AUG 15,2011 - AUG 15,2011 (1 DAYS)
Duration: 1 day. Hundertwasser House, Village and Hundertwasser Museum (Kunst Haus) 1/2 day and The Prater + way to Donaustadt - 1/2 day.
Tip 1: Hundertwasser sites.
Tip 2: The Prater (old fashioned fun), Messe Wien, St. Francis of Assisi Church (Kirche zum heiligen Franz von Assisi), Mexikoplatz, Reichsbrucke (Empire Bridge), the way to Donaustadt (Danube City).
Distance: The two parts: 6-7 km (2.5 km. + 4 km.).
Hundertwasserhaus, Kegelgasse 36-38, Vienna:
From the Landstrasse U-Bahn station - it is 900 m. 12-15 minutes walk:
Head south on Bahnhof Wien-Mitte toward Landstraßer Hauptstraße, 15 m. Turn left onto Landstraßer Hauptstraße, 73 m. Turn left onto Invalidenstraße, 200 m. Turn right onto Marxergasse, 270 m. Turn left onto Seidlgasse, 96 m. Turn right onto Kegelgasse. Hundertwasserhaus is on the right.
From the Rochusgasse U-Bahn station it is 950 m. , 12- 15 minutes walk:
Head northwest on Karl-Borromäus-Platz toward Sechskrügelgasse, 35 m.
Turn right onto Sechskrügelgasse, 160 m. Slight right onto Landstraßer Hauptstraße, 48 m. Continue onto Rasumofskygasse, 450 m. Turn left onto Löwengasse, 220 m. Turn right onto Kegelgasse. The Hundertwasserhaus is on the right.
The Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment house in the Landstraße district on the corner of Kegelgasse and Löwengasse. Built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser with the cooperation of architect Joseph Krawina. This brightly-painted, natural apartment block with a forested roof & balconies is the expressionist Artist's main creation and is a famous landmark of Vienna. The house catches the eye with its colorful tiling, mosaics, turrets, columns and onion shaped spires.
The building is locked and you may not get inside. As it is residential you cannot go inside. The building contains a cafe and a little shop. Just walking around the house is worth a visit in itself.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928–2000) was an Austrian painter, architect, and sculptor best known for his architecture characterized by colorful, ornamental, and irregular morphic shapes. He initially gained acclaim for his paintings, but later became more renowned for his unique, avant-garde, surrealist architectural styling. Hundertwasser's architectural style is often compared with those of Antoni Gaudi. In contrast to Gaudí, Hundertwasser used symmetrical mosaic stones, very carefully arranged.
Inspired by the Vienna Secession movement, especially the work of Austrian painters Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, Hundertwasser incorporated his decorative, labyrinthine spirals into his paintings, architecture and designs for postage stamps and flags. He developed his own theory of “Transautomatism”, which was inspired by the Surrealist concept of automatism (painting or drawing without conscious self-censorship), and sought to loosen the rigid rules of conventional art to emphasize the viewer’s experience.
Born Friedrich Stowasser in Vienna, he became one of the best-known contemporary Austrian artists, although controversial, by the end of the 20th century. In 1948 Friendensreich Hundertwasser studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts for 4 months. A year later he changed his name to Friedensreich Hundertwasser. His adopted surname is based on the translation of "sto" (the Slavic word for "one hundred") into German. The name Friedensreich has a double meaning as "Peaceland" or "Peacerich" (in the sense of "peaceful"). The other names he chose for himself, Regentag and Dunkelbunt, translate to "Rainy day" and "Darkly multicoloured". His name Friedensreich Hundertwasser means "full-of-peace hundred-water".
From 1949 to 1952 he undertook many journeys to North Africa and Paris, where he started to deal with the paintings of Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee and others. In the 1950s, Hundertwasser began designing architectural projects. These designs use irregular forms, and incorporate natural features of the landscape. Hundertwasser married Herta Leitner in 1958 but they divorced two years later. He married again in 1962 but was divorced by 1966. By this point he was very popular with his art.
