“Schöne und künstlerische!”, meaning beautiful and artistic – these are just some of the words I can say to describe Austria. Needless to say, this country possesses gorgeous natural sceneries and its people are some of the nicest I’ve met in my journeys. But probably unbeknownst to many, Austria takes pride in another piece of culture – its world renowned artistry. Some of the best and memorable in the history of music and arts can trace their roots back to Austria. The country has many renowned artists from different eras. I discovered that several of the current museums there are actually original houses of the artists themselves. I found that very fascinating. I visited historical sites like the house of Beethoven, Mozart’s house in Vienna and the actual Von Trapp residence from the movie The Sound of Music.
The Beethoven Haus is the Austrian residence of Ludwig Van Beethoven. Beethoven is, of course, the legendary German musical composer and pianist. He lived in Vienna during the peak of his career. Upon entering the house, what I found were many exhibits of Beethoven’s early career as a composer and piano player. Also featured were the instruments he used during his stay at Vienna. I was personally drawn to Beethoven’s life mask and sculpture. I could just feel the strength and power of his presence among his belongings. It’s really exhilarating.
The Mozart Haus is the Vienna residence of recognizable composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Just like Beethoven’s abode, Mozart’s house has been converted into a museum; and just like the former, I also got to tour the interior of the latter. Embarrassingly enough, I count myself part of those who know little about classical music; but even I can appreciate the true musical genius that is Mozart. I got a little crash course in the life and works of Mozart when I visited his residence. Inside one of the rooms, beautifully preserved works of Mozart are exhibited. Many of us watched the 3d audio visual presentation of his famous work the “Magic Flute”. Also showcased in the house is a fan flute considered as the basis for the magic flute.
The Stadtpark is a city park in Vienna famous for its Kursalon, a cultural and historical monument. As far as I know, the first performance ever done in the park was the concert of Johann Strauss II. Strauss is a popular Austrian composer of light music and dances. The park thus became very popular. I was able to squeeze in some time to watch a concert there. I could simply feel the energy and vibrancy of the park. There are many statues around the park. I took photos with the bronze monument of Johann Strauss II.
The Villa Trapp is the home of the Austrian navy submarine commander Georg Von Trapp and his world famous family. Who doesn’t know the Von Trapp family from the timeless movie The Sound of Music? Well, the movie’s iconic characters are actually real people. Their villa is a hotel nowadays, available for $150 a night, but the building’s colorful history is still very much noticeable in its walls and hallways. Experiencing firsthand the beauty and wonder of the place is quite a thrill. Walking around the surrounding gardens, parks and hills almost made me burst into song!
Photo by 10510706@N06 on Flickr