Category Archives: European home decor

The National Gallery

The National Gallery

9.4.09
The flight arrived on time; and the twelve hours while on board passed quickly and without incident. To be sure, the quality of the Cathay Pacific service was exemplary once again.

Heathrow reminds me of Newark International. The décor comes straight out of the sterile 80’s and is less an eyesore than an insipid background to the rhythm of human activity, such hustle and bustle, at the fore. There certainly are faces from all races present, creating a rich mosaic of humanity which is refreshing if not completely revitalizing after swimming for so long in a sea of Chinese faces in Hong Kong.

Internet access is sealed in England, it seems. Nothing is free; everything is egregiously monetized from the wireless hotspots down to the desktop terminals. I guess Hong Kong has spoiled me with its abundant, free access to the information superhighway.

11.4.09
Despite staying in a room with five other backpackers, I have been sleeping well. The mattress and pillow are firm; my earplugs keep the noise out; and the sleeping quarters are as dark as a cave when the lights are out, and only as bright as, perhaps, a dreary rainy day when on. All in all, St. Paul’s is a excellent place to stay for the gregarious, adventurous, and penurious city explorer – couchsurfing may be a tenable alternative; I’ll test for next time.

Yesterday Connie and I gorged ourselves at the borough market where there were all sorts of delectable, savory victuals. There was definitely a European flavor to the food fair: simmering sausages were to be found everywhere; and much as the meat was plentiful, and genuine, so were the dairy delicacies, in the form of myriad rounds of cheese, stacked high behind checkered tabletops. Of course, we washed these tasty morsels down with copious amounts of alcohol that flowed from cups as though amber waterfalls. For the first time I tried mulled wine, which tasted like warm, rancid fruit punch – the ideal tonic for a drizzling London day, I suppose. We later killed the afternoon at the pub, shooting the breeze while imbibing several diminutive half-pints in the process. Getting smashed at four in the afternoon doesn’t seem like such a bad thing anymore, especially when you are having fun in the company of friends; I can more appreciate why the English do it so much!

Earlier in the day, we visited the Tate Modern. Its turbine room lived up to its prominent billing what with a giant spider, complete with bulbous egg sac, anchoring the retrospective exhibit. The permanent galleries, too, were a delight upon which to feast one’s eyes. Picasso, Warhol and Pollock ruled the chambers of the upper floors with the products of their lithe wrists; and I ended up becoming a huge fan of cubism, while developing a disdain for abstract art and its vacuous images, which, I feel, are devoid of both motivation and emotion.

My first trip yesterday morning was to Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal Gunners. It towers imperiously over the surrounding neighborhood; yet for all its majesty, the place sure was quiet! Business did pick up later, however, once the armory shop opened, and dozens of fans descended on it like bees to a hive. I, too, swooped in on a gift-buying mission, and wound up purchasing a book for Godfrey, a scarf for a student, and a jersey – on sale, of course – for good measure.

I’m sitting in the Westminster Abbey Museum now, resting my weary legs and burdened back. So far, I’ve been verily impressed with what I’ve seen, such a confluence of splendor and history before me that it would require days to absorb it all, when regretfully I can spare only a few hours. My favorite part of the abbey is the poets corner where no less a literary luminary than Samuel Johnson rests in peace – his bust confirms his homely presence, which was so vividly captured in his biography.

For lunch I had a steak and ale pie, served with mash, taken alongside a Guinness, extra cold – 2 degrees centigrade colder, the bartender explained. It went down well, like all the other delicious meals I’ve had in England; and no doubt by now I have grown accustomed to inebriation at half past two. Besides, Liverpool were playing inspired football against Blackburn; and my lunch was complete.

Having had my fill of football, I decided to skip my ticket scalping endeavor at Stamford Bridge and instead wandered over to the British Museum to inspect their extensive collections. Along the way, my eye caught a theater, its doors wide open and admitting customers. With much rapidity, I subsequently checked the show times, saw that a performance was set to begin, and at last rushed to the box office to purchase a discounted ticket – if you call a 40 pound ticket a deal, that is. That’s how I grabbed a seat to watch Hairspray in the West End.

