Spring Festivals in Vienna

Colin Baumgartner
May 13, 2013

A free ice cream event on the Donaukanal

An event on the Heldenplatz

I’d written before that Vienna suddenly bursts into life with the coming of Spring.  This point couldn’t be more clear than during the Wiener Festwochen.  The Festwochen started in the 50s and has continued successfully until today.  The Festwochen time is more a less a celebration of the city’s role in Austrian culture.  During the week there are a wide variety of art events, concerts, performances, &c.  A great number of events and performances are free, but some performances do require tickets.

The Flohmarkt in the Neubaugasse attracted large crowds

Ethnic stands at the market offered great food; this stand for example offered various tacos and tequila

One thing that really impressed me was the Flohmarkt that was put on in the Neubaugasse; this part of Vienna is one of the hip and younger parts of Wien––there are plenty of ethnic restaurants and shops, alternative cafés, and hipsters galore.  The Flohmarkt was very fitting for the location: in addition to traditional antiques and curiosities, there were stalls selling Eastern jewelry, there were ethnic food stands, and plenty of art and clothing being sold as well.  The streets were packed with people of all ages.

Breakdancers on the Heldenplatz

Yet another impressive event was hosted to commemorate the liberation of Wien from the terror of the Nazis.  In appreciation of the anniversary, the Vienna Philharmonik hosted a free outdoor concert on the Heldenplatz.  The weather, which had been cloudy and ominous, cleared up right on cue and the concert was greeted with beautiful sunshine.  People brought blankets and picnics and sprawled themselves out all over the lawns in front of the Hofburg.  At 7 o’clock the concert started off with Beethoven’s 7th.

The Philharmonik giving a free Tag der Befreiung concert

I was glad to have had these experiences; I do have an impression that change comes very slowly in Vienna (if at all), but events such as these show a forward-thinking and promising face of Vienna.  Things like this promise that Vienna is as vibrant as one might wish.

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Colin Baumgartner

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Colin Baumgartner is a Junior studying to be a secondary English education teacher. Colin grew up as a second generation Austrian and has always had a distinct sense of being split between two cultures&ndash;&ndash;Austrian and American. Studying abroad in Vienna, Colin will have an opportunity to really explore the Austrian side of his heritage. When not buried in literature or writing, Colin enjoys blogging, hiking, cooking, working out, and traveling. Colin is an unabashed aesthete and gourmand, so the beautiful foods, sights, and people of Europe will not go unnoticed or unrelished. Dum vivimus, vivamus!</span></p>

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