Video: Christmas Illumination In The City Of Waltzes
In the days of Christmas and St. Sylvester's Day, Vienna has become one of the most radiant capitals in Europe. This year, her décor deviated from Catholic angels and other popular Christmas symbols and filled with sparkling scattering of diamonds.
One of the central streets
St. Stephen's Cathedral
A Christmas tree is lit in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Part of the cathedral is now covered with a cover due to restoration work, so the photo shows the facade painted on the cover. But inside, everything is real - the grandeur of the architecture of the oldest Gothic church, and the indispensable spruce and poinsettias - the stars of Bethlehem, and an obligatory element of the design of a Catholic church - a Christmas nativity scene.
But the country's main Christmas tree, according to the tradition that has developed since 1959, was installed on the square in front of the Vienna City Hall. The current 28-meter Christmas tree with a dense ideal crown was chosen in Asfil, on the border with the Czech Republic. The spruce is 74 years old and weighs 6.1 tons! From the middle of November, for 5 weeks, the Christmas Bazaar was opened on the Town Hall Square, which united more than 140 retail outlets. This year the bazaar was jubilee, it celebrated its 25th anniversary. More than 3 million people visit it annually in search of gifts and festive mood.
The streets of Vienna are mostly decorated with live, not artificial, spruces, and no expensive firs. At the entrances to the buildings, you can see a container boxwood, a rhododendron, a European snowberry - a haulteria, illuminated by bulbs.
The 39 most crowded streets in the city center were adorned with opulent illumination by 16 designers from an Austrian company based in Innsbruck. Their concept is called "Crystalline Light". According to the designers' idea, everyone who finds himself in these transparent, like frozen streams of light, must certainly feel the magical atmosphere of the New Year holidays. On the roof of one of the buildings in the city with an area of 1000 sq. m installed many light bulbs that emit light of different colors and work like a giant screen. Unfortunately, we were not able to see this extravaganza of light.
The most luxuriously sparkling streets of the city, where boutiques of world famous manufacturers are located. Hrabe Street, which runs from St. Stephen's Cathedral, is decorated with giant chandeliers. During the day they resemble graceful birdcages, and with the onset of dusk they become like crystal, covered with sparkling crystals of lights. It was at this time that the central streets are filled with crowds of tourists from different countries of the world.
None of the streets with their illumination repeats the other. Freezing rains, suspended LED ceilings make you forget that you are in the open air, and not in the ballroom or at least in the spacious hall of the shopping center. All this beauty is subordinated, of course, to a commercial task - to get people to stop at the enticing shop windows and go inside for shopping. Despite the huge amount spent on the Vienna illumination - 4.3 million euros, the expected income from Christmas sales should cover these costs many times and exceed 62 million euros.
The Viennese appreciated this luxury not as enthusiastically as tourists. Some residents of the city considered it too wasteful - there is too much light and the costs for it are too high. Not everyone liked the huge red balls on Rotenturmstrasse, they felt something Asian, going against the strict Viennese architecture. However, the multi-lingual mass of tourists, constantly clicking their cameras, in my opinion, do not notice this dissonance. But it is for the guests that the capital of Austria will remain decorated until the very beginning of February.
It is known that the concept of Vienna decoration is already being prepared for next Christmas. Most likely, it will not be as pompously rich, but no less interesting.
Photo by the author
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