Vienna

Forgoing the obvious music and art references for which Vienna, and indeed Austria, is world famous, to walk through Vienna is to pass back through time to an era where village ‘curtain-twitcher culture’ exists hand-in-hand with a more modern, technological city pulse.

The Butterfly House

D800e / 14 – 24 f2.8 / Austria

Parliament

D800e / 14 – 24 f2.8 / Austria

Stephansdom

D800e / 14 – 24 f2.8 / Austria

Under An Iron Bridge

D800e / 14 – 24 f2.8 / Austria

Wiener Riesenrad

D4 / 50 f1.4 / Austria

Praterstern

D800e / 70 – 200 f2.8 / Austria

Wiedner Hauptstraße

D800e / 14 – 24 f2.8 / Austria

A Single Lit Window

D4 / 14 – 24 f2.8 / Austria

Karlsplatz

D4 / 50 f1.4 / Austria

Neubaugasse

D4 / 14 – 24 f2.8 / Austria

Tracks

D4 / 70 – 200 f2.8 / Austria

Passing Palais after identical Palais from Passau to Bratislava, Austria certainly sets the style for architectural design amongst its annexed neighbours. The Hapsburgs once monopolised this vast swath of Europe; from Spain to Romania the empire built grandiose stone-hewn structures to celebrate their nobility and dominance, just cycle the Danube and you’ll see what I mean. By European standards, the Hapsburgs were the alpha-males of empirical tact, expanding and conquering with all the finesse of professional Risk players. The empire however (as empires so often prove) could not stand up to the tests of time, and after brief resurgences in the mid-18th and early-20th centuries, effectively withdrew from their sprawling empirical roots to settle in a whimsical bubble of historical reminiscence. With wine. Lots of wine.

Forgoing the obvious music and art references for which Vienna, and indeed Austria, is world famous, to walk through Vienna is to pass back through time to an era where village ‘curtain-twitcher culture’ exists hand-in-hand with a more modern, technological city pulse. Pick any grid on a map of Vienna and you’re never far the shadows of awe-inspiring Cathedral rooftops, or monolithic Romanesque churches, even the arching doorways of cream-stone governmental structures, each monolith casting imposing scars on the surrounding landscape. But turn a corner from these hot spots, away from the hordes of Black Mirror cultists and well-to-do fur coats, and one discovers antiquated cobble-stoned streets bustling with wooden-decked tabacs and pokey red-leathered wine bars spilling cigar smoke and Gemischter Satz from their slightly ajar single windows. Delve deeper and one discovers antiques stores harbouring the skeletal remains of Austria’s shady past, where only next door the trendy young twenty-somethings spend family money at the latest McShark and Spar Gourmet.

Vienna is a fascinating European city to explore on foot, but treat yourself to a tram ride in an original 1970s High Floor tramcar (Type E1) and you really have travelled back in time. The #1 to and from Prater Hauptallee is arguably my favourite, whilst other routes to Grinzing and Baden come in a close second.

From a social perspective the daily routine in Vienna is just that; routine. Public transport runs like clockwork, refuse is collected frequently and on-time, the streets are clean, the air is fresh and the water the cleanest in the world. Or so I’m repeatedly told by the locals. The city consistently tops-trumps in global leader boards for standards of living, perhaps even offering a lifestyle for which there is no ‘better’ alternative. But dig deeper and one finds an all too familiar elitist conservatism nurturing nationalist idealism, born, no doubt, from historical pride and, indeed, failure. Racism is arguably rife amongst certain strands of the city hordes, propelled and fuelled by the fear-mongering far-right, spreading questionable vitriolic monologues throughout all seams of society. Being British I’m no stranger to this type of political propaganda, I’m fairly sure our politicians conceived the vile marketing scam, and with daily Austrian headlines invariably targeting foreigners and their ‘inherent threat’ to ‘traditional Austrian values’, this is a sickening social disease to watch unfold. The thing is, I can’t help but think this collective hatred for foreigners is nothing new, that perhaps it’s been here all along, lurking in the shadows just waiting to be stoked again by deluded martyrs. Perhaps that could be said for all countries. Still, if this fear and hatred is the the social cost of creating utopia, well I think I’ll settle for somewhere a little less liveable.

  • Beijing
    Beijing
    Wanderlust
  • Tianjin
    Tianjin
    Wanderlust
  • Xinjiang
    Xinjiang
    Wanderlust
  • Yunnan
    Yunnan
    Wanderlust
  • Vienna
    Vienna
    Wanderlust
  • Kampuchea
    Kampuchea
    Wanderlust
  • Budapest
    Budapest
    Wanderlust
  • Brighton
    Brighton
    Wanderlust
  • Transylvania
    Transylvania
    Wanderlust
  • Shanghai
    Shanghai
    Wanderlust
  • Berlin
    Berlin
    Wanderlust
  • Malaysia
    Malaysia
    Wanderlust
  • Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Wanderlust
  • London
    London
    Wanderlust
  • Japan
    Japan
    Wanderlust
  • The Gambia
    The Gambia
    Wanderlust

BARNABY JACO SKINNER

Photographer & Artist

All content copyright Barnaby Jaco Skinner 2018

Latest

Journal

Prints

Workshops

Artwork

Design

About

Facebook

error: All images and text are copyrighted by Barnaby Jaco Skinner 2018
Share This