Dürer Exhibit at the Albertina Museum, Vienna

Day 72, Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I have been looking forward to visiting this Dürer Exhibit.  I only found out about it in Munich at a drawing Meetup.  This exhibition is the most comprehensive Dürer exhibition  in decades.  It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

It is raining today so it is a good day to spend inside. We purchased our tickets online so no waiting in the lineup!Before we see the Dürer exhibit we visit the other parts of the museum.  There are 20 decorated and restored Habsburg State Rooms with precious wall coverings, chandeliers, fireplaces and stoves, inlaid floors, and exquisite furniture. We pass through these fairly quickly, we have seen quite a few of these kinds of rooms on this trip and I am more interested in the Dürer exhibit.  The floors are beautiful with inlaid wood designs.  We notice that the floors we walk on are actually reproductions placed over the original floors in order to preserve them.  If you look closely you can just make out the seam lines of these rectangular reproduction tiles.

The chandeliers in this room were very beautiful. The most interesting thing in these rooms was the art exhibit on the walls.  We have a print of this Hieronymus Bosch drawing at home.  Unfortunately the drawings and prints are facsimiles.  Very good ones, but facsimiles non-the-less.  This is necessary as works on paper are fragile and can not be displayed for long periods of time. 

There are so many works that I am familiar with and some, like the Munch woodcut that are new to me.  These are: Munch’s The Kiss IV, two Schiele watercolours, Rembrandt’s Elephant, and Rubens’ drawing of his son Nicolas.
Now on to the main event!

It has been decades since so many works by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) have been seen in one place.  There are more than 200 examples of Dürer’s drawings, printed graphics, and paintings on display at the Albertina.

This ‘Self Portrait at the Age of Thirteen’ from 1484 is the first work that I see when we enter the exhibition rooms. I took so many photos but have chosen just a few of my favourite ones for today’s post. Here is ‘Three Studies of Dürer’s Left Hand’ 1493/94.  I like drawing hands and feet and there is much to learn from Dürer. This page of studies was so interesting.   Here is another drawing I have seen so often in books.
‘The Woman’s Bath’ is a pen and ink drawing… and this ‘Illustration for the Apocalypse’ is a woodcut.  Dürer was a master of all mediums. Dürer’s watercolours are exquisite.  This painting is simply titled ‘Iris’. A watercolour study of a ‘Blue Rolle’r from 1500.We enter another room and there on the far wall are three famous works.  Dürer’s ‘Young Hare’ is only exhibited once every five years for a period of no more than three months.  It is just luck that it is on exhibit while we are here.  This is another print that we have at home.  Bob wishes it was the original!! ‘The Great Piece of Turf’ was painted on the largest piece of paper available at the time to portray the plants life sized. ‘The Wing of a Blue Roller’ is quite amazing.  This work is watercolour and body colour on parchment with fine gold lines on the breast plumage to enhance the iridescence of the feathers.  There is no one telling visitors to keep a certain distance from the works, so my nose gets up very close! I liked the study of a bull’s nose too… and this ‘Columbine”… and this page of studies.   OK. I love pretty much everything I see here!  This head of an angel and head of twelve year old Jesus are studies for a larger painting … as is this hand study.  It is fascinating to see the studies and then the finished painting. ‘The Praying Hands’ is a well known Dürer image. I really didn’t know much about Dürer’s oil paintings.  I particularly loved this one.  The Madonna’s face is so beautiful.
Dürer drawing and woodcut of a rhino were made without his ever having seen a rhinoceros!  He drew from a written description of the animal and his imagination. I have always loved this ‘Portrait of a 93 Year Old Man’.  I didn’t know it was done with a brush!   As we are leaving the museum I see this Modigliani painting ‘Prostitute’.  I have always liked Modigliani’s work but haven’t really see very many in person.   One last photo at the Albertina.  Seems I want to sprout wings this trip! We spent four hours here today and I could easily have spent much more time here but this will have to do.  I bought the catalogue for the exhibit.  It is huge, and weighs 6.6 pounds!  Good thing we are near the end of our trip!

