Fotoeins Fotografie

photography as worlds between words

Posts from the ‘Austria’ category

Very Large Array, VLA, Plains of San Augustin, Socorro, New Mexico, USA, fotoeins.com

Fuji X70: from Vienna to New Mexico

Instead of merely talking or whining about a desire to carry something lighter for day-to-day photography situations, I decided to do something about it a couple of weeks before my month-long visit to Austria in May 2018.

I looked online for a mirrorless compact camera, but I didn’t need the latest or a top-line model. I preferred an older model with a lot of online reviews and user comments, and I decided on a compromise among three criteria: cost, weight and size, and image quality.

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Innsbruck, Nordkette, Inn river, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Innsbruck’s multi-coloured houses in Mariahilf

From Innsbruck’s Marktplatz, I face the Nordkette mountains across the Inn river with the Inn bridge on the right. This has the appearance of a “standard” panorama, but I’m compelled to frame a shot with a row of brightly coloured houses hugging the river bank and the “crown” of rock hovering in the background. The “bunte Häuser” are located in the Stadtteil (neighbourhood) of Mariahilf.

I made the photo on 10 May 2018 with a Canon EOS6D, 24-105 glass, and settings: 1/800-sec, f/11, ISO500, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bPa.

My Vienna: Disrupting Historicism with Modernism

Above/featured: Modernism at Steinhof Church: church by O.Wagner, sculptural angels by O.Schimkowitz, stained glass by K.Moser (HL).

Vienna is as much a present-day cultural capital city as she was for decades and centuries. Many will get a peek and taste of long-established aspects of the city by walking the streets of the Old Town for the atmosphere, chatting in cozy cafés with coffee and cake for the ambience, and swaying to the rhythms of the waltz under the spell of the (blue) Danube.

The early years of the 20th-century were troubled by greater calls for more autonomy from multiple ethnic groups within the patchwork of the Austro-Hungarian empire, by destruction and loss of life from The Great War (World War I), and by subsequent dissolution of the Empire. The capital city became an open theatre for socioeconomic and political changes across all class divisions within an environment where rebellion and revolution were the big talking points against the dogma of long-held traditions. Deep longing for the stability of the old and familiar mingled with equally enthusiastic desire for the radical of the new and mysterious.

Old Busted versus New Hotness

Many in the arts, design, and cultural scene were questioning the excessive persistence of past styles, and were seeking something new to better represent changes happening all around them in Vienna. In 1897, a group of artists and architects resigned from the established Künstlerhaus to form the Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs (Union of Austrian Artists), known also as the Vienna Secession. Architecture moved towards a sharper focus to geometry and abstraction, and art flowed to the decorative with organic floral-like designs in the Jugendstil, Art Nouveau’s chapter in German-speaking lands. To promote their new ideas, the Secession group produced an official magazine called Ver Sacrum (“sacred spring” in Latin, 1898) and constructed the Secession building (1897) as an exhibition hall to display their work. The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops) was created in 1903 as an association of artists whose thinking and applied arts creations were a precursor to the Bauhaus movement. Members of the Werkstätte worked with Vienna’s architects to broaden and unite the various concepts for a complete artwork, or Gesamtkunstwerk, as applied to a living space: the house, its rooms and furnishings, the interplay of light and space, and the tools and utensils for every day aspects of living.

Some of the key figures and influencers of the city’s “new modernism” in the art, design, and architectural scene include:

  • Josef Hoffmann,
  • Gustav Klimt,
  • Oscar Kokoschka,
  • Max Kurzweil,
  • Adolf Loos,
  • Carl Moll,
  • Koloman Moser,
  • Joseph Maria Olbrich,
  • Egon Schiele,
  • Othmar Schimkowitz, and
  • Otto Wagner.

Some of their work from various locations in Vienna are highlighted below. From the list above, four died in 1918: Klimt on February 6, Wagner on April 11, Moser on October 18, and Schiele on October 31. In the centenary of their deaths, Vienna has marked all of 2018 as the year of Vienna Modernism (Wiener Moderne).

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Annasäule, Rathaus Galerien, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Innsbruck’s Maria-Theresien-Strasse at noon

It’s almost high noon on Friday in early May. The warm late-spring sun brings people out onto the pedestrian-street Maria-Theresien-Strasse. With the Annasäule behind and out of frame, the view above faces north towards the spires of the Spitalskirche zum Heiligen Geist (Hospital Church of the Holy Spirit) and the Stadtturm (City Tower) with the Nordkette mountains in the background. Decisions to come are very important: ice cream or beer? Or is the answer simply yes?

I made the picture above on 11 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and settings: 1/800-sec, f/11, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-ckD.

My Innsbruck: Zaha Hadid’s legacy with the Hungerburgbahn

As much as the Austrian federal state of Tirol is about mountains, spending time in the capital city of Innsbruck is also about reaching those very heights. To that end, Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid left her mark in Innsbruck with her redesigned Bergisel Ski Jump which opened in 2002, and her “Shell and Shadow” design of the Hungerbergbahn stations which opened in 2007.

