Vienna Day 2

Today is my last day in Vienna so I need to make it count. Fortunately I’ve got plenty of time for a couple more buildings at least! My sights are set on two buildings in particular, which I think is doable.

First stop Hundertwasser house. as well as being one of the buildings in ‘the book’ it is also a popular place to visit and Hundertwasser is a well known artist that I have already heard of. I spotted this building from quite a distance in the taxi. As with all of Hundertwasser’s work it is unmistakable, you cannot miss it.

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This house was built as an eco housing community and is not open to the public but believe me when I say there is plenty to see from the outside.

DSC08314DSC08315dsc08318.jpgdsc08324-e1556293952952.jpgI found this unicorn on the the terrace which is also a coffee shop which gives you a chance to see the interior of one of the units in this complex.

Although not particularly to my personal taste there is no denying the presence of this building. It is a interesting sight to behold, and a place that is well worth visiting.

My next stop is not too far away on the metro. I am looking for the Gasometer apartment buildings which should not be too hard to find given that the station is called Gasometer. Sometimes things never seem to go to plan however. It’s so hot that the heat is draining me fast. I thought it would be much easier to ask someone or get a taxi. As I’m searching for the address on my phone, I turn briefly to the right and the building is there right in front of me!

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The old gasometers have been converted into apartments and office spaces and are all linked centrally by a shopping mall. It is Gasometer B (pictured above) that features in ‘the book’. The new glass structure was designed by the Viennese architect firm Coop and Himmelb(l)au.

Well that’s another done and I have to say I’m doing pretty well having had less than two full days in Vienna. That’s 8 buildings ticked off of the list. Since I’m making such good time I’m sure I have time for at least one more before I have to go to the airport. After careful consideration I’ve decided upon Wagner’s post office building. I am very keen to see this building and I have heard that it’s future is uncertain so I need to get in there while I still can.

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DSC08398I spotted this beautiful building on the way.

I then did my usual trick of walking past the building, turning around and then seeing right there in front of me, I’m really good at that. Or in this case walking into the wrong, (but also beautiful, see pics below) building and then getting directed to the correct one which is just around the corner. Serves me right for trying to be clever and taking the shadier route to avoid the heat.

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Faced now with the correct building I am suitably impressed although the building is a little different to what I was expecting.

DSC08358DSC08360DSC08362Although beautiful in my opinion  I think that it’s the interior of this building that has the wow factor. I had no idea how much of the original interior still remained and I am so glad now that I chose this building as my last stop in Wien.

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Even the Metro station reminds me of Wagner!

Sadly that’s it for this trip and all that is left for me is a trip to the airport and a flight home to Bristol. I have really enjoyed my short stay in Vienna and I hope to return to this beautiful city very soon. I may have said this about every city that I’ve visited recently, but I really mean it.

Too little time.

Vienna Day 1

For my first full day here in Vienna  I have decided to go to Karlsplatz. I know that there are two buildings in this area so I thought it would be a good place to start.

I found this building fairly easily and I was more than pleasantly surprised when I first saw it. What a wonderful start to the day.

dsc08086.jpgKarls Kirche (listed in the ‘building book’ as Church of St Charles Borromeo)

This building has lots of different features and incredible details. Here are some pictures.

Not disappointed by there inside either. The Church is stunning.

DSC08055DSC08059Especially the ceiling.DSC08074DSC08081

What is quite unique is this scaffold tower, (pictured above) which allows you to get a much better view of that ceiling. I braved the tower to get those views and whilst up there I saw this!

DSC08065.JPGBuilding no.3! Well that saves a lot of wandering around getting lost, which in this heat, is a massive bonus.

DSC08078.JPGRight, I think I need to get down, the vertigo is really starting to kick in.DSC08052Just a few more pics from this amazing Church.

I was blown away by this next building. I may say this about lots of places that I visit but this building (the Karlsplatz Metro Station) is one of my favourite buildings and is a lovely example of Viennese Jugendstil (the Austrian equivalent of Art Nouveau) which is a style that I particularly love.

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There are two of these pavilions designed by Otto Wagner which mirror each other and stand above the metro station. I stopped here for a coffee and to take in the view. One of the pavilions is now a coffee shop. The other is a Wagner museum.

