
The Anchor-clock, or Ankeruhr, is located in the Hoher Market. It is a great clock with 6 feet tall figures that rotate through every hour. Only one goes per hour, except at noon, when all of them make an apperance. Definitely make it at that time, so you can enjoy more than a few second thrill!
The clock was built in 1911 by Franz von Matsch.
The list of characters includes:
* MARCUS AURELIUS, the Roman Emperor, who stayed in Vienna and in 180 AD he died here,
* CHARLEMAGNE, the King of the Franks and "creator" of the Holy Roman Empire,
* Duke LEOPOLD VI, the Babenberg called the Glorious and his Consort Theodora,
* WALTHER v. d. VOGELWEIDE, the minnesinger at the Court of the Babenberg's,
* Duke RUDOLPH IV, of Hapsburg called the Founder (St. Stephen's, University),
* Hans PUCHSBAUM, the Master builder of St. Stephen's,
* Emperor MAXIMILIAN I, called the Last Knight, a Renaissance Emperor
* Mayor LIEBENBERG, mayor during the second Turkish Siege of Vienna 1683,
* Rüdiger v. STARHEMBERG (defender of Vienna during the Turkish Siege),
* Prince EUGENE of Savoy, the most famous commander of the army of Austria 17th/18th cent.,
* Maria THERESA and her husband Emperor FRANCIS I, of Lorrain,
* Joseph HAYDN, the famous composer instead of Emperor Francis Joseph I.
List borrowed from web
The Secession is one of the most important and well known Art Nouveaubuildings in Vienna and it is also shown on the 20 cents-coin of Austria.
It was built as an exhibition-hall by austria artists, called "Vereinigung Bildender KünstlerInnen Österreichs Wiener Secession"
The architect was Joseph Maria Olbrich, just 30 years and he was working in the artelier of Otto Wagner.At first the building was planned for a place along the Ringstrasse, but the city-government did not like its architecture and gave its permission to build this museum only outside of the Ringstrasse and only as a temporary solution "only for the time of 10 years" as you still can read in the city-annals of 1897.
In 1898 the building was finished and the local people in Vienna still call it "Krauthappel" (cabbage).
Take a walk around the Krauthappel and take a look at the lovely details !
Secession is open for visitors :
Tuesdays - Sundays : 10.00am - 06.00pm
guided tours each Saturday at 03.00pm
and Sunday at 11.00am
opening-times for X-mas in 2009:
December 24th : 10.00am - 04.00pm
December 25th : closed !
Jan 1st : 10.00 - 06.00pm
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