Friday 6 May 2016

The area around the Burggarten

We started with the Burgring, which is part of the Ringstrasse, a circular road surrounding the Innere Stadt. Our aim was to visit the Burggarten.

The statue of Mozart is right by the gates  - it overlooks a flower bed that is carefully maintained in the shape of a treble clef.

It was, yet again, a gorgeous day, 22oC and sunny, so lots of Viennese and tourists alike, took the opportunity to bask in the sun - the park was packed.

We walked round the ornamental pond

and then sat here on a bench, the pond behind us, facing what we had come to see

the Art Nouveau Palmenhaus, an enormous greenhouse designed by the Jugendstil architect Friedrich Ohmann and built between 1901 and 1907

It's a magnificent structure

Today the central part is home to a popular café. The left part of the Pamenhaus houses the Schmettlerlinghaus, a butterfly garden where you can see tropical butterflies and even bats.

The 'butterflyhouse' was closed when we visited but we were able to go inside the café



behind the Palmenhaus is the Albertina, a museum and art gallery

which you can reach by going through these gates

The Albertina was erected on one of the last remaining sections of the fortifications of Vienna. In early 1919 ownership of the building and its collection of prints passed from he Habsburgs to the newly founded Republic of Austria. In 1945 the Albertina was heavily damaged by Allied bomb attacks. The building was rebuilt in the years after the war and was completely refurbished and modernised from 1998 to 2003. Modifications of the exterior entrance sequence, including a signature roof by Hans Hollein were completed in 2008.

the roof as seen from below

We liked what they had done with the stairs

advertising one of the current exhibitions: Chagall to Malevich - the Russian avant-garde which we saw. Another exhibition in the Albertina is Anselm Kiefer - the woodcuts which you can see here

We then moved on to Karajanplatz where the Wiener Staatsoper, the Vienna State Opera, is. It was built in 1869 in Neo-Renaissance style by Czech architect Josef Hlavka.

This building which is now a hotel is next to the opera

and has some nice relief work

while these pink bunnies were everywhere.

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