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greek mythology

The story of the Palais Pallavicini


Right in front of the former Imperial and Royal library there is a large house that most likely few people have missed when passing by the Josefplatz: the Palais Pallavicini. The Pallavicini were a family that originated in Italy in the 12th century and that started serving the Habsburgs during the time of Maria Theresia…

Nike at the Austrian Parliament


Built in 1874-1883 by the architect Teophil Hansen, the Austrian parliament is being refurbished and this project is expected to last until 2021. During this process, among many other activities, the figures and monuments decorating the building will be also renovated. A very visible figure decorating the parliament is that of a lady in a…

The story of the Reichskanzleitrakt


One of the buildings that are part of the “Burgplatz” in the Hofburg is the “The Reichskanzleitrakt” (The Imperial Chancellery Wing). Its architects were Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt and Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach and it was built in the first part of the 18th century during the reign of Charles VI. On the top of…

The Imperial and Royal Library


The Imperial and Royal Library at the Josefplatz is a well-known museum not only because it is located in a well frequented street, but also because of its beautiful interior. And perhaps one of the first things that catch a visitor’s attention is the group of figures in the center/top of the façade. Have you…

The Theseus Temple


The Theseus temple was originally intended as a frame and presentation site for only one single contemporary work of art: Antonio Canova’s monumental group Theseus slays the centaur. For almost seventy years, the impressive white marble sculpture was exhibited inside the Theseus temple until it was moved to the Art History Museum. The temple was…

Urania, a muse for the stars

Vienna Tours

The Donaukanal is one of the most popular places to hang out in Vienna once the weather starts getting warmer, and one of the most distinctive buildings on the canal is the Urania. Named after Urania, a muse to astronomers in Greek mythology, it was originally built as a temporary structure in the Prater for…

The indecency of the Donnerbrunnen

Vienna City Tours

Vienna today abounds with nude statues, nude paintings, occasional nude museum visits (for those who recall the Naked Men exhibition at the Leopold Museum in 2012/2013), naked co-ed saunas, and nude beaches on the Donauinsel and elsewhere around the city. Overall, the Viennese have pretty liberal attitudes when it comes to nudity, but it wasn’t…

The story of the Hall of the Muses

Vienna City Tours

The other day your SV explorer visited the Albertina and managed to visit some of the beautiful rooms of the building. One of these rooms is the Musensaal (“Hall of the Muses”) that, as the name suggests, hosts sculptures of the nine Greek goddesses who preside over the arts and sciences.  A sculpture of the…