February 5, 2013

0009 & 0496 AUSTRIA (Vienna) - A short walk through Vienna

Posted on 13.10.2011
Today I had the joy to find in the mailbox not a postcard, but three, all from old friends. Marius come back, this time sending me a postcard from Vienna, the city where he lives with his family for some years.

Founded by the Celts 2,500 years ago, on the Danube river, Vienna was, in turn, municipium (Vindobona) and headquarters of the Legion X Gemina under Romans, capital of the Babenberg dynasty, of the Habsburg dynasty and of the Austrian Empire (became Austria-Hungary in 1867), because after WWI to become the capital of the new republic Österreich (with a break between 1938 and 1945, when Austria was occupied by the Germans). In 2001, Historic Centre of Vienna was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Currently Vienna has about 1.7 million inhabitants and is considered, according to Economist Intelligence Unit, the city first (in a tie with Vancouver, Canada) for quality of life, but also for the culture of innovation. All EIU rated it, in 2011, as the second best city in which to live. Impressive, what to say.

The postcard contains six buildings:
Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) - Romanesque and Gothic style, completed in 1160 and ascending to 137 meters
Wiener Musikverein (Viennese Music Association) - home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Wiener Konzerthaus, opened on 1870
Parlament - neo-Classical style, built between 1874 and 1884
Staatsoper (State Opera) - Neo-Renaissance style, completed in 1869
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) - opened in 1891
Albertina - a museum in the First District, built in the second half of the 17th century and houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world.

Added on 05.02.2013

The second postcard contains eight images, small unfortunately, which not illustrate as it should this former imperial capital (it's the main reason for that the multiview postcards aren't among my favorites):
Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) - see above
Staatsoper (State Opera) - see above
Schloss Schönbrunn (Schönbrunn Palace) - a former imperial 1,441-room Rococo summer residence, one of the most important cultural monuments in the country.
Oberes Belvedere (Upper Belvedere) - build between 1717 and 1723 in Baroque style.
Naturhistorisches Museum (Museum of Natural History) - one of the important museums of the world; the earliest collections of artifacts were begun over 250 years ago.
Karlskirche (St. Charles's Church) - the most outstanding baroque church in Vienna, built between 1716 and 1737.
Neuer Markt Square, with the Pension with the same name in background, and Donnerbrunnen Fountain in foreground.
Pestsäule (Plague Column) - inaugurated in 1693, few years after the big plague epidemics from 1679.

On this postcard is also the Austrian flag (a white band between two red bands - seated, for a reason that escapes me, vertically, not horizontally, as it should) and its coat of arms (in use since 1919).

About the stamps
On the first postcard
I can’t say anything about the stamp, because it doesn’t exist, being replaced by a white sticker with a bar code that says "Bar freigemacht (Postage paid) / Österreich (Austria)". Dry and efficient, but I sincerely hope that modern utilitarianism will not disable postage stamps, which personalize correspondence and enjoy the eye.

On the second postcard

The stamp, dedicated to The Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Concert 2007 - Zubin Mehta, was issued on January 1st 2007. Zubin Mehta is an Indian Parsi conductor of western classical music, born in Mumbai on 29 April 1936, the Music Director for Life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

sender 1: Marius Vasilescu 
sent from Vienna (Vienna / Austria), on 10.10.2011
photo: Kalmar 
sender 2: Ana
sent from Salzburg (Salzburg / Austria), on 10.08.2012

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