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Three Days in Vienna \

A first glance at Vienna's history tells a tale of ever changing monarchs, Socialist revolution, modern marvels and technological breakthroughs. On our May studio trip we came face to face with Viennese architecture and it's rich political history.

From our hostel we went in search of the extreme right-wing architecture within the city: Flak towers.  Immense reinforced concrete anti aircraft towers that stand within the city like sleeping giants.  With 1 metre thick walls these architectural constructions were left standing in many parts throughout the city as they were near impossible to demolish.  As we approach one left standing in the nearby park its immense size makes it easy to spot in the distance and its grandeur and permanence leaves us in awe.  After a stroll through the city centre full of shops, modern constructions, and tourists we reach the Museums Quarter just outside the inner ring.  One of the largest cultural quarters in the world we are surrounded by institutions of all different art fields with colourful outdoor furniture to match.   The space of postmodern ambiance showcasing a combination of baroque buildings and modern architecture and art as we visit one exhibition space after another concluding with Mumok and its modern art and building design.

Rounding off the second day having traversed the political spectrum we arrive at Karl Marx-Hof, the ultimate showcase of left wing architecture and symbol of Red Vienna.  This social housing complex is composed of a single building spanning one kilometre (4 tram stops) with inner courtyards and the occasional arched entrance or underpass.  This model for housing showcases the idea of a city within a city when constructed in 1919 and still functions in this way today.

After a weekend of walking, sightseeing, beer drinking in the sun, and an overdose of schnitzel, we head toward the airport and look back the city from the metro train.  Its modern buildings standing alongside historical relics which have been repurposed and each holds their own place in history telling a story through their architectural style and history.

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