The show was worth forty pounds. The music was addictive; and the stage design and effects were not so much kitschy as delightfully stimulating – the pulsating background lights were at once scintillating and penetrating. The actors as well were vivacious, oozing charisma while they danced and delivered lines dripping in humor. Hairspray is a quality production and most definitely recommended.

12.4.09
At breakfast I sat across from a man who asked me to which country Hong Kong had been returned – China or Japan. That was pretty funny. Then he started spitting on my food as he spoke, completely oblivious to my breakfast becoming the receptacle in which the fruit of his inner churl was being placed. I guess I understand the convention nowadays of covering one’s mouth whilst speaking and masticating at the same time!

We actually conversed on London life in general, and I praised London for its racial integration, the act of which is a prodigious leap of faith for any society, trying to be inclusive, accepting all sorts of people. It wasn’t as though the Brits were trying in vain to be all things to all men, using Spanish with the visitors from Spain, German with the Germans and, even, Hindi with the Indians, regardless of whether or not Hindi was their native language; not even considering the absurd idea of encouraging the international adoption of their language; thereby completely keeping English in English hands and allowing its proud polyglots to "practice" their languages. Indeed, the attempt of the Londoners to avail themselves of the rich mosaic of ethnic knowledge, and to seek a common understanding with a ubiquitous English accent is an exemplar, and the bedrock for any world city.

I celebrated Jesus’ resurrection at the St. Andrew’s Street Church in Cambridge. The parishioners of this Baptist church were warm and affable, and I met several of them, including one visiting (Halliday) linguistics scholar from Zhongshan university in Guangzhou, who in fact had visited my tiny City University of Hong Kong in 2003. The service itself was more traditional and the believers fewer in number than the "progressive" services at any of the charismatic, evangelical churches in HK; yet that’s what makes this part of the body of Christ unique; besides, the message was as brief as a powerpoint slide, and informative no less; the power word which spoke into my life being a question from John 21:22 – what is that to you?

Big trees; exquisite lawns; and old, pointy colleges; that’s Cambridge in a nutshell. Sitting here, sipping on a half-pint of Woodforde’s Wherry, I’ve had a leisurely, if not languorous, day so far; my sole duty consisting of walking around while absorbing the verdant environment as though a sponge, camera in tow.

I am back at the sublime beer, savoring a pint of Sharp’s DoomBar before my fish and chips arrive; the drinking age is 18, but anyone whose visage even hints of youthful brilliance is likely to get carded these days, the bartender told me. The youth drinking culture here is almost as twisted as the university drinking culture in America.

My stay in Cambridge, relaxing and desultory as it may be, is about to end after this late lunch. I an not sure if there is anything left to see, save for the American graveyard which rests an impossible two miles away. I have had a wonderful time in this town; and am thankful for the access into its living history – the residents here must demonstrate remarkable patience and tolerance what with so many tourists ambling on the streets, peering – and photographing – into every nook and cranny.

13.4.09
There are no rubbish bins, yet I’ve seen on the streets many mixed race couples in which the men tend to be white – the women also belonging to a light colored ethnicity, usually some sort of Asian; as well saw some black dudes and Indian dudes with white chicks.

People here hold doors, even at the entrance to the toilet. Sometimes it appears as though they are going out on a limb, just waiting for the one who will take the responsibility for the door from them, at which point I rush out to relieve them of such a fortuitous burden.

I visited the British Museum this morning. The two hours I spent there did neither myself nor the exhibits any justice because there really is too much to survey, enough captivating stuff to last an entire day, I think. The bottomless well of artifacts from antiquity, drawing from sources as diverse as Korea, and Mesopotamia, is a credit to the British empire, without whose looting most of this amazing booty would be unavailable for our purview; better, I think, for these priceless treasures to be open to all in the grandest supermarket of history than away from human eyes, and worst yet, in the hands of unscrupulous collectors or in the rubbish bin, possibly.