I have a Life Drawing Meetup session at 7:00 pm and want to have a bit of a rest before that.  I just realized that I posted tonight’s life drawing photos in yesterday’s blog by mistake!  After being on holidays for so long it is easy to mix up the days.

Belvedere Museum and St. Charles Church, Vienna

Day 71, Monday, November 4, 2019

I visit the Belvedere Art Museum this morning while Bob goes for walk and explores the area around the museum.  The Belvedere, like so many of the museums we have visited was once a palace.  This is the grand entrance staircase… and the beautiful Marble Hall. I particularly wanted to see Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, but was pleased to find his Judith painting here as well.The Kiss is one of Klimt’s most well known paintings.  It is a large painting, 183 x183 cm. It is nice to be able to see the painting details up close. I am also surprised by how many Egon Schiele paintings are on display.  It is quite special to be able to see the original paintings of some of my favourite works by these two painters.  I didn’t realize that these paintings were so large.  Looking at reproductions in books can be deceiving.  The Embrace and….  the Family are both much bigger than I imagined… as are these paintings. Schiele’s Self Portrait is the smallest painting, about 41 x 33 cm. I didn’t know Jacques-Louis David’s painting of Napoleon was here either.  I am so glad I was able to visit this museum.  This painting is enormous, 272 × 232 cm!This painting shows the Vienna Naschmarkt in 1894.  It has changed a bit over the years! We meet up in the gardens outside the Belvedere and then walk towards St. Charles Church.  There are so many interesting buildings along the way.
We had a huge surprise when we entered St. Charles Church.  Two enormous floating mirrored balls that reflected the church… and us.  We are almost in the centre of the reflection but we are very tiny.  “Aerocene” is a contemporary art installation by Tomas Saraceno, an Argentinian artist who lives and works in Berlin.  The floating reflective balls are 10 and 7 metres in diameter. Then we notice the scaffolding that goes high up into the dome, and that is where we are going to go!  We thought the elevator ride we got a ticket for would be inside a bell tower.  Nope!  We ride to the top of this scaffolding and then climb a bit further, onto that platform you see leading into one of the round windows in the dome! Looking down from the top of this ‘elevator’ we notice a workman adjusting lights high up in the dome, yet still far below us! We have a great view of the dome paintings.  It is interesting the way the gold highlights look up this close… and we have a great view of the other dome paintings.  We are crazy high up!Bob walks back down to this viewing platform so I can get a photo.  Notice how he is suspended…nothing below him!This photo shows the platform that Bob was standing on in the last photo.
We spent quite a lot of time way up there in the dome, and it is getting dark when we get outside.  If you look closely you can see some people standing in the round window on the dome.  That is the window we were standing in!  What an amazing experience.  There was restoration work carried out in the dome and the elevator is being kept for a while.  The fee to ride up into the dome is a way to make more money for further restorations. Walking back towards the metro we pass the Opera House… and take photos of these performers from Tibet.  They have a performance later tonight and were taking publicity photos outside the Opera House. While the men posed, some of the women were busy applying their makeup.   This is a a huge paper art installation we pass in a walkway near the metro. A close-up shows lots and lots of writing, musical notations and random marks. We get home, have dinner, then I head off to a drop-in drawing session with a Meetup group at a pub called Monami.

It was bit hard drawing the model as there were 40 people crammed into a small room.  I had coloured some of the pages in my sketchbook at home before the session.  Interesting to draw on but they don’t photograph very well. We were pretty much rubbing elbows as we drew and my views weren’t always great but it was lots of fun.
I finished the session with a 20 minute leg study.  I felt quite comfortable going out in the evening by myself.  The metro is easy to navigate and there were lots of people about.

Munich, Germany to Vienna, Austria

Day 66, Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Here are the last of my Munich metro drawings.   I liked this one of the young man with the bandaged nose. Our drive to Vienna was long and uneventful.  We stayed on the freeway and it still took us about 5 1/2 hours.  We had to wait about an hour for our Airbnb host to meet us, but we found a parking space just outside the apartment and our car was warm, so it wasn’t too bad.  It took forever to figure out how to pay for street parking but we finally sorted it out.  We take our rental car back tomorrow so we just need parking for one night.

Our Airbnb apartment looks OK and it is really close to the Underground metro so that is going to be handy.