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My next stop, not far from here, so I’m told is the Seccession building. It wasn’t hard asking for directions to this building as it actually features on a Viennese  50 cent coin.

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Another beautiful building but different to what I have seen so far.

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The Secession building was designed by Josef Maria Olbrich and founded by the secessionists. The motto printed in gold on the front of this building reads “To every age its Art. To every Art its freedom.”

The Secessionists created the building and a style that did not take reference from the past.

Below shows pictures of the current exhibitions.

The basement of this building houses an exhibition of some of the work of Gustav Klimt, (one of the founding secessionists) and most importantly the Beethoven frieze, painted on the walls in one of the rooms in the basement.

Unfortunately photography was prohibited for the Klimt exhibition but I can say that there is something truly magical about seeing the original artwork of an artist such as Klimt, especially in this setting.

 

DSC08164I’m off back in the other direction now to Wien museum.

IMG_3258img_3255.jpgThe picture above shows a model of Wagner’s proposed design for the Wien museum which unfortunately was not realised.

For me the most interesting part of this museum was the Otto Wagner exhibition. What struck me most was the artistry and detailing in some of his drawings, very beautiful but ver different to the Wagner style that I know and love.

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DSC08228This photo shows a reconstruction of Wagner’s design for the facade of ‘Die Zeit’ (The Times newspaper)

After a jam packed hot and exhausting day I’m off to my hotel for Eine kleine Pause before dinner!

DSC08231Thought these steps leading in to the Karlplatz metro (just underneath the Pavilion) were interesting and a bit quirky!

This also made me smile!

After a rest I’m ready to go again. The plan for this evening is to find the Majolica House, another of Wagner’s buildings and also another from ‘the book’ I have googled it. It’s not too far away on foot and more importantly it looks easy to find.

Of course I got lost! I gave up after I couldn’t even find any of the streets on google maps that I was supposed to be close to! In the end I got in a taxi which dropped me right outside but unfortunately it’s a little darker now so my photos aren’t great.

DSC08241The apartments are private so I could not go in. I also found this lovely building of similar style next to it and I’m not sure if it’s all part of the same building but I plan to find out.

DSC08245Sightseeing is over for today now it’s dinnertime.

Actually I did take a little detour on the way home. It seemed a shame not to especially since it is not far away from my hotel and I probably won’t get the chance to come back here on my short trip.

I stopped outside the Burg theatre so that I could take a picture and officially tick it off of my list. Apologies, the photos Arn’t great.

DSC08270dsc08280.jpgThe Burg theatre also happens to be opposite the Town Hall (Rathaus) which was an added bonus as it is lit up beautifully this evening.dsc08278-e1556033611664.jpg

That really is it for today! 5 buildings, 1 day, very, very happy!

Ein Abend in Wein

Introduction

I was lucky enough to be staying in a good, fairly central location in Vienna, perfect for some building spotting. The only problem is that there are so many buildings in Vienna from ‘the building book’, (13 to be precise) that I think it may take more than one trip to see them all!

Vienna

I arrived in Vienna early afternoon via train. After dropping off my bag I spent the time before check-in exploring the surrounding area. I found the lovely Museum Quarter and visited an architecture exhibition. Which was very interesting and gave me a great idea of what was in store for my trip in Vienna.

After a much needed power nap I went out for dinner. With the aim of maximising my time here I went in search of building no. 1.

Haas Haus, located very close to the Stephansplatz metro station. I did that thing again and nearly missed the building only to turn around and see it right in front of me.

This striking contemporary building really stands out on this square which is full of beautiful and more traditional Viennese architecture.

The entire square was lovely with lots of interesting styles and details.

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For me and I’m sure that most will agree the most impressive structure on this square  was this. A must when visiting Vienna.

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St. Stephens Cathedral the heart of the square that bears its name.

The sun was still shining so I ate my Wiener schnitzel (when in Rome) outside with the most amazing view, which was made even more special when the Cathedral’s bells started ringing.

My first little Viennese adventure has been very successful, let’s hope the rest of the trip is as good.

