History Podcasts

Statue of Xenophon, Vienna

Statue of Xenophon, Vienna


Vienna Parliament with Pallas Athene Statue

Opening hours: The parliament building is currently closed due to renovation work and there are no more guided tours until approx. the beginning of 2022.

Tip: Instead, the guided tours take place in the Hofburg, which houses Parliament for the next time.

Parliament Vienna with Pallas Athene Statue


Vienna Tourist Map with Parliament

The Vienna Parliament building (A2/A3) with the Pallas Athene statue at the front is one of the most important splendor building at the Wiener Ringstraße. Built from 1874 to 1883 according the plans of architect Theophil Hansen in the Greek-Roman style the historical rooms are used as residence for the Austrian National and Federal council.
Architect Hansen created a total art work and as Greece is know as the cradle of the democracy the Parliament is designed like a temple. A tour through the building brings the visitor back to the ancient Greece. Hansen equipped also the rooms elaborately with self designed furniture, chandeliers and pictures.

Interesting facts and figures:

This building in Vienna is 151 m long, 132 m wide, the construction costs (at that time gulden) would be today approx. 200 million Euro, the biggest of the 1.600 rooms -the pillars hall- sizes approx. 1000 m², an inspection walkway through all the rooms would mean to walk approx. 13 km.

Upper Entrance of Parliament

Architecture:

If you stay at the front of the parliament the view of the visitor is dominated by a 5,5 m high statue of Pallas Athene which stands in the middle of a large fountain. The sculptor Carl Kundmann created the statue according to the plans from architect Hansen. He was not able to see the finished statue as Hansen was already dead when it was revealed in the year 1902.
The goddess of wisdom Pallas Athene holds in her right hand a small figure of Nike the goddess of victory and in her left hand a spear. She is surrounded by personification of the legislation (right side) and the execution (left side) of the laws. Directly at the fountain bowl, which consists of granite, the both main rivers of Austria, Donau and Inn, are represented by a female and male figure.
Also the inside of the building is full of history and art. Whether entrance hall, atrium, pillars hall, reception room or the Reichratssitzungs hall which is reserved for special occasions: The history and architecture impresses the visitor.

Inscription at Upper Entrance

Visitor Info:

Attention: Until approx. the beginning of 2022, the Parliament building is closed for renovation work!
The premises are only accessible with a guided tour which is offered with different topics (e.g. architecture or everyday life in politics, duration approx. 1 hour, price approx. 5 Euro).
The plenary meetings of the National Council are open for public access without charge. The visitor places are located in the guests gallery at the National Council meeting hall. With a valid ID card you get normally a free of charge entrance ticket at the visitor center.
At the ground floor of the Vienna parliament you can find the visitor center. Here you have the possibility to get some information about the members of the Austrian parliament and their tasks by using interactive media stations (free of charge). This is also the starting point for the guided tours and you will find here also a cafe and and souvenir shop. The entrance is behind the statue of Pallas Athene.

Further info about the Viennese Parliament with its visitor center, the meetings und the guided tours (currently in the Hofburg) are available at:
www.parlament.gv.at

Pallas Athene Fountain in front of Parliament

Stephansdom

Huge cathedral with biggest bell in Austria is the city landmark in the center.

Hofburg

At the spacious Heldenplatz with the Spanish Riding School.

Volksgarten

Well cultivated green oasis directly at the Ringstraße between.

Parliament

Magnificent building with the Pallas Athene statue in the front.

Town Hall

Directly at the Town Hall there is the Rathausplatz where several events.


The Emperor Franz Monument

This cast bronze monument of Emperor Franz I was unveiled in 1846 and constructed in Milan. It was commissioned by Ferdinand I, the son of the Emperor Franz I of Austrial (also Emperor Franz II of the Holy Roman Empire. The Emperor is clad in a toga, as Franz I believed that this was the symbol of the multi-ethnic state and should represent Austrian nationality. The four women located around him at the corners signify faith, peace, justice and power.

Emperor Franz, Hofburg © Douglas Sprott/Flickr

The column itself

The first designer of the new, permanent Pestsäule (Matthias Rauchmiller) died in 1686 before too much progress could be made.

Various sculptors and others were then involved with the further development and construction, including a certain Fischer von Erlach, the architect responsible for such iconic Viennese buildings as Schönbrunn Palace, the Spanish Riding School or Karlskirche.