Tierpark Hellabrunn, the Munich Zoo

Day 62, Saturday, October 26, 2019

It is a beautiful, sunny, warm day and we are going to the zoo!  It is 20 Celsius!

The Munich Zoo is a Geo-Zoo. As described on their website: “Hellabrunn is not a zoo in the classical sense. It is more of a nature preserve inhabited by animals that live in especially large, structured enclosures. Thanks to an extensive array of ditches and a natural landscape design, the visitor can enjoy the wonderful and unobstructed view of animals that could normally only be obtained on safari.”   I love giraffes, and there were five of them at this zoo. I spent a bit of time sketching one of them while he was busy eating his lunch.  The Meerkats live next door to the giraffes.  This fellow was very busy checking out all the people who were checking him out.
There are lots of birds here. This is the first time I have seen a hornbill  perched in a tree.  They usually walk along the ground.  This Abyssinian Ground Hornbill is a huge bird, about one metre in length and weighing about four kilograms. The Northern Bald Ibis is a very strange looking bird.  They are in a huge aviary with lots of other birds that we walk through.These beautiful Rose Pelicans were busy preening and enjoying the sunshine. We check out a building with lots of different little colourful birds and I didn’t even notice that there was no glass between us and the birds until Bob pointed it out! This is the bat cave, and yes it is full of flying bats, and we walk right into the cave with them!  When I first entered the cave a bat brushed by my hand and startled me.  I hadn’t realized that they were flying all about.  It was almost impossible to take a photo, they move so very quickly and it was quite dark.  The bats are just shadowy blurs in this photo, where they come to feed on fruit hanging fro the ceiling. We move from the tiny bats to this massive Indian Rhino.  This is the first time we have seen an Indian Rhino and they are quite different from the African Rhino.  I loved the way his skin forms armour-like plates.  I absolutely had to try to draw this fellow.  He moved about a bit but was quite a good model!

While I was drawing, I heard a lot of commotion. The Siberian tiger nearby who was roaring and making a lot of noise.  He sure does have huge teeth! The Munich Zoo has a lot of different primates.  This chimpanzee was busy using a stick as a tool to get food out of a box.  He was very possessive of his stick and kept it close at all times.This fellow was showing off swinging to and fro on ropes and had a huge crowd watching him…
but this laid back guy just wanted to take it easy.I always think that the gorillas are watching us as much as we are watching them.  They seem so intelligent and always rather sad. This Sumatran Orangutan mother and her twins were hilarious.  The youngsters would not leave her alone no matter what she did.  They were hanging on to her and pestering her even when she tried to hide in a corner.  As she walked away, one of her youngsters grabbed hold of her hand and slid along the floor behind her.  It just made me laugh.
We waited to see the lions being fed, expecting it to be quite exciting… but it consisted of the two males being separated and then thrown a couple dead plucked chickens.  The lions took their food to a private spot so we couldn’t see them chowing down. We checked back a while later and I said that they would probably be sleeping after their meal.  Here they are, looking very happy and content, and yes, they were sleeping. The elephants were quite far away so I zoomed in for a photo. There were several kinds of penguins.  The Humboldt Penguins live on the coast of Peru and Chile and don’t mind being warm.  The Emperor, and the Rock Hopper Penguins, however, like it cold and they had their own refrigerated area.The Ring Tailed Lemur from Madagascar holds his long tail straight up in the air when it travels on the ground so that everyone in the group can stay together.  That must be quite the sight! We watched this tortoise take forever to climb this tiny little incline.  It was really hard work for her and I so wished I could have just reached in and given her a little bit of help. There was great excitement at the Hamadryas Baboon enclosure.  Lots of screaming and shrieking noises.  It appeared that several of the big males were attacking one of the other baboons. When these four big males come running everyone else clears out, getting away from them as quickly as they can.The other baboons sit on top of the big rocks to watch what is going on from a safe distance.  It was quite something to see and hear.  They are very noisy and it sounded like they were killing one of their own, but we didn’t actually see anyone hurt. Perhaps it was lots of posturing and bluffing?
We see lots of interesting animals, including a Maned Wolf, a Darwin’s Rhea, a Capybara and a Red River Hog.   The Nyalas are beautiful with their striking white stripes and the male is much darker with long yellow-tipped horns. I always love the zebras.  They were mostly farther away but this beauty came close enough for a photo. Not sure that we have ever seen a Reeve’s Muntjac or a Kiang before. Now these are called European Elk, but they sure look like moose to me.  Google tells me this is what a moose is called in Europe.  Interesting little fact. This polar bear had a huge enclosure with a big water area as well as a big grassy, treed area, but it chose to sit in this corner.  Something in the area next to him caught his eye and his reflection was caught in the glassed part of his cage. We are almost finished our visit when we see a crowd of people and go check what they are looking at.  A Linnaeus Two Toed Sloth was making his way across a rope just above everyone’s heads.  It was quite exciting to see him up so close, and yes, they do move incredibly deliberately and very slowly! Now, this was something to see!  This tall slide is in one of the zoo’s many playgrounds. Did you notice all the kids inside the structure?  They are climbing up to the top so that they can slide down.  The inside of the tower is like a giant jungle gym, only really high! There are no safety features of any kind, just lots of little kids climbing way up high on these logs inside the tower.  This is something that we would never see at home due to safety concerns and liability issues.  The kids were all having a great time though! The zoo closes at 6:00 and we are one of the last to leave.  It was an absolutely lovely day.