During the late 1960s he gave a series of attention-grabbing naked speeches advocating for an individual’s right to construct his or her own house. Hundertwasser's father Ernst Stowasser died three months after his son's first birthday. The Second World War was a hard time for Hundertwasser and his mother Elsa, as she was Jewish. They avoided persecution by posing as Catholics, a credible ruse because Hundertwasser's father had been a Catholic. To remain inconspicuous, Hundertwasser joined the Hitler Youth. In 1962 Hundertwasser had his international break through at the Biennale in Venice. Around this time he also made ideological statements, with his famous nudist speeches and his call for peace, ecology and new forms of architecture. Not unlike the artists of the Session Movement, he saw art as a decoration. Hundertwasser got even more famous as an architect. From 1986 to 1991 he planned and realized different buildings, like the Hundertwasser Haus and the front of the waste combustion Spittelau. Hundertwasser was buried in New Zealand after his death at sea on the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2000, at the age of 71.
As Hundertwasser’s reputation spread, more commissions arrived, including buildings as diverse as a church in the south of Austria, the railway station in Uelzen, Germany, a winery in the Napa Valley, California and the Hundertwasser toilet in Kawakawa. Hundertwasser's revolutionary architectural ideas also include topping buildings with trees and areas where animals can graze, and creating floor surfaces that are unleveled. His radical philosophies and outrageous antics attracted considerable attention from the public. Hundertwasser was against monotonous architecture, and called for a boycott of architecture with straight lines, and demanded instead creative freedom of building, and the right to create individual structures. He wrote manifestos and essays and organized demonstrations.
Hundertwasser house is one of Vienna’s most popular sights and was built 20 years ago as part of the city’s community housing project. Many of its tenants have moved in on opening and enjoy its beauty, its originality and its comforts. The Hundertwasserhaus apartment block in Vienna is his most famous creation. This building has undulating floors, a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. He took no payment for the design of Hundertwasserhaus, declaring that the investment was worth it to "prevent something ugly from going up in its place".
Opening Hours: The café is open daily from 10.00 to 18.00.
In 1985 an English telephone booth was installed in front of Hundertwasser House, which Hundertwasser himself had imported from England. For Hundertwasser the English telephone booth was more in accordance with his architectural design of the house and its surroundings as well as with his architecture philosophy in general. The Austrian telephone booths at that time for him represented the ugliness of straight lines and the grid system. The telephone booth at Hundertwasser House was rebuilt in summer 2013. Also the floor tiles inside were newly laid:
The Hundertwasser and Kalke’s 'Village' is located opposite 'Hundertwasserhaus' and reflects the same ideas of interior design. The concept was not to tear down and demolish - but to rebuild and change concepts. The 'Village' was an old horse stable turned into petrol station and tire workshop owned by Kalke who worked with Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser to turn it into "the village. The Hundertwasser Village opposite is, basically, a commercial complex with souvenir shops and overpriced coffee bars. For 80 cents you can visit the tiled toilets (which a long queue of camera-toting Japanese tourists were all doing). The toilets ARE worth an 80 cents visit, if you need, or almost need, to go. The official Hundertwasser information centre and shop is opposite the village in the complex itself and has much more interesting and relevant fare: information books, posters etc:
Not far from Hundertwasserhaus, four blocks north at Untere Weisbergerstrasse 13, is the KUNST HAUS WIEN, Museum Hundertwasser, Untere Weissgerberstrasse 13. It is 350 m., 5 minutes walk. From the 'Village' head east on Blüteng. toward Untere Weißgerberstraße for 25 m and turn left onto Untere Weißgerberstraße. This Museum is the world's only permanent exhibition of Hundertwasser's works, and is a gathering place for Hunderwasser lovers from all over the world. This building was originally a furniture factory where the famous Thonet bentwood chairs were produced. Today it houses a permanent exposition of the artwork of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Its facade has a design similar to that of the Hundertwasserhaus, but this time black and white colors dominate. The Kunst Haus Wien, as is typical of Hundertwasser houses, hardly a straight line is to be found here either. Changing exhibitions of other artists are also shown on around 1,600 square meters of exhibition space. The Hundertwasser Museum in the Kunst Haus Wien and the famous Hundertwasser House are not only recommended as places to visit for guests of Vienna who are interested in art, but also invite everyone to go on a fantastic journey through the architecture and art of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
it is worth a visit and one who loves art needs to plan on spending at least two hours exploring because at each spot you start to say wow that is an interesting way to see the world ! This is a must see!. Believe me, you'll easily get the "Alice in Wonderland" feel in this museum and its (permanent and temporary) exhibitions.
