Vienna Part 3 I admit I may have misguided a few of you. So far I’ve been spouting off about the majestic nature and musical roots of Vienna and not even one word about it besides naming some famous composers.
The Vienna State Opera is an opera house dating back to the mid-19th concerts, the public did not warm to it when it first opened. It was described as a, “sunken treasure chest,” and didn’t meet the level of opulence previously expected. Nevetheless, it opened on May 25, 1869 with Don Giovanni and attended by Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth.
Today the Vienna State Opera works closely with the Vienna Philharmonic, and recruits its members from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. Outside of the opera house we did see many advertisements for an orchestral performance from people dressed as Mozart, but be warned that if you are going to spend money for a musical performance you might as well use it on an actual concert, ballet, or opera.
We may not have been able to go inside the opera house, but we did enjoy the architecture of another piece of art in Vienna. The Anker Clock was created by Franz von Matsch in the Art Nouveau design popular at the start of the 1900s. It forms a bridge between two parts of the Anker Insurance Company’s building. Adorned with mosaic ornaments the figures will move across the bridge throughout the course of the day. Every day at noon, all of the figures parade with music.
Another feat of art was Peterskirche, a Baroque Roman Catholic Church. The inside is magnificent and definitely worth a look at the dome. The dome utilizes an illusion to create a sense of depth and create the look of crown molding without the architectural and monetary expenses. Vienna may not have the pure opulence of Versailles but it does boast an extravagant home in the form of the Belvedere Palace Complex.
We were able to take a tour of the complex and the rooms, but the palace grounds were especially amazing. The gardens were definitely the highlight. Previous readers may remember the instance when my dad wanted to badly take a picture in San Francisco’s Lombard Street, potentially causing a traffic jam.
Well it seems that trait is inherited because my brother desperately wanted a picture of us sitting on the grass in the gardens. It took two failed attempts and some clever maneuvers to outsmart the guards but we managed to do it. If all else fails we planned to play the “ignorant tourist” card. Near the Belvedere complex, is the Kunsthistoriches Museum, or the Museum of Fine Arts.
The museum was commissioned by the Emperor in order to find a suitable place for the Habsburgs’ art collection. Not really your average storage container, but I guess for priceless works of art it would suffice. One of my favorite works was the Four Elements series done by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Arcimboldo takes everyday objects and transforms them into portraits, embodiments of the themes each painting represents.
While they elicited a few gasps and comments about “creepiness” they’re the types of paintings that make you look for long periods trying to discern every detail. The pieces currently at the museum include, “Fire,” and “Water.” “Water” features different varieties of fish and sea life constructed to look like a human, or as close to a human-like figure you can get with those materials. “Fire” uses flames and metal to evoke the same idea century.
Though the building is popular now, hosting numerous of creating a figure with those objects.