Here are my zoo sketches… and my metro sketches.

The Nymphenburg Palace, Munich and Life Drawing

Day 60, Thursday, October 24, 2019

Nymphenburg Palace is one of the largest royal palaces in Europe.  It sits on 490 acres of gardens and park land.  This arial view was found online.  The façade of the palace is almost 700 metres long!This central four-storey building was the beginning of the palace and was built in 1644.  Over the years numerous additions were built until it reached its present configuration in 1776. The Nymphenburg Palace was originally a summer residence for the Bavarian rulers.  This is the Great Hall.  Musicians would entertain guests from the gallery.
One of the many rooms with original furnishings. Many of the rooms are not that big and seem to serve as connecting passages to other larger rooms.The south apartment bedroom of the Electress, who was the consort of the king. Our reflection in the bedroom mirror. Every palace has to have a Chinese inspired room. The audience room of Queen Caroline… and her bedroom have their original furnishings.  This room is where King Ludwig II was born in 1845.  The bed is hidden by a cover on a high frame which was spread over the bed during the daytime. The official Hall of Beauties is under restoration but the paintings are on display in a corridor. From 1826 to 1850 King Ludwig I had a series of 36 portraits painted of what he considered to be the most beautiful women.  Beauty was considered to be an outward sign of moral perfection! We finish our tour of the palace rooms, and go explore the grounds.  Unfortunately we realize that the park pavilions closed for the season a week ago.  I do manage a peek inside the Magdalene Hermitage, which was a pavilion used for contemplation. Much of the grounds are in the style of an English park, with paths… and little bridges over water features. This creek was so covered with fallen leaves that the water was barely visible.This shows just how long the canal water feature is…looking towards and away from the palace on a bridge that crosses the canal.  At one time gondolas sailedd these waters.  Neat reflections too.
Walking back towards the palace along a tree lined path. I liked the reflection of the palace in the water. Looking out towards the garden from the Palace steps. It is almost closing time, but we manage a quick peek inside the Carriage museum, which is one of the most important museums of court carriages, travel and equestrian culture in the world. The Coronation coach of Emperor Karl VII is here…

along with numerous over-the-top elaborate coaches built for King Ludwig II. We can only begin to imagine how much these coaches cost! Besides dozens of coaches there are numerous sleighs on display. Parades and competitive games with these carousel sleighs were a popular winter amusement at court.  Women would sit in front of a male driver and try to hit rings or paper maché figures with a lance or sword.  Notice the rear view of the sleigh in the mirror. Just a few of the many coaches on display in one of the halls. One last selfie before we leave. and one last look back towards the front of the Palace…
with a photo stop at the swans. I have life drawing tonight, so we head toward the metro and after checking out my route, Bob heads for home and I head towards my drawing session.  I have a bit of time so I sit at the Sheraton Hotel having a cup of tea and doing a bit of sketching.