 

Montjuic Telecommunication Tower

DSC05786Montjuic Telecommunications Tower – Santiago Calatrava – 1992

Designed for the Olympic Games hosted by Barcelona in 1992. The tower’s main purpose was functional (to transmit television coverage of the games). Calatrava added his own sculptural style to produce a tower of both functional and aesthetic value. This eye-catching tower that has now become one of Barcelona’s landmarks can be seen from various points throughout the city. As well as being a beautiful piece of sculpture representing the Olympic Games from afar what you don’t see unless close up is it’s white base (seen at the bottom of the photo). After visiting the tower I learned that the white mosaic (trencadis) base was designed specifically to pay homage to Antoni Gaudi, one of the city’s master architects.

 

The Barcelona Pavillion

DSC05694The Barcelona Pavilion – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe- 1929

Designed by Mies van der Rohe the Barcelona Pavillion was the German entry for the 1929 international exposition in Barcelona. The structure is very in keeping with the work and style of Mies van der Rohe. The design, simple, the lines, clean and the finish, luxurious. The architect’s use of marble really adds to the beauty and elegance of the pavilion whilst keeping to his all important ethos ‘Less is more’.DSC05680DSC05732The very well known chair (pictured above) was designed by Mies van der Rohe along with furniture designer Lily Reich. It was designed especially for this exhibition and was aptly named ‘The Barcelona chair’. The chair ( although most commonly seen in black) has become an icon in 20th century furniture design.

After the exposition the pavilion was dismantled as it was only ever intended to be a temporary structure. Fortunately in 1983 the pavilion was reconstructed from original plans and photographs. It was compleated 1986.DSC05731This cantilever chair was also designed by Mies van der Rohe. It sits on the base of the pavilion providing the person who sells the entry tickets with a comfortable (and stylish) place to sit. Which is a perfect touch.

 

Day 2

Smashed it! Two days in Liverpool and I have ticked all five of the Liverpool buildings off of my list:

The Albert Dock

St Georges Hall

Tate and Lyle Sugar Silo

Liverpool Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

It’s been a great day, very tiring, even my camera has gone to sleep.

The day began with a guided tour of St Georges Hall. This was the first building I saw on my way into Liverpool in the taxi from the station to hotel, it caught my eye immediately and I wanted to see it even before I realised that it was one of the buildings in the book.DSC06602A guided tour of this building is a must and the best thing I did all day!

The tour was very cheap and the tour guide was amazing. Very friendly and extremely knowledgeable.

Beautiful inside and out St Georges hall is also vey unusual. In this building you will find what used to be Liverpool’s law courts and a concert hall housed in the same building. A lack of funding for the concert hall alone meant that both buildings were housed together in order not to have to compromise on the grandeur of the buildings exterior. The interior however is a stark contrast between the old courtroom with bleak jail holding cells and the magnificent concert rooms.DSC06489DSC06499DSC06496Pictured above: the cell and the modest courtroom. A stark contrast to the photos below.DSC06541DSC06526

Annoyingly the main exhibition hall of this building was very hard to photograph today due to workers setting up for an event. Here are just some of the many stunning features in this room including the stained glass window in the first photo which depicts St. George slaying the dragon. Above you can also see some of the original tiled floor, the rest of the floor however has been covered up to protect it. The tour guide said that periodically the floor in uncovered so that people can see the room in all its glory. Our tour guide also said that this is something that they hope to do more frequently, every year as apposed to every few years. I think that will be happening this August, so that will definitely be something to come back for.DSC06550 2DSC06549 2DSC06558Just when I thought that it could not get any better we reach the concert hall and believe me when I sat that photos could never do justice to the splendour of this room.DSC06564Even the corridors in this building are lovely.

Well there we go I have started the day on a real high. I don’t think I will see anywhere as wonderful as this building for quite a while, and when I exited it had stopped raining so I was very happy.DSC06596DSC06619DSC06614Caught sight of this building whilst waiting to meet my brother.

The next stop of the day involved a taxi ride out of the city to what seemed like the middle of nowhere. Fortunately we got there and back very easily.DSC06625DSC06631The Tate and Lyle sugar silo, a little different from the last building. We Couldn’t go inside or anywhere near this one, there were definite health and safety issues for a start.

