Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Fragments from an autumnal Vienna: the sentinel figures atop the cornice of the Museum of Natural History, near our hotel; figure of a saint at a local church; Fischer von Erlach's baroque library, embedded in the Hapsburg palace complex; apples in a market, for a bit of color.

Schloss Belvedere, Vienna and its tricky garden axis. Looks complete from above, but it is broken into three parterres at different levels, with fountains interrupting movement down its center. Realized by Dominique Girard, a pupil of Le Nôtre.

Otto Wager's Church at Steinhof.

Finally, red velvet and leopard-print rugs: the bar at the old Bristol Hotel, still purporting to be a 5-star establishment, located across the street from the Opera on the Ringstrasse.

I was surprised that so many of the classic Viennese cafés are tucked into hotels. They reminded me of mid-town Manhattan, circa 1950, with the tripartite wall sconces with little lampshades and the rugged floors and upholstered walls, cozy places for a cold winter night after the opera (Café Sacher, in the Hotel Sacher). Though I suppose the influence goes the other way. Admittedly I missed some other famous ones. But I'll stick with the grand old cafes of Italy, Spain and Portugal. Except for the pastries. (Below, Mary's picture of the café in the Hotel Sacher).

See my related post on the Karl Marx Hof.

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