Vienna On Gustav Klimt’s 150th Birthday

Celebrating The 150th Anniversary Of The Birth Of Painter Gustav Klimt On July 14, Vienna Promises A Cultural Expedition Into The European Subconscious.

Boasting figures like composer Gustav Mahler, who modernized classical music, artist Hundertwasser, who sought inspiration in architecture, and painter Egon Schiele, who combined design with realism in painting, Vienna is perhaps the birthplace of European modernism. City of figures like Gustav Mahler, a composer who modernized classical music, and Egon Schiele, who combined pattern with reality in the art of painting, Vienna is perhaps also the birthplace of European modernism. And Gustav Klimt was one of the pioneers of that concept, which was a source of innovation in everything from music to architecture. Belvedere Palace, where 24 of the renowned painter’s canvases are on exhibit, is flooded with visitors these days.  The crowds are coming mainly to see a painting called The Kiss, which is believed to have changed the world. So, what makes this intriguing picture completed in 1895 so special? According to the experts, it represents a turning point in the art of painting. The first spark of a quest that sought the human not in the distance but within man himself. Vienna, which aims to make people rethink the human on Klimt’s 150th birthday, is hosting a series of special exhibitions and other events. The Leopold Museum, the Secession, the Vienna Museum, the Künstlerhaus, and the Folklore Museum are some of the venues hosting exhibitions about the famous painter. But Klimt is of course not the only reason to visit UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Vienna. The Inner Stadt, or so-called first Vienna, is an ideal place to begin a city tour. Starting from here you can follow a fabulous route that includes St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Royal Palace (Hofburg), the Imperial Theater, City Hall (Rathaus), the Parliament and the Spanish Riding School. This city, which lives to the beat of music and the waltz, is literally brimming with historic opera houses. Even if you don’t have time for one of the classical musical concerts that are on offer every evening, you can still take a tour of the Vienna State Opera (Statsoper), which opened in 1869. There are two venues within walking distance of the Opera: Mozart’s Museum House and the city’s most prestigious shopping avenue, the Karntner. On the way you may come across one of the Vienna fiacres (horse-drawn cabs) unique to the city. Touring the city by fiacre on a summer night, especially by moonlight, is an experience like none other. This city, which boasts more than 100 museums on everything from clocks to butterflies, is also also quite pleasantly seen by boat. The shortest excursion, made on the Danube and its connecting canals, takes two hours, the longest four. For a bird’s-eye view of the city, one of Europe’s oldest Ferris wheels awaits you in Prater Park.

The century-old cake and pastry shops of imperial Vienna are legendary. And apfelstrudel and rich chocolate Sacher Torte are nothing short of national cultural treasures.

Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Vienna-Istanbul flights daily. Departure times are 8:10 a.m. and 12:05 a.m. and 5:35 and 7:45 p.m. from Istanbul; and 6:45 and 10:35 a.m. and 1:25 and 7:45 p.m. from Vienna.