Vienna, more alive than ever | The traveler


Even a 19th century building is synonymous with the future in an always imperial and historic Vienna. For months, construction works have been going on next to the Künstlerhaus harmonica, The Vienna House of Artists. It is the symbol that the Austrian capital flourishes again after months of confinement. This recent remodeling is in addition to the reforms of more than 50 million euros that the aforementioned nineteenth-century building faced to become the home of the new Albertina Modern, the little brother of the Albertina Museum, dedicated in this case to art born in the last 100 years . Its lavish opening, scheduled for March 13, 2020, had to be postponed, but, after more than a year open with hardly any foreign visitors, it has all the hopes pinned on its new exhibitions, very close to popular culture. They will be bets on insurance in times of uncertainty. The 80s. Anything Goes collects until February 13, 2022 works of a poker of aces: Julian Schnabel, Jeff Koons, Basquiat and Keith Haring. And in March it will be the turn of another media star: Ai Weiwei.

Art and everyday life merge in Vienna like in few other places in the world. The Leopold Museum, king of the MuseumsQuartier and home to the largest collection of works by the cursed painter Egon Schiele (1890-1918), has celebrated the return to normality by opening its rooftop MQ Libelle, a sophisticated lookout bar with views of the surrounding mountains the city and also its regal area, in front of the twin domes of the Natural History and Fine Arts museums that surround Maria-Theresien-Platz. The Sigmund Freud House Museum (Berggasse, 19), reopened in the summer of last year after 18 months closed for restoration, is also undergoing renovation. In his new approach, the spaces in which the father of psychoanalysis lived and developed his professional work become objects of exhibition. And for the first time all private rooms are accessible to visitors.

A wide range of ‘gastro’

Gastronomic offerings such as Kraus flourish in the neighboring Alliedviertel district. The elegant interior design of this restaurant gives a good account of its essence, which seeks to reinterpret the classics. Not only is it inspired by the famous Viennese coffees in its appearance, but it also includes a version in its menu gourmet of which is one of the most common snacks in this area of ​​the continent: the meatloaf, a sausage specialty from Bavaria. The experience is completed with a small art gallery with a marked social accent. In the micro-exhibitions organized by the Kahán Art Space Vienna, trends or fashion creators are not taken into account, but rather issues related to current politics and economics are analyzed.

Ballroom, a local specialized in tasty dumplings to drink and, especially, to take away, it expands its presence with a new branch in Burggasse, 40. In addition to exotic options such as Yakuza (stuffed with spicy prawns and Asian lemongrass, and drizzled with sesame, wakame and sweet chili mayonnaise), its menu has several vegetarian options. Much more leisurely is the Tian table, a small collection of restaurants that continues to grow in the most select places in Austria. The vegetarian haute cuisine proposal of chef Paul Ivic, with a Michelin star, consists of two tasting menus, one for brunch and another for dinners. The composition of each of them is surprising, since it changes to ensure that the products are fresh and in season. Fortunately, their large selection of sauces and creams (hummus, candies, jams) kept in jars always shows up. One of its most central locations is at number 4 Schrankgasse.

Another great example of the new Vienna is its Seestadt Aspern neighborhood under construction, which already has an artificial lake embellishing the gigantic construction site that will soon be converted into cozy homes and parks. It is one of the largest developing districts in Europe. Dormero HoHo, the new opening in Austria of the German hotel chain, occupies half of the 23 floors of the building that reigns in the already built part of this new district. This accommodation has decided to adopt the essence of the place, combining an industrial touch and trendy design, with wood as the predominant material in its facilities. Some of its 130 rooms follow a curious hotel fashion of the city and are halfway between the standard room and an apartment, with a kitchen included. In addition to modernity and sustainability, the neighborhood makes a declaration of intent in the name of its streets. The Dormero, for example, is at Wangari-Maathai-Platz, 1, in honor of Kenyan politics. There is also a Janis-Joplin-Promenade, which leads to the lake, and a Simone-de-Beauvoir-Platz, around which some bars and restaurants are clustered.

This hotel-apartment fusion is also found in Adina Apartment (Canettistrasse, 3), a place with a strong urban tone around the central train station. The practical, by including everything that can be found in a study or a flat, does not make it renounce the aesthetic. To unite the best of both worlds, it has a swimming pool and a spa all stress-proof. And the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere (Arsenalstrasse, 10), opposite the famous Viennese palace, is a proposal arty of the Hyatt chain that serves as an example of the architecture, painting and design of the city. The luxury, in addition to its views, its decoration and its kitchen, is in the spaciousness of its rooms, from whose walls works by local creators hang. It’s like sleeping in a corner of the Albertina Modern.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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