Irene and I took in the ballet Giselle at The Royal Opera House in the afternoon. The building is a plush marvel, and a testament to this city’s love for the arts. The ballet itself was satisfying, the first half being superior to the second, in which the nimble dancers demonstrated their phenomenal dexterity in, of all places, a graveyard covered in a cloak of smoke and darkness. I admit, their dance of the dead, in such a gloomy necropolis, did strike me as, strange.

Two amicable ladies from Kent convinced me to visit their hometown tomorrow, where, they told me, the authentic, "working" Leeds Castle and the mighty interesting home of Charles Darwin await.

I’m nursing a pint of Green King Ruddles and wondering about the profusion of British ales and lagers; the British have done a great deed for the world by creating an interminable line of low-alcohol session beers that can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner; and their disservice is this: besides this inexhaustible supply of cheap beer ensnaring my inner alcoholic, I feel myself putting on my freshman fifteen, almost ten years after the fact; I am going to have to run a bit harder back in Hong Kong if I want to burn all this malty fuel off.

Irene suggested I stop by the National Art Gallery since we were in the area; and it was an hour well spent. The gallery currently presents a special exhibit on Picasso, the non-ticketed section of which features several seductive renderings, including David spying on Bathsheba – repeated in clever variants – and parodies of other masters’ works. Furthermore, the main gallery houses two fabulous portraits by Joshua Reynolds, who happens to be favorite of mine, he in life being a close friend of Samuel Johnson – I passed by Boswells, where its namesake first met Johnson, on my way to the opera house.

14.4.09
I prayed last night, and went through my list, lifting everyone on it up to the Lord. That felt good; that God is alive now, and ever present in my life and in the lives of my brothers and sisters.

Doubtless, then, I have felt quite wistful, as though a specter in the land of the living, being in a place where religious fervor, it seems, is a thing of the past, a trifling for many, to be hidden away in the opaque corners of centuries-old cathedrals that are more expensive tourist destinations than liberating homes of worship these days. Indeed, I have yet to see anyone pray, outside of the Easter service which I attended in Cambridge – for such an ecstatic moment in verily a grand church, would you believe that it was only attended by at most three dozen spirited ones. The people of England, and Europe in general, have, it is my hope, only locked away the Word, relegating it to the quiet vault of their hearts. May it be taken out in the sudden pause before mealtimes and in the still crisp mornings and cool, silent nights. There is still hope for a revival in this place, for faith to rise like that splendid sun every morning. God would love to rescue them, to deliver them in this day, it is certain.

I wonder what Londoners think, if anything at all, about their police state which, like a vine in the shadows, has taken root in all corners of daily life, from the terrorist notifications in the underground, which implore Londoners to report all things suspicious, to the pair of dogs which eagerly stroll through Euston. What makes this all the more incredible is the fact that even the United States, the indomitable nemesis of the fledgling, rebel order, doesn’t dare bombard its citizens with such fear mongering these days, especially with Obama in office; maybe we’ve grown wise in these past few years to the dubious returns of surrendering civil liberties to the state, of having our bags checked everywhere – London Eye; Hairspray; and The Royal Opera House check bags in London while the museums do not; somehow, that doesn’t add up for me.

I’m in a majestic bookshop on New Street in Birmingham, and certainly to confirm my suspicions, there are just as many books on the death of Christianity in Britain as there are books which attempt to murder Christianity everywhere. I did find, however, a nice biography on John Wesley by Roy Hattersley and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I may pick up the former.

Lunch with Sally was pleasant and mirthful. We dined at a French restaurant nearby New Street – yes, Birmingham is a cultural capitol! Sally and I both tried their omelette, while her boyfriend had the fish, without chips. Conversation was light, the levity was there and so was our reminiscing about those fleeting moments during our first year in Hong Kong; it is amazing how friendships can resume so suddenly with a smile. On their recommendation, I am on my way to Warwick Castle – they also suggested that I visit Cadbury World, but they cannot take on additional visitors at the moment, the tourist office staff informed me, much to my disappointment!

