Vienna 2014 The art of enjoyment
Nowhere is "The Art of Enjoyment" mastered so well as it is in Vienna. And especially in 2014: Dance and party like during the time of the Congress of Vienna at one of the traditional or modern Viennese balls. Viennese nightlife, with its hip clubs, young festivals and a reopened ballroom, invites you to dance and party in 2014.
Vienna is the city of the waltz, as it was 200 years ago. During the time of the Congress of Vienna (1814/15), Viennese ball culture and waltz melodies experienced the height of their ascendancy. In those days, the imperial city was full of music – the whole of Vienna danced in three-four time. As did the participants in the Congress of Vienna ("The Congress dances"). Dance palaces and ballrooms sprang up everywhere. These so-called "Etablissements" could hold up to 10,000 people. One of these former ballrooms will be used for new purposes in 2014: Following extensive renovation work, the Sofiensäle in the 3rd district open their doors again in November 2013. The former ballroom has been converted into a culture and event hall, where exhibitions will also be held twice a year. The Sofiensäle in the 3rd district have an eventful history behind them: in summer a pool, in winter a ballroom, almost 100 works by Johann Strauss (son) had their world premiere here. From 1950, the Sofiensäle were used as the most modern sound studio in Europe, whose unique acoustics were appreciated by stars such as Herbert von Karajan.
Ball culture remains inseparably associated with Vienna. Around 450 balls are held every year – from the noble traditional ball to the relaxed Faschingsgschnas. The ball season reaches its peak in January and February, at the time of Carnival. The majority of the traditional balls are held in Vienna's Imperial Palace. Particularly prominent is the Opera Ball held in the Vienna State Opera. The Viennese ball also has a modern face with the crazy Rosenball of the gay-lesbian community and the internationally famous Life Ball. A glittering summer ball is the Fête Impériale in the Spanish Riding School. The perfect clothing for a ball is offered by the costume rental outlets Art for Art and Lambert Hofer. Viennese designers such as Michel Mayer or Thomas Kirchgrabner also tailor exciting robes for a visit to the ball. Culture is always combined with pleasure in Vienna: an evening at the ball begins with a visit to a restaurant to dine on traditional Viennese cuisine. A rousing night at the ball is often rounded off at a sausage stand.
Vienna's nightlife, with its club culture that is as diverse and lively as never before, is proof that people like to dance not only at balls. Modern, young festivals are also booming in Vienna in all areas. Whether art, fashion, design, dance, music from pop to blues and electronic music, the festivals offer something to suit every taste. A number of other festivals are also celebrating an anniversary in 2014. The Vienna Art Week and the Vienna Blues Spring are celebrating their tenth birthday, while the pop festival on Karlsplatz is being held for the fifth time. The MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art is also celebrating in 2014 – namely its 150th anniversary.
TOP THINGS TO DO
Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the imperial family, is one of Europe's most impressive Baroque palace complexes. Spend an entire day at Schönbrunn: visit the show rooms with a "Grand Tour with Audio Guide" and admire the splendid Bergl Rooms. Take a walk through the enchanting park, stroll through the maze and stop at the Gloriette for a cup of coffee and apple strudel. A visit to Schönbrunn Zoo, the oldest existing zoo in the world, will complete your perfect day at Schönbrunn.
Meeting Place MuseumsQuartier
The MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is one of the ten largest cultural quarters in the world. Located at the border of the old city in the former imperial stables, it combines institutions of different art fields such as the Leopold Museum with its masterworks of Austrian modern art or the mumok – Museum of Modern Art. Trendy restaurants and cafés as well as shops can also be found in this post-modern ambiance, a combination of baroque buildings and modern architecture.
About 250 attractions entertain you at the Vienna Prater, from a nostalgic merry-go-round to an ultra-modern roller coaster, from ghost trains to flight simulators. A ride on the famous Giant Ferris Wheel provides a phantastic view of the city from almost 200 feet up. The adjacent Green Prater with an area of six million square meters offers an ideal environment for relaxing strolls, brisk hikes, bicycle and skating trips, and much more.
A visit to Vienna, the city of music, won’t be complete without a concert evening at the Musikverein. The concert hall contains the world-famous Golden Hall, in which the Wiener Philharmoniker celebrate the New Year's Concert every year - attracting a television audience of millions around the globe. The Musikverein offers wonderful concerts with eminent orchestras and conductors throughout the rest of the year as well.
The city’s wonderful markets offer a typically Viennese shopping experience. This is where Vienna lives up to its legendary reputation as a melting pot of nations: Viennese humour blends with eastern European charm, and oriental flair with Mediterranean temperament. Vienna's markets are about much more than just shopping. They are the lifeblood of the districts they serve, attracting a young, creative and lively scene. This is perfectly illustrated by three Viennese institutions - the Naschmarkt, Karmelitermarkt and Brunnenmarkt.
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