As a dedication to the Holy Trinity, the number three or multiples of three play a strong role throughout the column’s design. For example, there are three vertical layers – the first human, then angels, then the Holy Trinity itself. You’ll also see the column has three wings, nine large angels, three bronze scrolls, etc.

Look for the Kaiser himself on the most open side, easily identified by the protruding lower lip – a facial characteristic common to the Habsburg dynasty:

Even today, this medical condition (mandibular prognathism) is known as Habsburg Jaw.

Below the Emperor is the scene where Faith casts down the plague (represented as a slightly crazy-looking character, with mad hair and withered breasts).


Austrian Parliament Building (Vienna)

The Austrian Parliament building in Vienna is a place where the two houses of parliament go on to conduct their sessions. The foundation stone of the building was laid in 1874 and the construction of it was over in 1883. In fact, it works out to be one of the largest structures here, spread over 13,500 meters. One of the focal points of the building has been the Pallas Athena statue that is part of the entrance of the main building. It was a plan by Hansen from 1898 to 1902 and works out to be a notable attraction of Austria. He went on to choose a Greek design style for the building which went on to reflect the law of freedom and law.

This destination is part of several important ceremonies with the prime being the swearing-in ceremony of the President of Austria along with the state speech on October 26 th . There is no harm in confirming the fact that this is the place where all the laws of the country are made. In fact, this was a part of the urban expansion along with renewal project which began with the demolition of the former city wall.

Architecture of Austrian Parliament Building

As this has been the case with most historic sites, the world war two did take a massive toll on the architecture of the building. It went on to be demolished into bits and pieces by Allied aerial bombing but it is the reconstruction work that provided the state an opportunity to remodel the interiors. Throughout the Austrian Parliament building, classic motifs tend to appear as well. The two statues at the entrance of the building are decorated with statues.

Xenophon has a deep Vienna connection, as he was the first author who scripted books on riding along with instructions on the same. This lead to a situation where this form of art began to be practiced at the Spanish riding school. In other regions of the building, Nike too turned up. It is the horse-drawn chariots that go on to dominate the roof which is all driven by her and worked out to be major symbols of victory.

It is just under the topmost point of the building you are going to come across, a statue of Emperor Franz Joseph. It was under his supervision the building went on to be constructed. The other beliefs along with statues have a tinge of Roman and Greek culture as part of it.

Major Rooms in Austrian Parliament Building

On all counts, it works out to be a major masterpiece. The great Hall of Pillars is about 40-m-long and 23-m-wide. Each pillar, made of Adnet marble, weighs about 16 tons and carry the skylighted ceiling. The floor is made of polished marble. The chamber of the former House of Deputies has a seating capacity of about 364 seats. Visitors can enter the building from the front at ground level, and not from the old side entrance.


In the 1950s, Viennese coffee houses plunged into a crisis. Italian-style espresso bars became more and more popular, and traditional coffee houses were increasingly considered old-fashioned. Up to the 1980s, many long-established Viennese-style coffee houses had to close down.

In 1983, the tradition was revived when Viennese coffee houses celebrated their 300th anniversary and many Viennese started to remember the unique qualities of their coffee houses.

In 2011, Viennese coffee house culture was included by the UNESCO in the national inventory of intangible cultural heritage.


Statues in Vienna

Statues are raised in Vienna in monument to rulers, philosophers, heroes, and musicians (so many musicians!) , often carved from marble or sculpted in bronze. Current artistic styles mixed with the period that most invoked the spirit .

You can see glorious towers surrounded by war horses or raising up sainted inpiduals , and an awful lot of cherubs, angels, and muses, not mention mythical, fanciful beasts . Many use these figures as allegory, standing in as Austria&rsquos ideals of strength and wisdom or highlighting themes like peace and pain in an artist&rsquos work.

When you visiting Statues in Vienna you must see : Stadtpark contains the largest concentration of sculptures and monuments in Vienna , allowing you to wander for hours among them. In the category Statues in Vienna, you will find information About Sculptures in Vienna: Johann Strauss Monument, Mozart monument, Maria Theresia Monument, Emperor Franz Monument Burggarten, Mariensaule, Neptune Fountain, Schiller Monument, etc.