Visiting Warwick Castle really made for a great day out. The castle, parts of which were established by William the Conquerer in 1068, is as much a kitschy tourist trap as a meticulous preservation of history, at times a sillier version of Ocean Park while at others a dignified dedication to a most glorious, inexorably English past. The castle caters to all visitors; and not surprisingly, that which delighted all audiences was a giant trebuchet siege engine, which for the five p.m. performance hurled a fireball high and far into the air – fantastic! Taliban beware!

15.4.09
I’m leaving on a jet plane this evening; don’t know when I’ll be back in England again. I’ll miss this quirky, yet endearing place; and that I shall miss Irene and Tom who so generously welcomed me into their home, fed me, and suffered my use of their toilet and shower goes without saying. I’m grateful for God’s many blessings on this trip.

On the itinerary today is a trip to John Wesley’s home, followed by a visit to the Imperial War Museum. Already this morning I picked up a tube of Oilatum, a week late perhaps, which Teri recommended I use to treat this obstinate, dermal weakness of mine – I’m happy to report that my skin has stopped crying.

John Wesley’s home is alive and well. Services are still held in the chapel everyday; and its crypt, so far from being a cellar for the dead, is a bright, spacious museum in which all things Wesley are on display – I never realized how much of an iconic figure he became in England; at the height of this idol frenzy, ironic in itself, he must have been as popular as the Beatles were at their apex. The house itself is a multi-story edifice with narrow, precipitous staircases and spacious rooms decorated in an 18th century fashion.

I found Samuel Johnson’s house within a maze of red brick hidden alongside Fleet Street. To be in the home of the man who wrote the English dictionary, and whose indefatigable love for obscure words became the inspiration for my own lexical obsession, this, by far, is the climax of my visit to England! The best certainly has been saved for last.

There are a multitude of portraits hanging around the house like ornaments on a tree. Every likeness has its own story, meticulously retold on the crib sheets in each room. Celebrities abound, including David Garrick and Sir Joshua Reynolds, who painted several of the finer images in the house. I have developed a particular affinity for Oliver Goldsmith, of whom Boswell writes, "His person was short, his countenance coarse and vulgar, his deportment that of a scholar awkwardly affecting the easy gentleman. It appears as though I, too, could use a more flattering description of myself!

I regretfully couldn’t stop to try the curry in England; I guess the CityU canteen’s take on the dish will have to do. I did, however, have the opportune task of flirting with the cute Cathay Pacific counter staff who checked me in. She was gorgeous in red, light powder on her cheeks, with real diamond earrings, she said; and her small, delicate face, commanded by a posh British accent rendered her positively irresistible, electrifying. Not only did she grant me an aisle seat but she had the gumption to return my fawning with zest; she must be a pro at this by now.

I saw her again as she was pulling double-duty, collecting tickets prior to boarding. She remembered my quest for curry; and in the fog of infatuation, where nary a man has been made, I fumbled my words like the sloppy kid who has had too much punch. I am just an amateur, alas, an "Oliver Goldsmith" with the ladies – I got no game – booyah!

Some final, consequential bits: because of the chavs, Burberry no longer sells those fashionable baseball caps; because of the IRA, rubbish bins are no longer a commodity on the streets of London, and as a result, the streets and the Underground of the city are a soiled mess; and because of other terrorists from distant, more arid lands, going through a Western airport has taken on the tedium of perfunctory procedure that doesn’t make me feel any safer from my invisible enemies.

At last, I saw so many Indians working at Heathrow that I could have easily mistaken the place for Mumbai. Their presence surprised me because their portion of the general population surely must be less than their portion of Heathrow staff, indicating some mysterious hiring bias. Regardless, they do a superb job with cursory airport checks, and in general are absurdly funny and witty when not tactless.

That’s all for England!

