Wiener Melange

Baroque splendor, Wiener melange as coffee of choice, Gustav Klimt and landmarks in golden Vienna around which I built some of my days. Plus hours with no plan when I just wandered the Viennese streets in a private emotional experience.

Nothing beats the quality of life of Vienna. I felt a connection in 2015 when I came here the first time and I am grateful to continue to explore the city’s art scene, museums, fin-de-siècle buildings on Ringstrasse and coffeehouse culture.

Vision becomes reality

Part 1 Bildungsurlaub

I took time off from work for an educational leave in Vienna, wanting to study in this city ever since I was an Erasmus student. After two years of different online courses, the campus learning experience feels more interesting and challenging.

Grateful for this opportunity to explore more of Vienna. Between classes, walking tours and museums about Viennese Modernism, I went also to Volkstheater, Rathaus film festival, Café Centrale, the Beethoven’s home and the Wiener Staatsoper.

The fact that I had the school in the 3rd district Landstrasse, near Belvedere, while my accommodation in Leopoldstadt, near bright Praterstrasse, made me feel like I was seeing different cities, united by the inner city.

At Kahlensberg I finally saw the city from above, and in Leopoldstadt I could walk to Prater park and the famous Vienna wheel. Passed by the Donauinsel at sunset just like last year, and appreciated the contrast of Vienna – skyscraper buildings, mountains in the distance, water and the island with restaurants.

Part 2 Viennese Modernisme / Wiener Moderne

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was the pioneer of Viennese Modernism movement around 1900. His works are on permanent display there in many museums, including – Leopold Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum, MAK – Museum of Applied Arts or inside the Secession building.

“The Kiss / Der Kuss” – a masterpiece and his most famous oil painting, with the artist’s signature, with gold leaf, silver and platinum. Is the highlight of his collection that can be admired at the overwhelming Vienna’s Upper Belvedere (Prinz Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030).

However, inside Leopold Museum I saw Klimt’s large-scale painting that moved me the most, “Death and Life / Tod und Leben”, created in an Art Nouveau style. As I am still learning to process the last months, I chose writing and art, travels and introspection, photography and memories.

After visiting Leopold Museum in MQ quarter, I had a thought. As he was a native Viennese, I could not tell if the painting of Klimt are a homage to Vienna, or if the city paid a homage to their symbolist painter.

To know which path to take, it helps to take a few wrong ones.

Matt Haig

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