My sketches from the bus this morning weren’t terribly successful; I was having difficulty getting proportions down accurately.  That happens some days… These were a bit better. Sketches from the Sheraton Hotel. My first drawing at the Meetup session.  Still having some issues with proportions and the head placement in relation to the body. I started again after our break and did this portrait which was better.  Bettina, our model, really liked it and said that it looked like her.    

I managed to make two wrong turns on the way home, but retraced my steps and finally got back home near 11:00.  Bob met me at the bus stop which was really nice.  It was a good but very long day.

Walking Tour of Munich

Day 57, Monday, October 21, 2019

Bob found a walking tour of Munich at bigboytravel.com that we use today.  On our way to the start of this walking tour we find a sculpture by Mauro Staccioli.  The Ring is 12 meters in diameter and weighs 14 tons. The Ring is right next to the entrance to the Old Botanical Garden where we have our lunch.  We see lots of interesting people on our travels.  The man below was ‘communing’ with a tree…he walked circles around it, with his hands out, making gestures towards the tree.  Some police driving through the park stopped to talk to him but they let him be, guess they figured he was harmless.  Nearby I spotted this lady dressed all in white.  She looks like she belongs to a different place and time. There was a small gallery in the Botanical Gardens but they were changing exhibitions and not open.  I liked both the door handle and the interesting poster, which reads, The Long Night of Munich Museums.
First stop on our tour, why don’t you come along with us?  The   Fountain Boy depicts a satyr spitting water at a young boy who shields his face.  It originally caused a problem because there was no leaf over his private parts, but it is now a favourite Munich fountain. 

Citizen’s Hall Church was heavily damaged during WWII but it has been rebuilt and looks exactly like it did in the 1700’s.  The basement contains the tomb of Rupert Mayer, a famous Jesuit priest who stood up to the Nazis occupation and died in a concentration camp.. Our walk continues down a broad pedestrian street with large trees. St Michael’s Church.  I liked the huge elaborate candle holders. The church contains The Royal Crypt which holds 40 tombs.  The most famous of these is the tomb of “Mad” King Ludwig II.  Ludwig was a big spender and built many lavish castles and palaces.  We visited the Neuschwanstein Castle on our first trip to Europe almost 40 years ago.  It is the castle that inspired Walt Disney’s Snow White castle. No photos are allowed in the crypt so I did a quick sketch of King Ludwig’s tomb. No one ever seems to mind if I draw.There are a few churches on this tour!  Each of them has its own distinctive feature.  Saint Anna’s Church has had a chapel on this site since 1440.  I thought I saw people inside, behind the locked gates, but when I zoomed in with my camera, I realized it was a life size sculpture of the Last Supper.We pass this tree sculpture on the corner of a building on our way to The Asamhof Passage. Asamhof Passage is a little pedestrian street lined with restaurants, lots of flowers, and this poor fellow who needed my change more than I did! Asamkirche was built by the Asam brothers as a showpiece for their church building skills.  It is only 30 feet wide but it is so packed with over-the-top-Rococo decoration that we don’t know where to look! The entire focus of the interior leads the eye to a bright golden window meant to feel like the eye of God staring down at us. This is the exterior of the church and the brother’s house next door, which had bedroom windows looking onto the high altar in the church.There are lots of modern shops below the traditional apartments. I think I look OK with wings! The town gate, built in 1318 has two towers and is the oldest of the three city gates still standing in Munich. A view down the street from the town gate. Walking back towards Marienplatz we walk through the Victuals Market (Viktualiemarkt). This is a tough place to be when you can’t eat gluten, dairy or eggs!There are lots of flower stalls.  I particularly liked the little dog that seemed to belong to this one. This is the tallest May Pole we have ever seen! We can see the Glockenspiel Tower down a side street between two buildings.

The Frauenkirche has beautiful chandeliers illuminating its interior.

