Being on a conference trip in London the past weekend I didn’t have much spare time to enjoy the city be itself. So there was just one sunday afternoon to dive into the urban jungle of the British capital. Equipped with my camera I wandered around Westminster, Trafalgar up to Paddington where I had to catch my train. So the picture reflect these time constraints I had. There was no time to adjust and to wait for the perfect moment. I just captured the street life as it happened around me.
The so called Prater is a huge park in the 2nd district of Vienna and just a rather small part of it is actually an amusement area. As a kid I loved going there, it was our small version of Disneyland without Micky. Interestingly the Prater didn’t change much since back in the 90s (still a lot of Spice Girls and bad techno music is played at the attractions astoundingly) and kids continue to love it. My first roller coaster ride was on the “Wilde Maus” (picture 2) and I will never forget how my father and me went lost within a house of horror, using a lighter to find the way out. Or how we used to got there on the 1st of May with friends. Always somewhere in the background was a construction of steel spinning around its axis with small red wagons attached to the outer frame. The beating heart of the park the so called “Riesenrad”. One of the oldest ferris wheels in Europe still standing and also one of the defining landmarks of Vienna (picture 5).
The Stadtpark of Vienna is the green lung of the city centre. It was inaugurated in 1862 as part of the redesign of the so called Glacis, the previously untilled area in front of the dismantled city walls of Vienna. The sight was planned in the English landscape style and architecturally enriched around 1900 when the Wienfluss, a river going trough the park, was finally regulated and the City Railway was build. You see the river on the second picture and the modern iteration of the City Railway, our Metro line number 4, on the third picture. It always amazes me how this piece of artificial nature is able to snatch you from the urban madness of a concrete jungle and calm you down almost immediately, may it be just for a couple of minutes. A green lung truly.
Actually this is one is kind of “The Viennese Central Cemetery Part 2,5” or call it the outtakes. Two shots I really liked but which didn’t fit into. On the second picture you see the fabolous Karl-Borromäus church in the center of the cemetery. Plus another shot from the streets of Vienna capturing the colors of autumn.
The second part of my photo series shot in the Viennese Central Cemetery on friday. This one contains pictures from the Jewish and other parts of the cemetery. If you want to know more about this Nekropolis (and a city by itself it certainly is) you are invited to read the foreword to part I.
Traditionally the Viennese have a somewhat morbid relationship to death. In the second half of the 19th century, when Vienna was an international metropole, a “high culture” of dying emerged. Suddenly it was popular to have big funerals and fancy grave stones. In Vienna we say “A schöne laich”, a beautiful corpse. In this vain 1874 a new cemetery was build in the south of the city, so large indeed that it was going to accommodate the next few generations of Viennese. As a matter of fact it still does its job very well due to the sheer size of the area, which is as large as the whole old town of Vienna (there is even a graveyard bus line). But it is not the scope that makes it so fascinating, but the gloomy atmosphere and the beautiful work of art done here. It is a monument to the past days of Vienna. The imperial town with a special relationship to dying.
Part I was shot at the old jewish part of the cemetery.