Back in the city now heading to the Liverpool Cathedral. Wow, I spotted this bullding from a mile off and instantly knew it must be the place. I am stunned by the sheer size of this bullding and was not at all surprised when my brother informed me that this is the largest cathedral in Britain.DSC06632DSC06656This building is huge, with so many different spaces.DSC06654DSC06638It even includes this lighting instillation by Tracey Emin which reads “I felt you and I know you loved me”.

I really loved this flooring in one part of the cathedral.

After looking around the vast interior space my we took a 360 degree tour of the exterior.DSC06693DSC06679My brother had to go back to uni, which after lunch left to me own devices to explore further.DSC06672

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I was lured into the gardens by this intriguing pathway that was crying out to be explored.DSC06703DSC06706

DSC06715DSC06721The entire park was fascinating. From the gravestones that lined the pathway into the park to this memorial named the ‘Huskisson memorial’ pictured above and all the memorial stones that have been laid around it.

On exploring the exterior of the building I managed to get lost in its garden, although this did give me some good photo opportunities.DSC06724DSC06751I really liked the gates to this cathedral, another great building ticked off the list.

The only building left to see was the Metropolitan cathedral.DSC06762DSC06767DSC06770Although not my particular favourite style of building it was very interesting walking around and I have bought a guide book so that I can learn more about it.

DSC06810The crypt is supposed to be one of the highlights of this building. I did not see it today as it was closed by the time That I got there, but it’s on my list for my next visit to Liverpool, which I am already planning in my head.

I ended my day at the very place I started, St George’s Hall, but this time at the back to get some pictures of the equally stunning back of the building and its surrounding areas.DSC06819DSC06843DSC06839

I loved some of the smaller details in this park as well.

Unsurprisingly (knowing me) I managed to find many buildings and details of interest on the short walk back to my hotel, it’s a good thing I was on my own, I’m sure I would have embarrassed my brother being such a tourist.

Here are some of the things I found.

Even my hotel was fabulous.

Needless to say I had a wonderful time in Liverpool. Even though I have seen all the buildings in my book there is so much more to see here and I hope that I will get the chance to come back here.

 

Day 1

Liverpool Day 1

I am staying Liverpool for a couple of days to visit my Stepbrother who is at university here. We are going to the Liverpool Philharmonic to see Beauty and the Beast live in concert, my Christmas present to him, and to myself. Whilst here I am of course planning to do some building spotting as I have never been to Liverpool.

Being dropped off at your hotel by a lovely Liverpudlian taxi driver is the perfect way to begin a trip to Liverpool. After a long train ride from Bristol and a much needed rest most of the day is gone. We have the theatre this evening so not too much time for sight seeing but we’ll do our best.

Our first early evening stop is to the Albert Dock and the surrounding area. A good way to tick one building off of the list and get some food before the show. The Albert Dock is one of the buildings from the book ”1001 Buildings you Must See Before you Die”. I have to say personally I was  more impressed by the  Liver building and other buildings that surround the Albert Dock although I think the wind and heavy rain may have influenced my opinion slightly.

Here are some of the pics I took of the buildings that I fell in love with.

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DSC06381.JPGThe Cunard Building  – Some closer pictures of this spectacularly detailed building.

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Beautiful detailing on the side of this building

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The all important Liver Building

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It was this art deco gem was my personal favourite. More stunning detail coming up

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This was a truly stunning building and I was quite shocked to discover that it was only a ventilation building. (The Mersey Tunnel Ventilation Station).

When we finally got to the Royal Albert Dock time was pressing on and the weather was worsening so I don’t think these pictures do it justice and despite what I said earlier I love this area and think it would be a great place to spend time when the weather is nice.

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Just as I thought that that was it for the evening with regard to building watch the theatre looks like this!

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Full of lots of lovely Art Deco details I was pleasantly suprised once again this evening unfortunately my camera died and the photos that I took on my phone were not good so this is the only picture I have to show you of this building.

Well that really is it now. Time for the show. Can’t wait to explore Liverpool tomorrow, I have a feeling it’s gonna be good.