Vienna&rsquos handsome collection of statues was raised for beauty and to honor her people, rulers, philosophers, heroes, and musicians.


Un-bean-lievable: the fascinating story about the Pole who saved Vienna and founded its coffee culture

The memory lives on: a statue of Kulczycki in Turkish dress and with a coffee pot. lwow.info

When Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki opened Vienna’s first coffee shop in 1683, and in so doing kickstarted the world famous Viennese café culture, he thought he was onto a winner.

However, his customers were not so sure.

The exotic, smoky, black liquid with its nutty aroma and complex palette of flavours was too much of a novelty for the late 17th-century Viennese.

The Pole needed to act quickly to rescue his floundering business. He had to find a way to remove the bitterness of the black coffee and make it more acceptable to local tastes.

He first added honey to sweeten it, but later came up with the idea of mixing the drink with milk.

The Pole opened the first café in Vienna back in 1683. Public domain

This cocktail of astringent, syrupy coffee with soothing diary fat quickly became wildly popular, not just in Vienna but throughout Europe.

The Wiener Melange has become a coffee house classic and has spawned countless variations around the world, from the French café crème to the Italian cappuccino.

With his stroke of genius, Kulczycki secured the veneration of the Viennese for centuries. However, Kulczycki is remembered in the Austrian capital not only as a pioneering barista.

He is also revered for the daredevil role he played in relieving the Ottoman Siege of Vienna of 1683, which, if it had been successful, would have threatened to place the whole of Europe under Islamic rule.

If it were not for the Pole’s secret espionage mission, he may never have become the patron saint of the Viennese coffee house.

His is credited with founding the Austrian’s capital world-famous café culture. vien.info

In fact, Kulczycki’s fame in Vienna has even eclipsed that of Jan III Sobieski. When the Polish king led the charge against Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha’s camp from Kahlenberg Hill and saved the city, it was not Sobieski who the Viennese crowds feted, but Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki.

In 1683, Kulczycki was running a trading company in the city. He was fluent in several languages, including Turkish, which he used in his business and as a translator. He had even represented the Austrian Emperor in Constantinople.

When Mustafa’s Ottoman army besieged the city, the situation looked hopeless for the Austrians.

Kulczycki hatched a plan with the mayor to sneak through the enemy camp disguised as a Turkish soldier. To allay suspicion it is said that he sang Turkish songs as he ambled through the vast Ottoman camp.

After reaching the other side, he made contact with Charles V, Duke of Lorraine, who stood at the head of German forces.

A speaker of Turkish Kulczycki made his way through enemy lines to report on the situation in besieged Vienna. Public domain

Kulczycki explained that the situation in Vienna was increasingly dire.

The Turks were digging tunnels under the city's fortifications, the defenders were running out of ammunition, they were being decimated by disease and the defence commander, Count von Starhemberg, was even considering surrender.

With Kulczycki’s summary and details of the Ottoman order of battle, Charles was able to understood the gravity of the situation and corral the relief forces.

Kulczycki made his way back to the city through the Ottoman camp.

News of the imminent arrival of Sobieski and his winged hussars significantly increased the morale of the defenders and endowed them with the spirit to remain steadfast.

For his heroics during the siege Kulczycki was allowed to run a coffee house tax exempt for 20 years. Public domain

After the successful relief, Kulczycki was hailed as a hero and showered with gifts and recognition. Emperor Leopold awarded him a considerable amount of money and a house in Leopoldstadt.

Meanwhile, Sobieski allowed him to choose anything he wanted from the mountains of treasure seized from the Ottoman camp.

To everyone's surprise, Kulczycki showed no interest in gold or expensive fabrics. His attention was drawn to several hundred bags of beans, which Sobieski’s treasurers assumed were camel feed.

These sacks of course contained coffee beans, which Mustafa used to keep his soldiers alert and fit.

Kulczycki had learned the art of roasting coffee beans in Constantinople and saw an opportunity to bring the drink to a new market.

A Polish stamp brought out in honour of the battling coffee lover. Poczta Polska

Emperor Leopold granted Kulczycki a license to run a coffee house and gave him a 20-year tax exemption.

His first cafe closed after just a year, so he opened a new one near St. Stefan's Square. However, it was his third café, The Blue Bottle on Schlossegasse Street that became synonymous with the beginnings of Viennese café culture.

