Monday, October 02, 2017

stets die Stadt meine Träume?

By some coincidence, several people I know, have traveled to Vienna in recent months, and have posted snaps from their trips. Here are three pictures, by a Korean monk, a priest in New York, a Chinese historian in Vancouver, and Melbourne friend whose son is a classical musician. Others might be posted, but these will have to do - and do they do. The 19th century Burgtheater, where I standing roomed so many plays as a student, until Thomas Bernhardt's "Heldenplatz" changed the whole feel of the place for me. The trompe-l'oeuil cupola in the 18th century Universitäts- kirche, which from every angle but this one looks like the inside of a collapsed hot air balloon - not a problem when you're hearing sung masses there of a Sunday. A radial road like many others, with a tramline down the middle. And the Belvedere, built to thank Prince
Eugene of Savoy for saving Vienna from the Turks in 1683 in a style evocative of battlefield tents (and where the Staatsvertrag was signed in 1955, and where the famous Klimts and Schieles live), my favorite place in the city. It's been a while since last I was there, the city where I spent the crucial years of age 10 to 12, and the home base of our family for another 14 years from my second year in college. Vienna was my first city, and the Vienna of the 1970s was sooty and seamy in a conspiratorial mitteleuropäisch way I felt in Orson Welles' "Third Man," as well as in the lamented Bellariakino. It seems to have been scrubbed sparkly clean in recent years, a little off-putting, and I gather many of the Kaffeehäuser I used to frequent have closed. Still, worth a return visit sooner or later, see if it's still one of the Städte meiner Träume...

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