…contd from Days 1 & 2 of Vienna
The next morning I boarded the Red Route of the HOHO to head to the Albertina Palace & Museum.
“The Albertina is a museum in the Innere Stadt (First District) of Vienna, Austria. It houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings and approximately 1 million old master prints, as well as more modern graphic works, photographs and architectural drawings. Apart from the graphics collection the museum has recently acquired on permanent loan two significant collections of Impressionist and early 20th-century art, some of which will be on permanent display. The museum also houses temporary exhibitions.”
What was of interest to me here was the extensive collection of Monets, Picassos & Andy Warhols!
There were four floors of precious art & installations to be covered & little time! I ran to the basement to begin my journey.
Quickly finishing the basement, I now started to explore the ground level. I passed from one chamber to another, each one prettier than the one before, eyes wide open in amazement at the beauty, pomp & the richness on display there.
In one of the rooms I came across this interesting information on the art collection at the Albertina.
This melancholic painting caught my attention & left an indelible memory. You must read its description underneath.
I finished the ground level with some paintings on the theme of surrealism & excitedly climbed the staircase to the first floor. It was now time to feast my eyes on the Picassos!!
Besides Picasso, there were paintings by other masters as well & I just couldn’t stop shooting pictures trying to capture all that the eyes could see for eternity! Reproducing some below from the more famous names that we may have heard.
The second floor was dedicated to Rubens & others. Do read the description of this painting underneath it.
Having covered all the floors to my satisfaction, I now exited the Albertina to admire the exotic sculptures outside.
The Europeans’ mastery in art & architecture was on display everywhere & the most beautiful part was the love & pride with which they had conserved, restored & protected their heritage.
It had taken me a good 3 hours to cover Albertina. Post lunch my destination was the famous expressionist apartment building designed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
The Green route of the HOHO goes exclusively to the Hundertwasser apartments.
“Friedrich Stowasser (December 15, 1928 – February 19, 2000), better known by his pseudonym Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser, was an Austrian-born New Zealand artist and architect who also worked in the field of environmental protection.
Hundertwasser stood out as an opponent of “a straight line” and any standardization, expressing this concept in the field of building design. His best known work is the Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna, Austria which has become a notable place of interest in the Austrian capital, characterised by imaginative vitality and uniqueness.
The Hundertwasserhaus apartment block in Vienna has undulating floors (“an uneven floor is a melody to the feet”), a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. He took no payment for the design of Hundertwasserhaus, declaring that it was worth the investment to “prevent something ugly from going up in its place”.
The Hundertwasser House is one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and has become part of Austria’s cultural heritage.”
I had managed to squeeze in this quick trip with great difficulty & was excited as hell to see in person those much talked about & photographed buildings! The bus would stop at the destination only for 5 mins (the next returning bus would be after 45 mins or so but I couldn’t afford that as I had other plans for later) which gave me just about enough time to run around the block to the site, take a few pictures & sprint back to the bus! I managed to sweet talk the driver into waiting for an extra 2-3 mins & covered the ground 🙂
My appetite for art, history & heritage was still not satiated. I now headed to the Kunsthistorisches Museum (also known as the Museum of Fine Arts) which was founded in 1891 to show off the Habsburgs’ lavish array of artworks.
If I thought that I had seen all the possible grandiose & opulence, this one really opened my eyes! Chambers after chambers filled with priceless ivory, silver, gold, porcelain, crystal & other precious metals left me mesmerised! This museum was like the fabled Alladin’s Treasure! I’ll let the pictures do the talking. I’m only including the ones here of whose descriptions I can provide.
And the exploration continued. I passed from one hall to another filled with treasures & artefacts of undescribable beauty. It wasn’t before 3 hours or so that I exited to the staircase which again awed me with its grandeur!
Sigmund Freud Museum
My last stop for the day was the Sigmund Freud Museum. A visit to Vienna wouldn’t have been complete without it. Due to some renovation work in the original building the museum had been shifted to a temporary adjacent housing & only a part of the exhibits were on display. Never mind! It was a treat to see some of his original writings & path-breaking hypotheses.
This capped my 2 nights & 3 days visit to Vienna. I now boarded the HOHO again to take an idyllic sightseeing trip across the river Danube.
A celebratory glass of Austrian red wine was in order to bring the Vienna visit to a close.
Tomorrow I’d be heading to Prague.
…to be contd