Posted by Wootang01 on 2009-04-17 12:04:25

Tagged: , london , england , britain , vacation , holiday , travel , tour , british , art , museum , national , portrait , gallery , building

Garcons de Cafe Aubrey Beardsly Print

Garcons de Cafe Aubrey Beardsly Print

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898) was a popular and controversial British illustrator and author best known for his use of starkly contrasting and intricate black and white designs and for his caustic commentary on the society and the morality of his time of which he was a keen observer.
His drawings, executed in black ink on white paper was clearly influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts. His subjects emphasized the beautiful, the grotesque, the decadent and the erotic.

Beardsley was a leading figure in the Aesthetic Art Movement of the late 1800s which also included the works of Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Clarke and James A. McNeill Whistler.

Beardsley’s contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau style and the poster movement was hugely significant, despite the brevity of his artistic career before his untimely death from tuberculosis at only 25.

Posted by SurrendrDorothy on 2011-02-01 20:32:20

Tagged: , aubrey beadsely , book reading , pen ink , lady society , Aesthetic Art Movement , black white , illustration , drawing , sketch , vintage , Etsy , ArtFire , Zibbet , paper , ephemera , home decor , artist , sofa , settee , art , gown , hat , summer , spring , English , Great Britain , British , SurrenderDorothy , home goods , Decor , print , England , European , Europe , woman , female , lady , man , male , Aesthetic Movement

Restoration Hardware Home MakeOver

Restoration Hardware Home MakeOver

Blogged About Here:
www.ParisCoutureAntiques.blogspot.com

Family Room & Kitchen Makeover
Design on a Dime
From Shabby to Fab

VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR UNIQUE ONE OF A KIND OBJECTS TO TRANSFORM YOUR HOME TODAY!
www.ParisCoutureAntiques.com

Posted by Alys Geertsen on 2011-10-03 05:48:34

Tagged: , Restoration hardware , books , antique , vintage , old , french , european , industrial , home decor , home decorating , decorating ideas , ideas , design , home design , house design , industrial decor , industrial design , designer , utah , salt lake , provo , pottery barn , restoration , hardware , makeover , home , kitchen , family room , laundry room , bathroom , chandelier , book , stacks of books , aiden grey , dressform , mannequin , architectural , pillows , gears , wheel , pully , rope , wall sconces , statue , boat , paris , map , old world , adventure , paris couture antiques , alys geertsen , alys nelson , alys , steampunk , steam , punk

Modern kitchen interior design

Modern kitchen interior design

Modern kitchen interior design in black and white style with wooden counter

Posted by Jacek Kadaj on 2015-02-23 20:14:58

Tagged: , Design , appliances , architecture , asset , black , built , chairs , comfortable , counter , decor , decorating , decoration , domestic , estate , european , furniture , home , house , indoors , inside , interior , investment , kitchen , lamps , leisure , life , lifestyle , living , luxury , mansion , modern , mortgage , new , objects , prestige , property , real , residence , residential , retirement , room , stately , structure , suburban , villa , wall , wealth

Restoration Hardware Home MakeOver

Restoration Hardware Home MakeOver

Blogged About Here:
www.ParisCoutureAntiques.blogspot.com

Family Room & Kitchen Makeover
Design on a Dime
From Shabby to Fab

VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR UNIQUE ONE OF A KIND OBJECTS TO TRANSFORM YOUR HOME TODAY!
www.ParisCoutureAntiques.com

Posted by Alys Geertsen on 2011-10-03 05:48:36

Tagged: , Restoration hardware , books , antique , vintage , old , french , european , industrial , home decor , home decorating , decorating ideas , ideas , design , home design , house design , industrial decor , industrial design , designer , utah , salt lake , provo , pottery barn , restoration , hardware , makeover , home , kitchen , family room , laundry room , bathroom , chandelier , book , stacks of books , aiden grey , dressform , mannequin , architectural , pillows , gears , wheel , pully , rope , wall sconces , statue , boat , paris , map , old world , adventure , paris couture antiques , alys geertsen , alys nelson , alys , steampunk , steam , punk

