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Once stuffy, now hip, Vienna is experiencing a cultural reawakening. Young creatives are breathing new life into a city known for music, art, and architecture. Attend opera and ballet performances at the legendary Vienna State Opera, or plug into the electronic scene at an underground club. Sip coffee at one of the city’s many historic cafes or tip back a more creative concoction in a smoky cocktail bar. View Art Nouveau masterpieces or works sprayed from aerosol cans. In Vienna, you can experience the classic along with the cutting-edge with ease.
Countless college students have made-out in dorm rooms beneath posters of Gustav Klimt’s iconic painting, “The Kiss.” Steal a few smooches of your own in front of the 6-foot square gold-flecked original at the Belvedere. Housed in a Baroque palace reminiscent of Versailles, the museum possesses the world’s largest collection of oil paintings by the esteemed local as well as works by Egon Schiele, Koloman Moser, and other influential Austrian artists.
Did you know? Some art historians suspect that “The Kiss” is an intimate portrait of Klimt and his long-time partner, fashion designer Emilie Flöge.
To see art so fresh the paint is still wet, head to the Danube Canal. Local and internationally recognized street artists have spray painted the concrete walls that line the riverbank with massive murals and intricate graffiti. Stroll along the adjacent walkway to view these modern masterpieces up close and catch artists at work.
Did you know? With so many historic buildings, Vienna has little space for aerosol art. By way of compromise, the city opened up the walls along the Danube as a legal canvas.
After looking at art on walls, step into a world of flying colors at the Imperial Butterfly Park (Schmetterlinghaus). Built at the turn of the last century as part of the Hofburg Royal Palace, the beautiful Art Nouveau palm house is now home to monarchs of the winged variety. Watch as some 400 vibrantly hued inhabitants — including the massive Atlas moth, which sports a 12-inch wingspan — flutter freely past waterfalls and land on exotic blossoms and trees.
Did you know? Butterflies are attracted to bright colors, especially pink, purple, red, yellow, and orange. Wear a radiant outfit and one might land on you.
Standing in sharp — or rather curvy — contrast to Vienna’s many opulent palaces and royal monuments is the Hundertwasserhaus, Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s most well-known building. Completed in 1986, the apartment complex’s flowing contours, psychedelic paint job, and undulating mosaics of broken glass and crockery reflect the maverick architect’s commitment to organic shapes (he once called straight lines “the tool of the devil”). Residents occupy the 53 apartments, but the kaleidoscopic view from the street will make your head spin.
Did you know? We’ve all heard of living walls and green rooftops, but Hundertwasser took things a bit further. In his “Moldiness Manifesto,” he encourages people to celebrate when a wall starts to grow mold or moss because “life is moving into the house.”
Heurigen are the wine-loving cousins of biergartens — convivial, cozy, and great places to chow down on regional comfort food. You can find these traditional wine taverns in the vineyards that flourish on the outskirts of the city. Most pour wine made from their own grapes and serve hearty farm-to-table fare, such as liptauer (a paprika-spiked cheese spread), sauer blunzen (vinegar-marinated sausages), schmalzbrot (fresh-baked brown bread spread with pork drippings), and warm apple strudel.
Did you know? Back in the 1700s, in the early days of the heurigen, winemakers would hang an evergreen bough outside their gates as an invitation to neighbors when the wine was ready
Answers: 1. Pez 2. Ferris wheel 3. Sigmund Freud 4. seven million 5. The City of Music 6. 200 7. Marie Antoinette 8. 2,600 9. Boys’ 10. Sachertorte
In a city known for its conspicuous sweet tooth, the Sachertorte, a dense chocolate cake with layers of apricot jam, reigns supreme. Franz Sacher, a 16-year-old pastry apprentice, invented the rich dessert one evening in 1832 when his employer Prince Metternich had a craving for something sweet. Today, indulging in Austria’s “king of cakes” is a slow ritual meant to be enjoyed with coffee and conversation.
Recipe courtesy of Austria.info
A new year, a new you, and a new chance for your breath to make a great first impression. Want to incorporate some natural breath fresheners to your daily routine? It’s as easy as adding a few ingredients into the mix.
Pair garlicky dishes with these dark leafy greens. They contain polyphenols that break down garlic’s smelly sulfur compounds.
Mint matcha, anyone? Green tea contains those sulfur-busting polyphenols, too. And mint is nature’s breath enhancer thanks to its chlorophyll content, which helps fight off bad bacteria. Mix them together for a power combo.
Try some cinnamon tea as an herbal digestif. In a recent study, cinnamon eliminated half of all oral bacteria and 40% of the types linked to bad breath. Add an extra cinnamon stick or two to up the potency and visual appeal.
Food stuck between your chompers causes bacteria to build up and leads to bad breath. Help scrub away any pesky lingering bits by munching on crunchy fruits and veggies like these.
The life-sustaining liquid is also a great defense and offense against bad breath. Odor-causing bacteria love a dry mouth, and food stuck between your sparkly whites begins to ferment faster than you might think. Water impedes bacteria production and helps flush out those lunch leftovers. As Katy Perry once sang, “Swish, swish.”