Vienna is the most wonderful city, capital of landlocked Austria and with a history that reflects its own identity but also with elements of culture from neighbouring countries, predominantly Germany.
I visited Vienna in search of “gold” – Klimt “gold”. Belvedere Palace houses the world’s largest collection of Klimt art, as well as important Austrian art from the Middle Ages to present day. Klimt’s talent is better known for his golden phase when he used gold leaf to enhance the evocativeness of his work. He is a controversial artist as his portrayal of the human form can be seen as erotic in many of his works.
However in the Belvedere you can also find examples of his landscape works which are appealing in a completely different way to the paintings for which he is better known but still just as wonderful – vibrant with colour. Of course (for me, and many others) the highlight of the exhibition is “The Kiss”. I have loved this painting for many years – for a period of my life it had great symbolism for me. I was not disappointed when I stood in front of the real “Kiss”, it is the most amazing painting, luminous in colour and so full of incredible detail and imagery, it certainly fulfilled all my expectations and more.
The Belvedere is just one of many breathtaking buildings in Vienna. Around every corner is a gem of architecture, often juxtaposed with modern day shops but not detracting from the history and culture of this amazing city. If you are wanting some retail therapy Vienna offers a wide range of “golden” opportunities with all the designer shops, as well as specialist shops (chocolate being very popular!), markets all year round but especially at Christmas and Easter.
Whatever you are looking for – art, music, architecture, history, tradition, modernity, retail therapy, you can find it in Vienna – truly a “golden” city.