The Hungerburgbahn is a funicular system which connects Innsbruck’s city centre with the city district of Hungerburg at the foot of the Nordkette mountain group. The original funicular ran a different route between 1906 and 2005 and required a new update. Because alpine culture and activities have played a central role in the history of Innsbruck, the desire for a new funicular and cable-car system began with solicitation of new designs. Hadid’s company won the project, and construction of the new Hungerburgbahn ended in 2007 after a two-year duration.

The funicular operation has four stations: Congress in the city centre, Löwenhaus, Alpenzoo, and Hungerburg. The stations are a direct nod to frozen fields of snow, and riding the funicular feels like floating among or gliding atop flowing slivers and tongues of ice. The design for each station had to accommodate the varying terrain, slope, and altitude, which required flexibility of the smooth shell-like structures to fit into the specific location. Yet, all four stations are united by a single overall architectural theme.

About the Hungerburgbahn funicular:

  • Also called the Nordpark Railway Stations.
  • Elevation, Congress station (Höhe Talstation): 569 metres – 1867 feet
  • Elevation, Hungerburg station (Höhe Bergstation): 857 metres – 2812 feet
  • Route length (Streckenlänge): 1.84 kilometres – 1.14 mile
  • Travel time (Fahrzeit): 8 min 10 sec
  • Operating speed (Betriebsgeschwindigkeit): 10 metres per second – 36 km/h – 22 mph
  • Cabin capacity (Wagenfassungsraum): 130 people
  • Dokumentationszentrum für Europäische Eisenbahnforschung: description in German

From the city, the Hungerburgbahn is the first stage of ascent to Nordkette. The second and third stages, respectively, are the Seegrubebahn cable car from Hungerburg to Seegrube, and the Hafekelarbahn cable car from Seegrube to Hafekelar mountain.

Short Bio

Born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq, Zaha Hadid studied mathematics in Beirut, Lebanon, before moving to London, England to study architecture. London became her adopted home, where she opened her first architectural office in 1980. In all, her company has been responsible for over 900 projects in over 40 countries. Hadid became the first woman awarded the world’s highest architectural accolade with the 2004 Pritzker Prize which is often called “architecture’s Nobel Prize”. She was awarded in 2010 and 2011 the Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize for excellence in architecture in the United Kingdom. Hadid taught architecture at Vienna’s University of Applied Arts as professor from 2000 to 2015. Upon retirement in 2015, the university awarded her status of emeritus professor. Hadid was also honoured the same year by Austria with the Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste, or the Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria. Hadid died suddenly at age 65 in 2016, but her drive, innovation, and imagination continue to inspire.

Her quotes directly strike at the heart of my physics training: that objects in motion can change shape and size. Ultimately, I think her designs are beautifully straightforward.

The most important thing is motion, the flux of things, a non-Euclidean geometry in which nothing repeats itself: a new order of space.

I don’t think that architecture is only about shelter, is only about a very simple enclosure. It should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think.


Hungerburgbahn, Congress station, Zaha Hadid, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Congress station.

Hungerburgbahn, Congress station, Zaha Hadid, Inn river, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Congress station.

Hungerburgbahn, Löwenhaus station, Zaha Hadid, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Löwenhaus station.

Hungerburgbahn, bridge, Inn river, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Bridge over the Inn river, between Löwenhaus and Alpenzoo.

Hungerburgbahn, Alpenzoo station, Zaha Hadid, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Up to Alpenzoo station.

Hungerburgbahn, Hungerburg station, Zaha Hadid, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Hungerburg station at Hermann-Buhl-Platz.

Hungerburgbahn, Hungerburg station, Zaha Hadid, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Bergisel Ski Jump (2002) and Hungerburg station (2007), both by Zaha Hadid.

Bergiselschanze, Bergisel Ski Jump, Zaha Hadid, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Bergisel Ski Jump above Wilten church and cemetery, from Hafekelar with long-zoom glass.

Hungerburgbahn, Hungerburg station, Zaha Hadid, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Hungerburg station; Seegrube and Hafekelar are visible above and behind the station.


Click on the arrow-window icon at the upper-left corner of the map below for the legend and symbols.

Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Tirol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

The Nordkettenbahn funicular and cable car are indicated as a series of black solid lines near the centre of the map.

To ascend the rest of the way up to Seegrube and/or Hafekelar, you can do the steep hike entirely on foot, or take the Seegrubenbahn cable car from Hungerburg to Seegrube (1905 metres / 6250 feet), followed by the Hafekelarbahn cable car from Seegrube to Hafekelar (2256 metres / 7400 feet). There’s more at nordkette.com.

Except for the cover/featured photo by Helene Binet for Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), I made the remaining photos on 10 and 12 May 2018. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bZH.

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