Opening Times: Exhibitions and shop: daily, from 10.00 to 19.00 (the ticket office closes at 18.30). TIAN bistro: Sunday to Thursday from 10.00 to 19.00, Friday and Saturday from 10.00 to 22.00. (after 19.00 only the entrance at Weißgerberlände 14 is open). Opening hours during holidays: 24 December: 10.00 to 15.00, 31 December: 10.00 to 17.00.
Public Transport: U1 or U4 to Schwedenplatz, continue on tram 1 (direction: "Prater Hauptallee") to Radetzkyplatz OR U3 or U4 to Landstrasse/Wien Mitte, continue on tram O (direction: "Praterstern") to Radetzkyplatz.
Prices: Adults: € 10.00, Children up to 10 years: free, Children & young people 11-18 years: € 5.00, Families (2 adults, 4 children up to 18 years): € 22.00. Audioguide: € 3,- for the Hundertwasser exhibiton in English and German:
You start by having coffee in the café with its amazing interior and this is an experience in itself:
Some famed insights by Friedensreich Hundertwasser:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - The love is something, Venice, 1978:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - Silent Flowers:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "This is the flag of God will. It is the flag of the promised land. The Arab mood is protecting the Jewish star":
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "The horizontal belongs to nature, the vertical belongs to Man, the straight line is Godness":
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "Spectacle on human face", Tokyo, 1968:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "Do not wait house more", Kyoto, 1980:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "Tennoy fly with hats", Kyoto, 1985:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "Goodmorning bleeding town", Venice, 1970:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "In Gamba" - Venice, 1989:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "Regentag on waves of love", Bayern, 1972:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "How do you do ? ", Venice, 1984:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "King Kong", Venice, 1968:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "The boy with the green hair", Paris, 1967:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "The garden of the happy deads", St. Moritz, 1953. Hundertwasser believed in equilibrium between Man and Nature, between the City and Nature and in ecological way of living as a key to piece among nations:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser - "Rain of blood falling into the garden", Kyoto, 1972. Hundertwasser's mother was Jewish and all her relatives were murdered by the Nazis. Hundertwasser, himself almost fell in their hands:
The backside of the gallery in Untere Weissgerberstrasse 13 faces the Donaukanal (Danube Canal) and once that you came that far, you should really take a look as well at the ship-station designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser:
From the Donaukanal and the Kunst Haus, Museum Hundertwasser we head to the Prater. It is 20 minutes, 1.2 km. walk. Head northwest on Dampfschiffstraße toward Obere Viaduktgasse, 250 m. Turn right onto Franzensbrücke and continue along it, 600 m. Turn right onto Hauptallee, 22 m. Turn left toward Oswald-Thomas-Platz, 16 m. Turn left onto Oswald-Thomas-Platz, 14 m. Turn right to stay on Oswald, 40 m.
Turn left to stay on Oswald-Thomas-Platz, 90 m. Turn left toward Gabor-Steiner-Weg, 58 m. Turn left onto Gabor-Steiner-Weg, 3m. See Tip 2 below.
