Vienna City Prayer House

14 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Bic/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Bic/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Stadttempel (English: City Prayer House), also called the Seitenstettengasse Temple, is the main synagogue of Vienna, Austria. It is located in the Innere Stadt 1st district, at Seitenstettengasse 4. The synagogue was constructed from 1824 to 1826. The luxurious Stadttempel was fitted into a block of houses and hidden from plain view of the street, because of an edict issued by Emperor Joseph II that only Roman Catholic places of worship were allowed to be built with facades fronting directly on to public streets. This edict saved the synagogue from total destruction during the Kristallnacht in November 1938, since the synagogue could not be destroyed without setting on fire the buildings to which it was attached. The Stadttempel was the only synagogue in the city to survive World War II, as German paramilitary troops with the help of local authorities destroyed all of the other 93 synagogues and Jewish prayer-houses in Vienna. The Jewish community in Vienna today has about 7,000 members and thus represents the largest part of the Jews living in Austria. The Jewish Museum Vienna offers guided tours of the city temple.   read more…

Galtür in Tyrol

25 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Panoramic overview of the beginners ski slope at Galtür-Wirl © panoramio.com - Henk Monster/cc-by-3.0

Panoramic overview of the beginners ski slope at Galtür-Wirl © panoramio.com – Henk Monster/cc-by-3.0

Galtür is a village and ski resort in the upper Paznaun valley in Austrian state of Tyrol located in the Central Eastern Alps 35 km southwest of Landeck near the border of Vorarlberg and Switzerland. Galtür was settled by the Engadinern from the south, the Walsern and Vorarlbergern from the west, and Tyroleans from the east. Today the cultivation work of the Engadiner is remembered in the name Galtür, meaning Cultura. During the Thirty Years’ War, Galtür was badly damaged. The church and many houses were burned down.   read more…

Intermarium or Three Seas Initiative

3 February 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Three Seas initiative summit 2018 © Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria/cc-by-2.5

Three Seas initiative summit 2018 © Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria/cc-by-2.5

Intermarium (Polish: Międzymorze) was a geopolitical project conceived by politicians in successor states of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in several iterations, some of which anticipated the inclusion as well of other, neighboring states. The proposed multinational polity would have extended across territories lying between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, hence the name meaning “Between-Seas”.   read more…

Mariazell in Styria

14 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Mariazell Basilica © Bwag/cc-by-sa-3.0-at

Mariazell Basilica © Bwag/cc-by-sa-3.0-at

Mariazell is an Austrian city located in the southeastern state of Styria. Well known for being a hub of winter sports, 143 kilometres (89 miles) north of Graz. It is picturesquely situated in the valley of the Salza, amid the north Styrian Alps. It is a site of pilgrimage for Catholics from Austria and neighboring countries to the east. The object of veneration is an image of the Virgin Mary reputed to work miracles, carved in lime-tree wood. This was brought to the place in 1157, and is now enshrined in a chapel adorned with objects of silver and other costly materials. The large church of which the chapel forms part was erected in 1644 as an expansion of a smaller church built by Louis I, King of Hungary, after a victory over the Ottoman Empire in 1363.   read more…

Portrait: Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most important composers and pianists

22 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler

Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist; his music is amongst the most performed of the classical music repertoire, and he is one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music. His works span the transition from the classical period to the romantic era in classical music.   read more…

Naschmarkt in Vienna

12 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Schlamniel

© Schlamniel

The Naschmarkt is Vienna‘s most popular market. Located at the Wienzeile over the Wien River, it is about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) long. The Naschmarkt has existed since the 16th century when mainly milk bottles were sold (as milk bottles were made out of ash (wood from an ash tree), “Asch” (German for “ash”) led to the name “Aschenmarkt”).   read more…

Portrait: Musician and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

27 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Johann Nepomuk della Croce

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Johann Nepomuk della Croce

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical period. Born in Salzburg, Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his early death at the age of 35. The circumstances of his death have been much mythologized.   read more…

Viennese Coffee House Culture

13 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Café Museum © Fotostudio Schuster/cc-by-sa-3.0

Café Museum © Fotostudio Schuster/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Viennese coffee house is a typical institution of Vienna that played an important part in shaping Viennese culture. Since October 2011 the “Viennese Coffee House Culture” is listed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in the Austrian inventory of the “National Agency for the Intangible Cultural Heritage”, a part of UNESCO. The Viennese coffee house is described in this inventory as a place, “where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.”   read more…

Portrait: Johannes Brahms, composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period

25 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Hamburg, Portrait

Johannes Brahms in 1889 - New York Public Library - C. Brasch

Johannes Brahms in 1889 – New York Public Library – C. Brasch

Johannes Brahms was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. His reputation and status as a composer are such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the “Three Bs” of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.   read more…

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