The Brothers Josephu

The Brothers Josephu
Young Josef at work...circa 1917

Monday, June 20, 2011

Trip - Day 4

Thursday - June 4th.

Today Brigitte joined us as we headed outside Vienna. We traded George's SmartCar for Brigitte's red Mini Cooper and drove to small towns in the outlying area north of Vienna. This was an added benefit for me for it allowed me to see more of Vienna and the area, and how people live in Austria.

We drove to the Vienna Woods, to a hill north of Vienna called Kahlenberg. It's a beautiful drive. The Kahlenberg Church at the top has been there since the mid 1600's. There's a wonderful view of Vienna in the valley below, with the Danube to the left.

We then head down the hill to the Grinzinger Cemetery, an old a picturesque graveyard where we find the grave of Paula Kalman. She was the wife of composer Emmerich Kalman, who was a friend of my grandfather: Josef sculpted Paula's grave. I must take a moment here to acknowledge and thank Herbert Fisher again. He took time to help verify a few pieces, and send me photos of the Kalman grave, and of the next statue.

We proceeded to a small town called Zistersdorf. A quaint village where we pursue one of Josef's works, a memorial to fallen soldiers. First a nice lunch at a lovely restaurant. Then off to the memorial, found as expected, behind a church called Maria Moos Kirche (or  Wallfahrtskirche Maria Moos), which dates back to the 1200's.

We then headed off to a historical village called Museumdorf Niedersulz, which shows what life was like in the Austrian farmland 200 years ago with well preserved buildings that one may visit inside as well.

From here we drove across very green farmland dotted with small villages and arrived at a town called Gänserndorf. We are seeking a building that was once a rail station with a large relief on its wall by Josef. The area is somewhat flat, and the building is easy to spot - it's the tallest in the valley. The building had been renovated and expanded but the artwork was preserved. It was rumored that the building had been destroyed, but fortunately it was not.

From Gänserndorf we head back to Vienna, searching for a cluster of buildings that should contain ceramic reliefs by Florian. We only had an intersection to look for and not an actual address. We wandered around for quite a bit. When we were just about to give up we found them! Three ceramics adorn each of three entries into the building, somewhat obscured by overgrown bushes.

That evening we returned to Brigitte's apartment, and then went to a local spot for wine and food called a Heuriger. These are specially licensed taverns where only the wine from the vineyard may be sold, and a limited amount of food. We came several times to this particular Heuriger for good wine and snacks, and good conversation.

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