Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Vienna Part 2 - Museums & Concerts

The Vienna art scene is, apparently, a pretty eclectic mix of radical modern art and classic, guilded, gold leaf architecture and paintings.

I have very little art knowledge but we visited two really beautiful galleries and museums during our visit, first the Secessionist Building which was originally built to showcase the artists within a radical art movement in the early 1900s. The building has incredible columns and a huge globe on the top of the building made up of gold leaves, it is a truly stunning building.

It was a small building with 4 different exhibitions, including a famous Gustav Klimt wall with the 'most famous kiss in the world' according to the posters, it seems to be their most favourite art! If I'm honest two of the exhibitions were a little too self indulgent and surreal for me but we stepped into a pitch black room which lights up with a screening of a gorgeous recording of a couple performing an old song in a 1920s style room, it was a really interesting trip.

Apparently the most famous kiss

The second visit was the Belvedere Museum which is an old Palace where their Kaiser used to live. It now holds 3 buildings worth of art. The Museum is split into 3 buildings which you have to buy a ticket for, you can get combinations of tickets depending on what you fancy seeing.

The main Palace (the Upper Belvedere)

The Upper Belvedere is the main building which holds the usual old paintings, I call them Jesus paintings, and some gorgeous historical art and collections. It pretty much just shows you the main artistic influences throughout history, which, if I'm honest, almost every other big museum I've been to has done.

The Lower Belvedere is at the other end of the garden and holds temporary exhibtions. We went to a Baroque themed exhibition which was truly stunning, the curating of the rooms was impeccably done with silver embossed titles on each wall for the room's theme. There was also a Japanese inspired Avant Garde collection which was also really beautiful set up.

The 21 Haus is the conteporary fine art uilding across the road from the Belvedere Palace. They had a photography exhibtion downstairs and fine art installations upstairs. I honestly canot understand modern art but we did see some really interesting pieces and even a couple of Damien Hirst pieces including 13 sausages carefully pinned to a canvas and named '13 Sausages', simple and sweet!

One night, after we'd massaged our poor feet from all of the walking we put on our gladrags to attend a classical concert in the Orangery of the main Palace where the Hapsburg dynasty lived. It is a truly stunning area but the Palace looks almost fake with how well it is kept!

The concert was in two parts, firstly of Mozart and then the Strauss family. They change their bill every night and they have classical singers and balle dancers to compliment the music. Lucy and I were by far the youngest people there by approximately 50 years so the people watching of heads bopping and eyes closed conducting with their arms.

The orchestra was fairly small but it was really entertaining, at the end they play a 'rousing' piece to get everyone clapping along, if I'm honest it was one of the more cringey experiences I've had in my life, but who doesn't love a good bit of audience participation?! (I don't).

They are constantly advertising this concert around Vienna and cloaked men will approach you every time you walk past them offering you tickets. We bought ours on LastMinute I think and must have saved an absolute fortune.

I couldn't recommend Vienna more for a chilled short city break, I wouldn't say there was enough to fill more than about 3 days in but if you don't mind spending your ays wandering and drinking coffee while people watching whilst on holiday then Vienna is perfect for you!

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