The Vienna Prater (Luna Park), Messe Wien, St. Francis of Assisi Church (Kirche zum Heiligen Franz von Assisi), Mexikoplatz, Reichsbrucke (Empire Bridge), the way to the Donaustadt (Danube City).
Transportation: U-Bahn Praterstern drops you off at the main entrance.
Location: Together with the Danube itself, Donaukanal creates a large island, separating the districts of Brigittenau (20th district) and Leopoldstadt (2nd district) from central Vienna. The famous amusement park Prater with the giant Ferris wheel (Riesenrad) is located on this island, as well as Austria’s main football stadium and the venue of Euro2008 final game (Ernst Happel Stadion), Messe Wien (huge exhibition and congress centre), and one of Viennese biggest train stations, Praterstern.
The Wiener Prater is a large public amusement park in Vienna's 2nd district (Leopoldstadt). It is the oldest amusement park in the world. The Prater was firstly mentioned in a document in 1162 under the reign of emperor Friedrich I. In 1766 emperor Josef the II. donated the area to the people of Vienna. From this point on the Prater was steadily extended with bowling alleys, cinemas, Cafés, green lawns, football stadium and a trotting race track. The park itself is huge. It is not only amusement park but also part of the Austrian heritage. The "Wiener Prater" is open 24 hours each day - 7 days a week. Entrance is free of charge. Attractions, restaurant businesses, arcade shops and other leisure facilities are all waiting for your wallet. The attractions themselves are charged. Fees for individual attractions vary between € 1,50 and € 5,00 depending on size and genre. The Pratercard is the cashless payment method of the Prater. Top up the card with the desired credit at one of the numerous selling points or on the Internet and get a 10% discount. Additionally you will receive a free ride (attraction chosen by the system) for every 100 Euros charged to the card.
Tips: Some attractions are closed from November to March. In the high season come early in the morning or during the late afternoon hours. You need to pay for the entry via money slot for the toilets - bring some change. Go on the giant wheel for the absolute best view of the city. You can rent bicycles and go around the large luna park and the green park behind. If you have Vienna Card - you are eligible for coupons - for using the Prater attractions. Come during the Octoberfests - from the 25th of September to 12th of October.
Praterturm: The Praterturm is THE new landmark of the Prater and of Vienna. Built in 2010 its height of 117 meters makes it the highest flying swing in the world. A must-do for everyone who loves height and speed ! A very very tall tower, which has a circular set of chairs on chains. It spins you in giant circles around the tower as you go up the tower and then down. The speed is slow, but the height of the thing is enormous. Not for the faint of heart. 5,00 €.
The Giant Wheel - Wiener Riesenrad: The giant wheel was built in 1897 and is one of Vienna’s landmarks. Its outline can be seen from a long distance. A glorious relic of bygone times: the star of Orson Welles "The Third Man", James Bond and 'Before Sunrise' films. Smooth, slow ride with good views. It has wooden covered- wagons (look fragile) that seat about 15 people. The view from the top of the wheel across the city and beyond is terrific. 9,00 €. The ride lasts about 10 minutes.
The Wiener Grottenbahn (the tunnels train): The Grottenbahn is an ideal adventure for children and adults. The train passes through thirty grottos populated with fairy tales creatures. 2,00 €.
Liliputbahn - - a gauge light railway: another landmark of the Prater. A round trip over the 4 km long route through the Prater and the Hauptallee (main alley) takes approximately 20 minutes. The over 75 year old attraction is probably the funniest railway in Vienna. Another Liliputbahn is located at the Donaupark. 4,00 Euro - adult 2,20 child under 12 yrs.
Rollercoaster: Attention: might be a safety problem for small children - since the safety belt doesn't tighten well around their little bodies. Adult - 2,70 € , children - 2,25 €.
