Wednesday, February 3, 2010

City Snapshot: Vienna

Quite a few years ago, I visited Vienna, in Austria. I was only there for two nights (unfortunately), but the city had a lasting impression on me- so far my favourite city in Europe!

One of the reasons why I love Vienna so much is because I love the Schonbrunn Palace- until I saw the Neuschwanstein Castle, near Munich, Schonbrunn Palace was my favourite Palace/Castle I had ever seen (and this included all the Palace's in Russia as well).

The photos above and below of the interior of the Schonbrunn Palace are not my own. They are from the palace website:

The Palace website is well worth a look to find out more information about each room, the royal family that once lived there, and you can even view a 360 degree video of each room.

However, as much as photos and videos can capture images, there is nothing like standing inside the actual room. The above room is the Millions Room, named this because the magnificent decoration allegedly cost one million gold pieces! I wouldn't be surprised by this either.

Each room in this palace has its own theme, and its own look. I was in awe of the craftsmanship; such detail and beauty- it is hard to forget that all of this was made such a long time ago! If I could, I would decorate my whole house in this style... I love over the top, ornate detail. My husband the opposite- minimalist.

Even if you don't like the wall and ceiling decorations, anyone can appreciate the effort it takes to make a parquetry floor... take a look at the above and below photos- amazing aren't they. Imagine how long it would've taken to do this! Imagine the effort, expertise and work involved...

...Now take a look at the below photo, and the floor in this. Yes, that is again parquetry. Amazing isn't it!? How did they do it?

The above room is probably one of my favourites, The Chinese Cabinets. Everything about this room is simply stunning, and I love Oriental and Chinese art.

Below is the outside of the Schonbrunn Palace. I visited Vienna in the end of March, when it was still quite cold, and Europe was celebrating Easter- which is great time to go. I notice no one celebrates Easter like Europeans do! They had a lovely market out the front of the Palace- I wish I had've bought more there. They had amazing cookies too!

While in Vienna, I attended the opera; a great experience!

St.Stephen's Cathedral- I remember this cathedral especially as it was situated in the exact middle of the city, howver, mainly because of the amazing mosaic tiled roof.

The Belvedere Palace houses the beautiful Gustav Klimt collection- where I truly fell in love with Gustav Klimt paintings. Again, the detail is amazing in real life- something you just don't recognise in prints, no matter how good the reproduction is.

Above, Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" and below "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I"

Vienna is city of great food, amazing culture- a slight mixture of east meets west as they have a Hungarian influence, stunning art and architecture, and friendly people. Surprisingly, it was one of the cheaper cities to visit as well. Definitely worth the detour to get there!

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