I’ve mentioned the beautiful window boxes before.  This is a department store and just look at its gorgeous window boxes! The New Town Hall’s main attraction is the Glockenspiel. This chiming clock was added to the tower in 1907.  At 11am, midday, and 5pm the Munich Glockenspiel recounts a royal wedding, a jousting tournament and a traditional dance with  32 life-sized animated figures in its 260 foot tower.     The show lasts about ten minutes, followed by the ringing of church bells. Bob remembered the Beck Department store from our first visit to Munich almost 40 years ago!  He said it was right next to the Glockenspiel and sure enough it was! Metro drawings from today.  People kept getting off the metro before I was finished!

 

Alte Museum, Munich

Day 56, Sunday, October 20, 2019

We walk through lots of leaves on our way to the Alte Museum.
No idea what kind of tree has these huge seed pods.  Maybe someone can tell me?
We go past a street of shops with rather expensive merchandise, but I really wonder about these colour combinations! The Alte Museum admission is only 1euro on Sundays!  What a bargain.  This is one half of the double staircase that leads to the exhibition rooms.   We walk through the first door and I see these beautiful pastel paintings by Maurice Quentin La Tour, Jean-Étienne, Joseph Vivien and Rosalba Carriera!  I need to find some books about these artists and study their paintings.  Unfortunately there were lots of reflections in the glass covering these works.  You can even see me in two of them! One of the 46 rooms we visited today had lots of paintings of Venice, completed in the early 1700’s.  I marvelled that Venice looked just the same then as it did when we visited a couple years ago.  The only difference was the number of small boats in the canals and the clothing of the people in the paintings!  There were another 13 rooms that were closed due to the installation of new exhibits. This room was full of paintings by Rembrandt and Franz Hals…including this small self-portrait that Rembrandt painted in 1629 when he was only 23.  This is a special exhibit for 2019,  the 350th anniversary of the year of Rembrandt’s death.  The painting is only 15.5cm x12.7 cm.
I lost count of the number of rooms filled with work by Peter Paul Rubens…  which Included a room with the huge painting of The Great Last Judgement. and another with The Fall of the Damned, which is also very large.   Rubens was a very productive artist! Here is a close up of some of the damned souls.Looking through the doorway, you can see the many more rooms we have yet to explore.  There are ten large galleries in a row along the length of the museum, with many smaller galleries off of these.  I liked how I could stand in front of the study for this Rubens painting and then look into the adjoining gallery and see the finished painting.  There was a gallery full of studies, which I particularly liked.  It is possible to see the way Rubens thought about and worked out his compositions.
There were some Dürer, but no drawings…I do love his drawings.This is a painting done by Leonardo da Vinci when he was only 23.  I don’t remember seeing it before (in books). And then there is Hieronymus Bosch with his very strange creatures, in this fragment of the Last Judgement.  His works always has lots of details to examine closely. We saw paintings by so many other artists I am familiar with: Holbein, Raffael, Botticelli, Titian, Van Dyk, and Velázquez, as well as many new artists that I liked as well.

After a lunch break outside in the sunshine we visit the remaining galleries which contain works from the Neue Pinakothek, which is currently under renovation.  Here we see many of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including Van Gogh’s the Weaver,

and works by Cézanne, Gauguin, and several more Van Gogh’s. A large painting by Ferdinand Hodler, TheTired of Life, really drew my attention.  I will have to research this artist. There was a Klimt.  I am looking forward to visiting the Klimt Museum when we return to Vienna.

I decide to go back and do a bit of drawing and Bob goes off to check out the Egyptian Museum nearby. On the way home we passed this group of people dancing outside.  They looked like they were having a lot of fun.
Here are my metro drawing from today… and yesterdays drawings in the gardens we visited, which I forgot to post.

Life Drawing in Munich

Day 53, Thursday, October 17, 2019

I had a relaxing day at our Munich Airbnb and Bob spent the better part of the day sorting out the transit system and where to get tickets.   I went to life drawing in the evening.  The session was at an artist’s apartment, which was really more of a studio than an apartment.  Everyone was very nice and made me feel very welcome.

