One of the more famous monuments in Vienna is that of Mozart, which currently takes pride of place in the Burggarten not far from the Albertina Museum.
The composer, chiseled in marble, stands confidently on the large pedestal that dominates the top half. The lower section includes several scenes carved in relief and a bevy of happy cherubs, like this kissing pair that cling to the side of the monument on the right side, about midway between the base and the tip of Wolfgang’s head.
I was delighted as a marble cherub when I received this CD, a recording of Mozart’s Gran Partita, which features a photo I took of those cherubs in Vienna back in 2007. I think it works quite nicely with the piece, a serenade in seven movements beautifully interpreted by the Stuttgart Winds Ensemble. You can listen to a part of it here:
A bit more on the statue – created by Viktor Tilgner, it was unveiled on April 21, 1896 at the Albertinaplatz, just five days before the sculptor died. Heavily damaged in 1945 during the waning months of the second World War, it was restored in 1953 and moved to its present home in the Burggarten.
There’s only one reasonable option, the delightfully Austrian-sounding Wine & More.
It’s a comfortable and snazzy wine, cheese and specialty food shop/café with a decent sized offering of wines by the glass. I tried three but only took notes on two cuvees:
Reinisch Reserve 2007 – A cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend from the Johanneshof Reinisch Estate, located just 30 km south of Vienna in the village of Tattendorf. It’s a beautiful shade of ruby, with blackberry on the nose and delightfully chocolaty on the finish. Well-balanced and slightly edgy tannins give it some backbone to store well for the next few years. That’s what I convinced myself when I decided to take a bottle home. Reinisch is particularly known as one this area’s best red wine producers. Their website is here.
Gesselman Opus Eximium 2007 Cuvee No. 20 – This was certainly more ‘Austrian’ in style, given its composition: 60% blaufrankisch, 20% St. Laurent and 20% zweigelt. These aren’t reds you see everyday – unless you’re regularly passing through eastern Slovenia, western Hungary or southeastern Austria. But they do work together exceptionally well. More on Gesselman is here.
Oh, and there’s also a little smoking booth inside, a clean one, where you can enjoy your over-priced Monte Cristo.
Actually, it’s the Grüner See in Austria’s Styria, which almost completely dries out in the autumn and fills with melting snow in the spring. Stunning little film, complete with submerged benches, trail markers, and hiking paths.
Opened last Friday, through 11-January-2009.
Austrian art takes center stage in the second in a series of exhibitions showcasing highlights from the Albertina’s collection of 20,000 international contemporary artworks. 220 works by 33 artists.
Daily 10 am to 6 pm
Wednesday 10 am to 9 pm
This is a detail of this piece by Austrian sculptor Theo Blaickner at the Schillerplatz in Linz, Austria, one of a handful of my personal favorites shots taken in January. I’m not a big fan of guns but like how they look when very rusty.
The rest of my personal faves, shot in Koper and Ljubljana, Slovenia, Linz, Austria, and Stuttgart are here.
Stayed three nights (Jan-2008)
I kept calling this place Le Petit Munchen for no reason besides the odd way that my limited French seems to effortlessly roll off my tongue in German-speaking countries. Weird.
Small room, small bed, small bathroom, basic breakfast. 45 EUR/night ain’t much, but I was expecting something more. Big minus is the distance from the center of Linz, roughly 15 minutes by tram; two lines run from the corner of the hotel, so it’s convenient in that sense. Big plus was free wi-fi in each room.
There’s a restaurant on the premises, basic Germanic fare.
I’m never one to say never, but I shall (probably) not return.
I just picked up some tickets and info at the train station, so thought I’d list it here as well.
Slovenia Rail offers quite a few cheap rides to a variety of destinations. BUT it’s important to note that the number of cheap fares listed is very limited, usually six to eight seats per route, so buy early.
- Ljubljana – Belgrade – Six trains/day, 8.5-10 hrs. 25 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Budapest – daily departure at 7:40, arrival 16:23. 29 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Prague – daily departure at 10:18, arrival 21:55. 29 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Zurich – daily departure at 20:35, arrival 8:20. 29 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Munich – three per day, about 6.5 hrs. 71.40 EUR/round trip
- Ljubljana – Vienna – three per day, about 5.5 hrs. 29 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Venice – twice daily, just under 4 hrs. 15 or 25 EUR/one way