100407231621_343

100407231621_343

Posted by Thikrie, Indian Mirror Mosaic Art ( Mirror Palace) on 2010-12-27 15:47:26

Tagged: , Mirror , mosaics , tiles , Rajasthan , India , mosaic tile , art and craft , mirror mosaics , mosaic mirror , mirrors mosaics , mirror mosaic tile , tile , Cut mirror , mirror cut , cuts mirrors , tiles mirrors mosaics , mirrors mosaics India , cut mirror mosaics , cut mirrors mosaics , small , mosaic , Thikrie , Thikri , design sound bar , bar countertops for a night club , glass countertop , handicrafts floor plan , bathroom lux , container house bathroom design , rumah container , architecture decoration , Japanese interior design , minimalis bathroom , bedroom Mediterranean design , hair spa room , old okamura chairs , design karma tidur glamour , tile design , teens study area , mid century gold tile , Italy modern interior , teenage girl minimalist room , chic minimalist bedrooms teen , cute bedrooms for girls , Victorian bedrooms ideas , archit design table , traditional Scandinavian style , bank entrance door design , pink rooms , cool office desk , small house design , meja kantor modern minimalis , architecture of office table , bosch , contemporary office , home garden minimalist , interior space design light , modern shop exterior , Swedish wall , Swedish office furniture , kamar mandi minimalist , Furniture , Home Decor , Interior Design & Decorating Ideas , wooden sofa set pictures floor pattern design house and home specials plaster of Paris ceiling designs pictures bedroom colours for 2010 , 2011 , 2012 , bathroom design ideas , European style bathtub , sauna bath faucets , spacious bathroom

Restoration Hardware Home MakeOver

Restoration Hardware Home MakeOver

Blogged About Here:
www.ParisCoutureAntiques.blogspot.com

Family Room & Kitchen Makeover
Design on a Dime
From Shabby to Fab

VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR UNIQUE ONE OF A KIND OBJECTS TO TRANSFORM YOUR HOME TODAY!
www.ParisCoutureAntiques.com

Posted by Alys Geertsen on 2011-10-03 05:48:44

Tagged: , Restoration hardware , books , antique , vintage , old , french , european , industrial , home decor , home decorating , decorating ideas , ideas , design , home design , house design , industrial decor , industrial design , designer , utah , salt lake , provo , pottery barn , restoration , hardware , makeover , home , kitchen , family room , laundry room , bathroom , chandelier , book , stacks of books , aiden grey , dressform , mannequin , architectural , pillows , gears , wheel , pully , rope , wall sconces , statue , boat , paris , map , old world , adventure , paris couture antiques , alys geertsen , alys nelson , alys , steampunk , steam , punk

The Barge 1895 Aubrey Beardsly Print

The Barge 1895 Aubrey Beardsly Print

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898) was a popular and controversial British illustrator and author best known for his use of starkly contrasting and intricate black and white designs and for his caustic commentary on the society and the morality of his time of which he was a keen observer.
His drawings, executed in black ink on white paper was clearly influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts. His subjects emphasized the beautiful, the grotesque, the decadent and the erotic.

Beardsley was a leading figure in the Aesthetic Art Movement of the late 1800s which also included the works of Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Clarke and James A. McNeill Whistler.

Beardsley’s contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau style and the poster movement was hugely significant, despite the brevity of his artistic career before his untimely death from tuberculosis at only 25.