Here are some photos that were posted on the Meetup page for the session.  Maurice is the artist who hosted the event.  That is him in the centre of the photo.
Here is our model, Bettina, she is very pregnant.  How wonderful!  It has been ages since I have had the chance to draw a pregnant model so this was an unexpected bonus. The drawing on the left is mine. I did a couple sketches to warm up. Then spent about two hours working on this drawing. Bob came to pick me up after the session and on the metro ride home I did a bit more sketching.
This was interesting, the older man with the facial hair was sitting right across the aisle from me and he was only on the metro for one stop so I sketched quickly hoped he didn’t notice that I was sneaking peeks at him. The young man with glasses did notice I was drawing him and he smiled at me, I smiled back and he tried not to smile as I continued sketching.  As he got up to leave I showed him the sketch and he said something in German, then he smiled and said ciao, so I think he liked it.

 

Day 54, Friday, October 18, 2019

We both had a relaxing quiet day.  It is nice to have some down time after seven weeks of holidays.  The big event of the day was going for a little walk to get some groceries.

Salzburg Cathedral and Bio Fest

Day 49, Sunday, October 13, 2019

This morning we attend a service at the Salzburg Cathedral.  There is a choir at this service and we thought it would be a nice way to see the church, and hear the choir at the same time.  The inside of the church is magnificent.  No matter how many churches we visit, we still wonder at their ornate interiors.This short video gives you look at the church while listening to the choir. I draw while we listen to the service and choir.  Of course we can’t understand any of it! I was tempted to finish this drawing of the altar from a photo but in the end decided to leave it just as it was. The cathedral was badly damaged during the Second World War. But today is beautifully restored.  The ceilings are particularly ornate, this is the ceiling of one of the small side chapels. In the basement is a crypt with a small chapel, and its very own ghostly apparition that flies around the room!  Tough to catch its likeness in a photo but there it is on the back wall.

After the service we find a Bio Fair (Organic Fair) right around the corner.  There are people everywhere enjoying the sunshine, food and drinks.  Great people watching today! We have lunch here but are too full to have one of these giant donut-like pastries, which are served either with sauerkraut or sprinkled with sugar and filled with jam.We sit for awhile to listen to a band, which sang in English, and I did a quick sketch of the bass player.

There is an area for the kids to play…I think they must be scratchy after jumping in all that hay! Nearby is St. Peter’s Cemetery.  Cemeteries in Austria are very neat and beautifully kept.We learned that plots are rented in Austria and if the rent is not paid the bones are dug up and the plot is rented out to someone else.  The remains are either moved to a mass gravesite or dug up and buried deeper in the same plot and the headstone removed so that the plot can be reused!  The headstones are on the wall of the church for exactly this reason.  The rent on the plot was not paid so the grave was reused and the headstones were placed here.  This explains the many headstones we have seen on cemetery walls and other churches.

The von Trapp family (The Sound of Music) hid in this cemetery, in one of these vaults just before they escaped from Austria.
Bob insisted we needed a photo of me hiding in the cemetery!We almost miss seeing the catacombs dating from the 12th century.  Can you see the windows high up in the cliff above the cemetery?  Pay particular attention to the little door below the windows.  This is where Saint Maximus and 50 of his followers were thrown to their death in 477AD, because of their faith.This is one of the chapels carved out of the rock high in the cliff. A view of the graveyard through one of the windows as we climbed down from the stone chapels. Bob has a few more places for us to visit.  The Church of Our Lady dates from 1221 AD.  It was very dark everywhere except for right around the altar where there are soaring pillars and arched ceilings. Next is the Horse Fountain.  This fountain has a ramp (the white area on the right side of the photo) so that horses could walk right into the fountain to cool off. This fountain is just a bit smaller! Notice the dates on these buildings…1360 on the apricot coloured one and 1258 on the brown one.  I am amazed that these houses are this old. We see a very long line up… it is people lining up for ice cream!  Soft ice cream in a cup with a choice of fresh fruit and other toppings. I see this curious ‘wand’ and wonder where it is from.This is a view of the side of the Salzburg Cathedral.
We walk back through the Bio-Fest on our way home and now I know where the wand comes from.  These look like such fun to make.Walking past this house we notice a sign saying that this is where the creator of the song “Silent Night’ was born.One more church!.. with lots of paintings and a pretty green and white ceiling.  The skull was on a plaque near the door, and the little bronze plaques were in the square outside.  They mark the location where a person was arrested and taken to a concentration camp.  We looked for these in other cities but couldn’t find any.  It has the person’s name, date of birth, date of arrest, the name of the camp and their date of death.  

