Cozy up with a hot cup of cocoa as you stroll through the bustling alleys of these international Christmas markets. From Germany to New York and Shanghai to Toronto, these holiday fairs welcome starry-eyed shoppers and rosy-cheeked spectators to explore a winter wonderland.
There is a German word for longing: sehnsucht. It is a homesickness for a country you have never visited, a love for somebody you’ve never met. It is a yearning without an object, and so without an end. It’s the vague, elegiac melancholy you find in Viennese writers like Zweig or Roth, missing the Vienna Before the War.
The selected works, on loan from two private collections, start off with a subtle nod to The Weather Project: the grandiose palace entry hall is awash in orange light. Illuminated, the visitor becomes part of the art, moving through spaces moulded by Eliasson’s manipulations of mirrors and light.
In the idyllic Alpine town of Wattens, Austria, Daniel Swarovski founded the crystal company that would eventually become an international household name. In 1995, the Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds)—a playground for the brand’s most ardent enthusiasts—was unveiled near where the Swarovski enterprise started, 120 years ago.
Vienna’s appeal is undeniable. The Austrian capital was named the world’s most livable city for the sixth time in a row.
Paris had the triumphal Champs Élysées and London the stately, tree-lined Mall. But in mid-19th-century Vienna—seat of the historic Habsburg monarchy—there was only a faded tangle of old-town streets circled by military towers. And for Emperor Franz Joseph I, that wasn’t good enough.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Gustav Klimt’s birth, the Belvedere palace and museum in Vienna—which owns the world’s largest collection of his paintings, including The Kiss (1908)—has amassed a special exhibition on the visionary Austrian artist. “The Jubilee Exhibition: 150 Years of Gustav Klimt” runs until January 6, 2013, in the Upper Belvedere.
We all know the philosophical question involving a tree falling in a forest. Now, Austrian design studio KMKG has devised a way to keep a tree trunk singing long after it is felled, with their iTree docking stations. Each individual work of art is carved from a hollowed tree trunk and is compatible with iPhones and iPods.
It’s generally easy to spot an Austrian wine. The tops of most screw caps or foils show the design and colours of the country’s flag (two red bars separated by a white one), a smart move that makes Austria’s quality wines readily identifiable.