Posted by SurrendrDorothy on 2011-02-01 20:36:00

Tagged: , aubrey beadsely , book reading , pen ink , lady society , Aesthetic Art Movement , black white , illustration , drawing , sketch , vintage , Etsy , ArtFire , Zibbet , paper , ephemera , home decor , artist , sofa , settee , art , gown , hat , summer , spring , English , Great Britain , British , SurrenderDorothy , home goods , Decor , print , England , European , Europe , woman , female , lady , man , male , Aesthetic Movement

Wien, 1. Bezirk, Art of Facades of Vienna (Coburgbastei) – Palais Coburg

Wien, 1. Bezirk, Art of Facades of Vienna (Coburgbastei) - Palais Coburg

Palais Coburg
At the site of today’s Palais Coburg were in the 18th Century several buildings, which like almost all buildings that were built on the city walls or leaning on these, were of a military nature. So here was situated the Stadt-Schultheissen Office (Wikipedia: In medieval Germany, the Schultheiß (Middle High German schultheize, from Old High German sculdheizo; Latinised as scultetus or sculteus; in Switzerland: Schultheiss, also: Schultheis, Schulte or Schulze; in Italian the two offices Scoltetto and Sculdascio, Medieval Latin sculdasius and Polish Sołtys) was the head of a municipality (akin to today’s office of mayor), a Vogt or an executive official of the ruler), which was the seat of the respective city commander. Here lived and died in 1766 Field Marshal Leopold Josef Graf Daun. His successor as resident, Field Marshal Franz Moritz Graf Lacy, succeeded to acquire the building of the Imperial Court Chamber. He changed the city commandant’s house into the Palais Lacy and inhabited this until his death in 1801. His nephew and heir sold the building in the same year to the Hungarian Count Franz Joseph Koháry. This one could in 1812 also acquire a neighboring house. The Kohárys were among the wealthiest landowners in Hungary. Franz Joseph’s daughter Gabriele Maria Antonia married in 1816 Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Since the marriage between a prince and a countess was not befitting one’s social status, much trouble and especially money had to be expended in order to raise the family Koháry, 1817, but retroactive to 1815 in the rank of prince. To document this rise in rank, they began with measures to develop the still modest palace. Prince Franz Joseph Koháry inhabited it hardly, however, since he lived mainly in Oroszvár south of Bratislava. When he died in 1826, his Viennese palace was still not very representative .
His daughter inherited it and rented it for the moment to Countess Cordelia Potocki. Through the Kohárysche heritage, to which belonged ore mines and steel plants and large agricultural estates in Hungary and the Slovakia of today, the family Coburg, which called itself since 1825 Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, could finally think of the construction of a befitting palace. She lived then in later Palais Archduke Karl Ludwig in the Favoritenstraße. The appreciation of the family through Victoria’s accession to the throne in England made a representative place to stay of the Viennese branch of the family appear urgent. Duke Ferdinand had in the years 1843 to 1847 instead of the existing buildings, that ist, at the access of the side facing the city to Braunbastei, built a great palace. His son August Ludwig had 1843 married Princess Clementine of Orleans Bourbon, daughter of the French citizen king Louis-Philippe, and determined the building to his Viennese home. The architect was Karl Schleps. For the execution of his plans responsible was Adolf Korompay. Karl Schleps had the plans yet submitted in 1839, but he passed away as early as next year. He was succeeded by his former assistant Franz Neumann. With Philip Menning another architect was hired, so it is not clear today which architect what share of the palace has. To extend the construction site, some adjacent properties, as the Croats Dörfl (Kroatendörfl) were purchased. The architecture is a blend of classicism and historicism and clearly reflects those change in the architecture, which took place at this time. But for the moment followed no interior expansion, because Louis-Philippe demanded that his grandson in France should enter this world and the ducal couple moved to Paris. In 1849 that part of the palace, which is on the Seilerstaette, was largely transformed into an apartment building, designed by Franz Neumann. Yet three years earlier, Baron Sina wanted it to acquire and here housing the stock exchange and the Wechselgericht (competend in exchange disputes), but those plans had dashed.