This sculpture is a popular destination for Mozart fans. The horse fountain in the square near the Salzburg Cathedral glows in the late afternoon sun. I thought tying them up was a clever way to deal with unruly tall grasses. In a yard near our Airbnb I spot these little rock gardens.  I might have to make one of these in our garden at home.  I am always collecting stones! The fall colours are brilliant in the late afternoon sun as we arrive home.

Salzburg, Austria

Day 46, Thursday, October 10, 2019

Today was a quiet day.  Bob went for a walk to check out the transit system and neighbourhood and I worked on my blog, caught up on some emails and took it easy.  The big excursion for the day was going for a few groceries before dinner.

Day 47, Friday, October 11, 2019

Walking to the bus I notice many houses have very attractive front entries. We can see Hohensalzburg Fortress high on the hill above Salzburg.  Tour guide Bob informs me we will visit there on Tuesday. We can see beautiful green alpine meadows in the hills above Salzburg. We pass dairy cows right in town just a couple blocks from the train and bus station.  The advertisement above the cows gave me a chuckle.  We pop into a downtown church when we get off the bus.  It looks like a community church from the outside, with big cheery murals on either side of the door.  The inside is much less ornate than many of the churches we have visited and there is lots of information on community programs and events.  Nice to see. We stop at some  food stands selling wine and beer, and have a bit to eat.  These giant doughnuts look interesting but we pass.  They are as big as small plates! The gardens around the Mirabell Palace are beautiful.  In the movie ‘The Sound of Music’ Maria and the children dance around this Pegasus fountain and sing ‘Do Re Mi’. The grass contains elaborate knot patterns decorated with flowers.  These are freshly planted pansies, hundred of dozens of them! The Zwergerigarten is a surprise.  It is the oldest ‘Dwarf Garden’ in Europe and was built in 1695.  Yes, a Dwarf Garden!  We had no idea there was such a thing.    This fellow insisted on trying on Bob’s baseball cap! The collection of 28 marble dwarf sculptures was sold at auction in 1811.  17 of the sculptures have been recovered and put back into the park in their original positions.   Here are some of these curious sculptures. We have tea and cookies in the garden and then I draw for a while. I used a new brush pen that I got just before we left for holidays.  I think it is going to take a while to get used to.  I used a water brush to create value with the water based ink in the pen.

I sketched the mountain this morning waiting for the bus.  Drawing these dwarves I was starting to get a feel for how to use this pen.  A water brush and white crayon were used to add some value.Walking through the garden there are some more knot designs created with flowers in the grass. There is a small Orangerie…with some goldfish, a turtle and a few birds. Looking back towards the Mirabelle Palace. The two towers in the background belong to the church we visited earlier. These young girls were enjoying the Pegasus Fountain, and I enjoyed watching them. There seems to be several unicorns here in Salzburg. I have time for a quick sketch of a beautiful enormous tree while waiting for Bob. There are a lot of big trees here. We have never seen a giraffe quite like this before! We walk along the river heading towards the Old Town. The Old Town and the Castle on the hill make a striking view.
People are out enjoying the warm weather. This is the house that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in with his family until he moved to Vienna in 1781. His family occupied the entire top floor.  We were looking for a free film and somehow ended up in the museum instead, so we had a quick look around. This street was the inspiration for the song ‘Silent Night’.  It is a long street so no idea exactly where this inspiration transpired.
This door had interesting marks scratched on it that looks very old.Here is the entrance to the “Silent Night’ street.
As we explore some of the side streets, we pass this ‘House of Pleasure’, and yes, it seems to be that kind of pleasure! We also see some graffiti that I quite like.  Note how the little ledge is incorporated into the image.  Very clever!This little sidewalk fountain had red roses stuck in small holes in the paving.  I wonder why? We check out the Marionette Theatre, but unfortunately there are no performances while we are here. While we wait for the bus home I notice an empty store front where someone has written on the glass windows with a black felt pen.  It is an interesting different sort of graffiti.