The name was a nod to his second wife, Leopoldina Meyer. Supposedly, during the siege she nursed Kulczycki back to health after he had been wounded defending the city using medicine stored in a blue bottle.

He is often depicted wearing Turkish clothes, and legend tells that he would welcome his guests dressed as an Ottoman soldier.

Kulczycki died in 1694 of tuberculosis at the age of 54 and he is buried in the St. Stephen’s cathedral cemetery.

An 1885 a stone statue of Kulczycki pays homage to one of Vienna’s most popular adopted sons. Buchhändler/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license

Over time, Vienna became the world café capital, and Kulczycki is recognised as the patron saint of coffee houses.

For centuries, cafés in the city would display a painting of him in Turkish garb receiving his license.

He now has his own street in the city’s 4th district, and in 1885 a stone statue of Kulczycki was unveiled, which sits in the recess of a corner building. In Turkish costume, he has a coffee pot in one hand and a tray with cups in the other.

Meanwhile, Sobieski has been waiting 337 years for his own statue on Kahlenberg Hill, proving perhaps that the way to people’s hearts is really through their stomachs.


Controversial Sobieski statue displayed in Krakow after being rejected by Vienna

Krakow, Poland – After being rejected by the mayor of Vienna last summer for having an “anti-Turkish tone”, the controversial statue of Polish king Jan III Sobieski, who famously defeated the Ottoman army at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, will now be displayed in Kraków, where it was initially cast.

The First News reports that the statue has been put on temporary display on a platform trailer in front of the Papal Window, at the heart of the Polish city. According to local authorities, it should stand there for a maximum of two weeks before moving on to places that are connected with the life of the king, such as Nowy Sącz, Brzeg, Nysa and possibly Warsaw, where it would stand in front of the Royal Castle.

A controversial statue of Jan Sobieski

The memorial was initially supposed to be erected on Kahlenberg hill in Vienna, from where the Polish king launched his now famous attack, and unveiled to the public on September 12, 2018, to mark the 335th anniversary of the liberation of Vienna. However, the authorities in Vienna, fearing that the Sobieski statue may be perceived as anti-Turkish, stated that it was not an appropriate time to erect military monuments.

“On 11 July, President Jacek Majchrowski and I were invited to meet the new mayor Michael Ludwig. And there we were told that a new committee had said that the monument did not meet the artistic standards, was archaic and therefore Vienna withdrew its consent”, stated Piotr Zapart, initiator of the project and chairman of the monument’s organising committee, in an interview with radio station RMF FM.

Arguing that there were “no anti-Turkish tones” in his statue, the author of the project, Czesław Dźwigaj from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Poland, responded to the news at the time by saying that “it’s like a situation when you’ve built a house and have all the necessary paperwork, and a committee comes along and says that it needs to be torn down because they want something different.”

That being said, Piotr Zapart remains determined that the eight-metre long work weighing three tonnes will stand in Vienna one day. “Neither before nor now have we considered any other final location of the monument than Vienna. We believe that the worthiest place for the king is the Vienna Kahlenberg,” he said. In the place where the statue was to be erected, everything is ready. Only the statue is missing.

A divisive figure

In fact, since 2013, when the foundation stone for the Sobieski statue and monument was laid in Vienna, there have been no less than thirteen attempts to erect a memorial for the Polish king in the Austrian capital. None of which were succesful.

The fact of the matter is that, in recent years, Jan III Sobieski has become somewhat of a divisive figure in Europe and disquiet has surrounded the erection of his memorial for some time. Having led the united Christian armies of Europe against the invading Ottoman Empire, which then stretched from the shores of the Persian Gulf to modern-day Budapest and Morocco, the Polish king is regularly depicted by Christian and right-wing nationalistst as having saved Christendom from Islam.

As a result, the siege of Vienna has increasingly become a central part of the European far-right ideology who see the Battle as a turning point at a time when “Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe”, as stated by the influential anti-Islamic blog Gates of Vienna. The Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, who killed 69 people at a Labour Party annual summer camp in 2011, even payed hommage to the Battle of Vienna in his manifesto, 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence.

“By September 11th, 2083, the third wave of Jihad will have been repelled and the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist hegemony in Western Europe will be shattered and lying in ruin, exactly 400 years after we won the Battle of Vienna on September 11th, 1683. Europe will once again be governed by patriots”, he wrote in his manifesto .