Resided in 1851 the English ambassador to Austria, Lieutenant General John Fane, as a tenant here. Johann Strauss served him for its festivals as music director. 1852 the Palais was also inside ready to move in and Herzog August Ludwig was able to return to Vienna. After the Braunbastei 1863 was demolished, arose the classicist garden facade. Just before the turn of the century resided Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria, who stemmed from the family of Coburg, in his Vienna stays in the palace. During World War II, the right part of the portico was hit by a bomb. Thereby also two figures of the Attica went lost. During occupation time Russian soldiers were intitially quartered in the palace. Plans to demolish the palace and build in its place a hotel, were fortunately not realized. After this for a long the Directorate General of Austrian Federal Railways was occupying the building as tenant. 1978 sold Princess Sarah Aurelia of Saxe-Coburg the Palais to a real estate broker. Restoration plans came to a nothing for the moment again and again for financial reasons. Currently, the building belongs to a private foundation under German investor Peter Pühringer. Since 2000 it was subjected to a comprehensive refurbishment. Here two years ago one of the finest luxury hotels in the city with excellent restaurants was put into operation. In addition, there are a number of homes and offices in the vast complex of buildings. The originally planned shopping mall was not realized.
Casemates. But although the palace does not just lie at the ring road, the owner has for himself the free outlook in the city park by a servitude secured, that has been preserved until today. While the Bastion side remembers aristocratic country houses such as Castle Liechtenstein at Maria Enzersdorf or the former Weilburg in Baden, the Seilerstaette-front is more as a bourgeois apartment building designed. Attractive visual appearance is the to the ring turned 21-axis garden facade. It is characterized by the two-storey columns order which has the Palais soon led in common parlance to the name "asparagus Castle" after its establishment. The facades of the palace namely does not show the with Viennese palais common colossal order in which multiple floors are aggregated by giant pilasters or giant pillars. Here the walls are structured by Ionic columns. On whose entablature have been put Corinthian columns. Behind the pillars of the seven-axis central risalit lie open loggias in the two upper floors. They were originally connected by staircases on both sides of the garden. As this had to be re-created in 1864 due to the razing of the bastions, the Attica area has been redesigned. Franz Neumann and Leopold Mayer placed here figures, representing the personifications of music, hunting, strength, history, science, agriculture and flower care. It’s due to the construction of the palace on the Braunbastei that parts of the Renaissance fortifications of Vienna have been preserved, most of all, the of brick masonry consisting casemates. They are located directly below the palace and were made available again in the last renovation in 2003. In this case , however, the ramp leading to the bastion was destroyed.
Ball room. The late classicist road tract at the Seilerstaette is the a little older part of the building. Since we have got to deal was a narrow downtown alley, the facade at the Seilerstaette is relatively flat structured. Due to the level difference to the bastion it has a considerable height. In the two-story base zone three large banded arched portals are inserted. The windows of the upper floors are designed differently (round arch pediment, not crowns). The central projection is superimposed a shallow three-storey loggia. Franz Neumann Younger created about 1880 the strict historical front building at the Coburggasse. It is organized by risalits and presents an attic parapet. The here located portal is provided with seashell decor. From the Seilerstaette one enters the palace through a two-story vestibule that leads to the magnificent staircase. It is supported by Ionic columns. Large decorative vases stand on pedestals. The piano nobile is a remarkable space ensemble of late Classicism and early-Baroque. Of its equipment only the to the wall fixed parts remained preserved because after the Second World War much of the furniture was sold. The inlaid parquet floors have been replaced for the most part in 2001. The in the center located ballroom is a with stucco marble overlayed room decorated with stuccoed volutes. Gilded mirror frames and wall lights complete the equipment. It is lit by a glass ceiling. Interesting is the family room or Green Salon. Here hang numerous portraits of members of the Coburg family, including those in the 19th Century as kings or dukes reigning different European countries (Belgium, Portugal, Bulgaria, England). The Blue Salon is decorated with full-length pictures of the inner family circle of the palace residents. They stem from Franz Xaver Winterhalter and from those workshop. Neo-Baroque is also the Yellow Salon Over the three doors hold stucco figures the coat of arms of Coburg and Orleans.
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Posted by Josef Lex (El buen soldado Švejk) on 2013-11-15 17:14:58

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