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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas market’

Once again I find myself in Vienna, Austria just before Christmas for a work trip. Many of you know that I retired earlier this year, but I was requested to come back to assist with a workshop this week that I have helped to run for the past seven years. It is hard to say no to an overseas trip and Vienna is particularly beautiful at this time of the year. There are lots of Christmas markets throughout the city, wirh the largest one in front of the Rathaus (City Hall).

In the market there are rows and rows of vendors selling all kinds of products, including a wide variety of food and beverages. My personal favorite is the käsekrainer, a large sausage filled with chunks of cheese that melt when the sausage is grilled. I usually have mine in a hard crusted roll (like a mini baguette) with lots of spicy mustard. The most popular item for consumption, though, appears to be glühwein, hot spicy wine, served in festive mugs. You put down a deposit on the mugs and either return them or take them away with you.

Most of my daylight hours, which seem really limited at this time of the year, are filled with work, but I managed to make it to the Rathaus Christmas Market and grabbed a few photos one evening earlier this week. Hopefully they give you a sense of the festive atmosphere at the market, though you don’t get the smells of the food cooking in the open air and the sounds of the Christmas music, with a variety of individuals and groups performing live.

Merry Christmas in advance and Happy Holidays to those of you who do not celebrate Christmas.

Vienna Christmas Market 2019

Vienna Christmas Market 2019

Vienna Christmas Market 2019

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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My short trip to Vienna, Austria is rapidly coming to a close and I want to leave you with this image of the entrance to the outdoor Christmas market at the Rathaus (City Hall), the tall building in the background.

My busy work schedule and the rainy weather this year have conspired against me and kept me from getting new photos. I decided to reprise a photo from a similar posting that I did in 2016. I did have a chance earlier in the week to visit this Christmas market and, as always, it was amazingly beautiful, despite the bustling crowds and often commercialized decorations and merchandise.

Best wishes to all for a “Frohe Weihnachten,” German for “Merry Christmas.”

Christmas 2018

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I am in Vienna, Austria for a brief work trip and had a chance to stop by the Christmas Market in front of the Rathaus (City Hall). Even on a Monday afternoon, the market was crowded with shoppers. The market is noisy, busy, and a bit gaudy, but despite all of the commercialization, I could still feel the spirit of Christmas.

As the big sign in front of the market states in German, “Merry Christmas.”

Vienna Christmas Market 2017

Vienna Christmas Market 2017

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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My short trip to Vienna, Austria is rapidly coming to a close and I want to leave you with this image of the entrance to the outdoor Christmas market at the Rathaus (City Hall), the tall building in the background.

Best wishes to all for a “Frohe Weihnachten,” German for “Merry Christmas.”

Christmas 2016

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The lights at the Christmas Market at the Rathaus (City Hall) in Vienna, Austria really put me in the mood for Christmas. I’m finishing up my work in Vienna and will be back in Northern Virginia in a couple of days.

Merry Christmas (in German)

Merry Christmas (in German)

Vienna Christmas Market

Vienna Christmas Market

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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At this time of the year there are Christmas markets all over Vienna. One of the largest and busiest is located in the square in front of the Rathhaus (City Hall), an elaborate building in the center of the city.

Most of the times that I have visited this market in the past have been at night. Each time I had to fight my way through jostling crowds of people as I was overwhelmed by the sights and smells of the market.

Last week, I had the chance to walk through the market early in the day before it had opened. I noticed there there were statues overlooking the market booths. The statues, which I suspect are historical figures, are probably permanently in place. I’m sure that it was my imagination, but the statues seemed to be making an assessment of activity that was taking place below their feet.