The Messe Wien Exhibitions Centre is in the north-east edge of the Prater complex. Vienna is rated amongst the top congress destinations in Europe. It got a firm push ahead due to the opening of the new Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center in 2004. The events facility offers around 46,000 sq mt of prime exhibition space that has been spread across three exhibition halls. It also has a multi-functional facility of 9,000 sq mt that can be used for hosting events related to entertainment. Geting to Messe Wien by public transportation: U2 UNDERGROUND LINE „Karlsplatz – Seestadt“ - the ideal exit to entrances A and Congress Center: station „Messe-Prater“, the ideal exit to entrance D: station „Krieau“. BUS line 11A „Heiligenstadt - Seestadt“ - exit to all entrances: station „Krieau“. BUS line 80B „Kaiserebersdorf - Seestadt“ - exit to all entrances: station „Krieau“. We pass through the Messe Wien in our way to the Danube Park, Reichsbrücke (bridge over the Danube and to the famous Uno City:
We shall take the most interesting route to the Danube river (and not the shortest one). It is approximately 20 minutes, 1.7 km. walk to the Reichsbrucke (Empire Bridge) and Mexiko Platz. From the Messezentrum Vienna head SOUTHEAST toward Vorgartenstraße, 88 m. Turn left onto Vorgartenstraße, 180 m. Turn right onto Elderschpl, 140 m. Continue onto Machstraße, 160 m. Turn left onto Handelska, 700 m. (you already see the river and its piers (Blau Donau Schifahrt). Slight right to stay on Handelskai, 300 m. Slight right, 40 m. You arrive to Mexikoplatz. On your left is the St. Francis of Assisi Church (Kirche zum Heiligen Franz von Assisi). St. Francis of Assisi Church is located in the south-eastern part of Mexikoplatz (Mexico Square – the church also used to be called Mexikokirche in the past), next to the beginning of the Reichsbrücke (Empire Bridge), which connects Vienna city centre with Donaustadt and UNO-City. The church is one of the most beautiful churches in Vienna and from a distance it looks more like a fairytale castle. A peculiar style that is very reminiscent of those toy Playmobil castles (....), with rounded towers and almost perfect blocks. You can visit it almost every day, but the highlight is its exterior architecture, which has remained almost intact over time. It looks like it´s just been built yesterday. Built between 1898 and 1910 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. It was consecrated in 1913. Its three red-tiled towers are visible several km. away. The church, which is directly situated near the Danube, is now home to the Vienna English Speaking Catholic Community who holds weekly masses at the church since moving there in 2009.
The Mexikoplatz (Mexico Square), formerly known as Erzherzog-Karl-Platz (Archduke-Karl-Square), commemorates the fact that Mexico was the only country outside the Soviet Union to protest against the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany. It is located on the banks of the Danube at the metro stop of Vorgaten Strase. It's right on the banks of the river, opposite the UN building in Vienna. The square, in itself, is not much to shout about, it´s only about 30 square meters, with its benches and other furnishings, but what is striking about it is the imposing St. Francis Cathedral.
Climb the stairs and pass the river from west to east over the Empire Bridge (Reichsbrucke) - Vienna's most famous bridge, linking Mexicoplatz in Leopoldstadt with the Donauinsel in Donaustadt on the other side of the Danube. It is definitely worth it to walk on the Reichsbrücke from one side to another to see St. Francis of Assisi Church from different angles (especially with the Danube river and the boats in front of the church). From the bridge which crosses the river, you can take beautiful pictures of the cathedral with the Danube river below. Far from being a tourist spot, it´s quite far from the center, but it´s not a bad idea to catch the subway and take a walk around. It is, at least, interesting and different from other monuments you will find in Vienna:
We arrived to the Uno City. We devoted a special blog to the Uno City and its surroundings. See you ! The metro (U-Bahn) line that goes through Reichsbrücke is U1. Stations near Reichsbrücke include Vorgartenstrasse (near Mexikoplatz on the city centre side), Donauinsel (on the island in the middle of the bridge), and Kaisermühlen-VIC (next to the UNO City). The closest U-Bahn station is the Donauinsel station on the Danube island - actually, part of the Reichsbrucke.