Just over the road from the gardens, the Parliament stands on a small rise. Let’s go and take a closer look, shall we? Sadly, it’s closed today and our little penchant for touring parliament buildings isn’t satisfied, but never mind. There’s plenty more to see.
The first panorama I capture from the top of the steps features the longest tram in the city, because as I turn the camera the tram travels along at the same speed and in the same direction! I’ll have another go…
Just “next door” is the Rathaus, the City Hall with a rather well chosen Christmas Tree still in place. They’re clearing up from the Christmas Market which was in this yard until a couple of days ago, so we can’t go closer. We’d had the idea of getting here at about the right time for a tour inside, but haven’t managed it very well, so sorry, that’s off too (unless you fancy hanging around a while?)
Across the road is the Hofburg Theatre, the “premier theatre of the German speaking world” according to our guidebook. Hmm. I think there are likely to be one or two rivals to that claim but hey, it’s a grand building, isn’t it?
We’ve been walking clockwise around the Ringstrasse, but now it’s time to turn around and head back the other way. We’re ready for a bit of a sit down and a drink, but there’s nowhere around here. Let’s head for the Museums Quarter.
The statue of Maria Theresia stands in the centre of a well kept garden in between the Naturhistorisches Museum and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. These two traditional collections lead the way to the more contemporary Museum Quartier, where we think we might find some coffee.
Though there are great collections of modern art in here, dance studios and film and video archives, sad to say that our priority is to be found in the cafe! Perhaps we’ll come back to the Leopold collection when we’re less weary?
The birthday boy has spotted a poster for another exhibition he fancies, too and invigorated by the hot lemon, ginger and honey drink, I’m happy to go with the flow. Bunte Gotter – Coloured Idols – has toured a few galleries and maybe you’ve seen it? Right now it’s at the Kunsthistorisches Museum and so it’s there where we’ll head now.
OK if I leave you here in the Egyptian rooms whilst I go and put my stuff in a locker? In true northern European style, it’s warm in here and our outdoor clothes and belongings are better secured in the cloakroom so we can enjoy our visit unencumbered. Photos are allowed without flash, but sadly, not in the special exhibition. Sorry about that.
Though the exhibits are stunning and tell a fascinating story, I’m sure you’re doing just as I am…looking up and marvelling at the building itself, which is as much of a star as the contents.
This looks rather interesting, too. To celebrate the Klimt anniversary, a bridge has been built in the museum to allow a close view of his wall paintings high above the staircase. Tomorrow, the bridge will be removed – how lucky are we to have caught it?!
I’m not a fan of his work generally but I love to see the sketches of any artist and these in particular hit the spot with me.
Look at the precise measurements and the detail there within the sketch. Oh, to be able to draw and imagine like that! Having seen the sketches I want to see the end result, so come on, let’s climb the steep stairs and look for the lady with the orb.
But no photos allowed! (and unlike some others, I’ll obey the instructions in the hope of finding a postcard or something)
So, for now, you’ll have to imagine the rich palette of colours, the gold and the beautiful faces of the figures which imaginatively fill the unusually shaped panels high above the arches.
Or you could catch a glimpse in someone’s Flickr album.
Take a while, enjoy them and meet me in the next post. OK?