Not so black and white

Many historians have argued that the Battle was far from a mere fight between Islam and Christianity. According to Dag Herbjørnsrud, “if we examine the battle closely, we can understand it rather differently, as a battle based on inter-ethnic cooperation”.

He argues that “John III Sobieski, the king of the multilingual and multi-religious Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, might not have won the battle were it not for the help of his country’s Sunni Muslim Tatars, known as the Lipka Tatars”, whose “light cavalry became a vital factor in almost every battle in Polish-Lithuanian history”.

In fact, many historians have claimed that “there is no ruler so revered among the Muslim Tatars as John III Sobieski”. He even ensured the construction of several mosques in the region and secured “the only example of a lasting Muslim community in a non-Islamic European country”, according to Boguslaw R Zagórski.

Similarly, one can argue that the defeated side of the Battle of Vienna was rather multi-religious as well, since the Ottomans, led by the Sunni Muslim Sultan Mehmed IV, were allied with the Roman Catholic King of France, Louis XIV. Additionally, the Protestants of Europe, such as William of Orange’s Netherlands and the Hungarian Lutherians, often had high hopes for help from the Ottoman Muslims against the Pope and the Catholic powers of Spain and Vienna.

Dag Herbjørnsrud concludes that the Battle of Vienna wasn’t a war between the cross and the crescent, it was not a clash of civilisations, nor was it a mighty Christian victory over Islam. In fact, he even adds that “the Battle of Vienna didn’t matter as much in European history as some would like to believe”.


Austrians Celebrate Discovery of 25,000-Year-Old Statue of Voluptuous Venus

Aug 07, 2008 #1 2008-08-07T17:54

I thought y'all might find this interesting:


Austrians Celebrate Discovery of 25,000-Year-Old Statue of Voluptuous Venus Thursday , August 07, 2008

It's Venusmania in Vienna, where Austrians are celebrating the discovery 100 years ago Thursday of a tiny but voluptuous figurine that dates back 25,000 years to a time when mammoths roamed the region.

Venus wine, Venus chocolates, and pancakes with Venus jam - Austria is going all out Friday to fete the limestone beauty known as the Venus of Willendorf for the hamlet along the Danube where archaeologists stumbled upon her a century ago.

The Venus of Willendorf is just 4 inches tall but is celebrated for her undeniably curvy, feminine figure. Experts say the statuette dating back to the Paleolithic era is among the world's oldest depictions of a woman.

But exactly what she represents - or who carved her all those thousands of years ago - remains a mystery.

Was she a fertility symbol, a lucky charm, a goddess - maybe even a prehistoric piece of pornography?

"That's of course an interpretation question," said Walpurga Antl-Weiser, an expert at Vienna's Natural History Museum who has written a book on the topic and is one of the few to personally handled the Venus.

She wasn't made from local materials, and over the years, similar statuettes have been found elsewhere, including France and Russia, Antl-Weiser told The Associated Press.

And, she noted, it's tough to know the exact motives of humans who lived so many centuries ago.

At the time she was made, Willendorf was a steppe populated by mammoths, bison and woolly rhinos. The humans' then lived around several campgrounds, according to the Natural History Museum.

Modern-day archaeologists found her during an excavation in 1908 and brought her for safekeeping to the Natural History Museum in Vienna.

She made her public debut in 1998, and is just finishing a stint at a museum in the Austrian city of St. Poelten.

Before Friday's big bash, she'll make a brief homecoming trip to the hamlet where she was discovered.

There, Willendorfers and others will have a chance to see the town's most famous ancestor before she is whisked away - amid high security - to Vienna, where she will be welcomed back by Mayor Michael Haeupl.

Starting Saturday, the Venus of Willendorf - along with several "sisters" from Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic - will be on view at Vienna's Natural History Museum as part of a special exhibit that runs until Feb. 1, 2009.

Fact is, the figurine continues to fascinate.

Reproductions of the Venus are widely available - often as chocolate, marzipan or even as soap. On Friday, Austria's post office will officially unveil a special, three-dimensional stamp in her honor.

To Antl-Weiser, the interest is easy to explain.

"She's very corpulent but still very beautiful," Antl-Weiser said. "One gets the feeling she has become an icon."


Watch the video: Xenophon the Athenian (January 2022).