I love the look of the Rathaus and am also including a few views of this wonderful piece of architecture.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Although Vienna is best known for the classical music of composers like Mozart and Strauss, there is music everywhere at Christmas time, from the carols of a brass ensemble at a Christmas market to the softer sounds of a Swedish choir celebrating Sankta Lucia.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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My daylight hours have been fully occupied during a short work trip to Vienna, Austria, but I have managed to visit a couple of the Christmas markets after dark. I took these shots at the one at the Rathaus (City Hall) with the small point-and-shoot camera with which I travel.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The Christmas markets in Vienna are full of brightly colored lights and I attempted to capture some of their beauty at night in these photos. I did not have a tripod and my point-and-shoot does not permit really high ISO speeds, so I resorted to leaning against various objects to steady my shots. The big sign in a couple of the shots is a “Merry Christmas” sign in German at one of the main entrances to the biggest Christmas market at the Rathaus (City Hall).

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It finally stopped raining in Vienna and I was able to take a walk through the Christmas market in front of the Rathaus (City Hall). There are rows and rows of stalls set up with all kinds of products and food.

In the midst of all of the artificial lights, I was struck by the beauty of the moon, which kept peeking in and out of the clouds.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Sitting in the airport in Newark, I decided to take advantage of the time before my flight back to Washington, D.C. and play with some of my images. I have always loved black-and-white photography and have tried a couple of times to convert some of my images. I never know for sure what will work, but one of my photos of Christmas decorations in Vienna, Austria seemed to be appropriate for experimentation. I know that there is some good software available if I decide to pursue that direction, but this time I opted to desaturate the image almost entirely. I like the effect, in part because of the graphic lines of the original.

Which version do you like more, black-and-white or color?

Almost black and white

Almost black and white

Color

Color

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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My time in Vienna is drawing to a close and I thought I’d post a few more of my favorite photos from the Christmas market.

Stands selling hot spiced wine are often areas where people congregate. One of them was set up on a path flanked with statues and I like how the first photo shows a statue peering down over the stand. What would he think of the scene in front of him?

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The second image shows one element of the Christmas decorations. I like the colors, shapes, and the lines in that photo.

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The third shot was taken looking up at some of the towers of the Rathaus (City Hall). I braced myself against the wall of one of the booths to steady myself for the shot and you can see part of the booth in the foreground. I like the effect of this extreme angle (and I always love shots of buildings lit up in the evening).

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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One of the most interesting aspects of any outdoor market is watching people, including the salespeople. In my experience, the vendors tend to be outgoing people who try to attract passersby to stop at their stalls and purchase what ever they are selling. Here are some photos I took of three of the vendors at the Christmas market in Vienna. The lighting is a bit harsh, but I decided to take the photos without flash to be less obtrusive.

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Vendor

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This evening I had the chance to visit again the Christmas market in front of the Rathaus (City Hall) in Vienna, Austria and got better photos. Why? It was less crowed, the weather was better, and I was alone (rather than with three friends who were more interested in shopping than in taking photos).

The first sign was from a stall that was selling lebkuchen, a German baked product that is a lot like gingerbread. I really like the hand-carved look of the sign.

Lebkuchen

The second sign is a sign for a stall called “Potato Jim” that sold stuffed baked potatoes. I am not sure who “Jim” is, but I thought the sign, with a potato wearing a Santa hat, was cute.

Potato Jim

The third sign is one that was at the entrance to the Christmas market. The big letters spell out “Merry Christmas” in German and the small lit sign to the right spells out “Vienna Christmas Market.” The building in the background is the Rathaus (City Hall).

market entrance

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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You probably noticed that the subject matter of my blog is different in this posting. I am away from home on a short business trip to Vienna, Austria. I arrived this afternoon and had the chance to visit several of the Christmas markets here. They were all very crowded and it was also well below freezing and windy, so shopping was not a lot of fun. It was actually more fun to watch people.

The biggest Christmas market was at the plaza in front of the Rathaus, the city hall. I have only a point-and-shoot camera with me, but I managed to take a couple of shots to give you a sense of the venue. According to Wikipedia, the beautiful Gothic-style building was constructed between 1872 and 1883.

I’ll try to post a few more photos of Vienna, a beautiful city with lots of charm, while I’m here.

Rathaus at dusk

Rathaus at dusk

Christmas lighting in Vienna

Christmas lighting in Vienna

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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