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In Praise of Concrete

In Praise of Concrete

Vienna is a sacred city and rightly proud of its churches. From soaring Gothic to gilded Baroque, the place boasts myriad well-documented masterpieces. Concealed in its suburbs, however, lurk other gems that reach to the heavens in spires of concrete. A first in concrete Austria’s first concrete church was unveiled in 1913 in Ottakring. The […]

Rethinking Vienna 1900

Rethinking Vienna 1900

Last year, Vienna revived its modernist past with a flurry of activities around the iconic painting The Kiss to celebrate the 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt. The buzz portrayed the painter, one of the driving forces behind the Wiener Secession, as foremost among progressive artists who ushered in the period of optimism they dubbed the […]

Spirit and Voice at Otto Wagner’s Opus

Spirit and Voice at Otto Wagner’s Opus

The Church at Steinhof, the gilded Jugendstil edifice built by Otto Wagner at the beginning of the 20th century, is a majestic setting for VOCuMENTA’s monthly music programme. The organization’s stated purpose, to present “outstanding works of western vocal sacred music”, is emphasised by its distinctive name, a neologism joining “vox” (voice) and “mens” (spirit) together. In this […]

Wagner’s “Crazy Church”

“Next stop psychiatric hospital” the monotonous female voice in the speakers of bus No. 48 announces. Through the giant, mint green iron bars, a grey building emerges from behind towering fir trees, laurel wreaths decorate the walls and two side wings in brick. Over the doorway, in large mint green block letters, Otto Wagner Spital, […]

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