Skip to content

Vienna from on High

a1_20150311_20150311__DSC1734_6000 x 4000

-Look Up, Look Down Challenge, Week 82

Every Thursday, I publish a post containing photos taken from above or below, and invite you to join in the challenge by posting your own images with an up or down perspective.


These amazing views over glorious Vienna were my top discovery on my recent brief trip to the Austrian capital.  These days, I don’t always get as much time for research and background reading before a trip as I would like, so this was a truly serendipitous find.

Built in 2010 by architect Jean Nouvel (he of the Agbar Tower in Barcelona, the Reina Sofia extension in Madrid, various towers in Paris’ La Defense, the Guggenheim in Rio, the Opera House in Seoul, ….), this hotel occupies a prime spot on the banks of the Donau Canal.

The tall monochrome glass building is striking in itself, but it was the richly patterned ceilings at belvedere and roof level that caught me eye early one evening.  I had taken a brief hop on hop off bus tour (with no time to hop either off or back on) around the city to orientate myself and help build my “hit list” for the following day.  I had already walked this part of town earlier that morning, though down at canal towpath level, but now as the cloud-stricken sun dropped and the lights came on around town, there was an intriguing multi-coloured glow in this building that invited investigation.  A quick google search revealed the word bar and that was my late evening stop planned!

a1_20150313_20150313__DSC2125_6000 x 4000

The 18th storey is given over to a bar and restaurant with views to die for.  Held in by floor to ceiling glass windows, the restaurant circles the area and raised slightly in the centre sits a cool, trendy and friendly bar.  This prime location ensures views of all Vienna’s major sites.

a1_20150313_20150313__DSC2119_6000 x 4000

But it is at night that this place truly comes into its own.

a1_20150311_20150311__DSC1728_4000 x 6000

 The Swiss visual artist, Pipilotti Rist has designed the incredible ceilings here, with vibrant patterns that reflect the four seasons.  The lighting from inside the artwork casts a glow that reflects in the windows and seems to light up the night sky.  At the bar, if you need entertainment beyond the excellent bar food and cocktails, look up and see if you can disentangle the video art that Rist is so fond of.  Fascinating as it was, given a choice between glimpses the inside of the human body and the glorious views and reflections through the windows, I’ll stick with the latter.

a1_20150311_20150311__DSC1735_6000 x 4000

Sofitel Stephansdom, Praterstrasse 1, 1020 VIENNA


The Challenge

Click here to enter the challenge

Welcome to week 82 and a huge thank you to all who participated last week.  Special thanks to Jesh for helping us get intimate with Sacramento and to Dennis for taking us up the Temple of the Six Banyon Trees in Guangzhou .

All are welcome to join this challenge; do please share your up or down perspective with us.  Simply create your own post as normal, create a link to this challenge and click above to enter your link and view other entries.  If you have any difficulties with the linky, please just leave your link in a comment below and I will upload your thumbnail.

Finally, please don’t forget to go and visit the other challengers and pass on your views and encouragement.

To find out more about how to enter, click here.  The linky list will open each Thursday at 00:01 GMT (or a bit before) and will normally be open for one week.

Powered by Linky Tools
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 25 March 2015aDSC_0636_pp

19 replies »

  1. Sometimes I kick myself when i see photos like yours of a place I’ve already visited, but failed to capture the way you have. I think your indoor/outdoor photo of night time Vienna from the 17th floor bar with its multichrome ceiling aglow is particularly compelling.


  2. This post has placed Vienna in the spotlight. I have not thought of visiting it before. Looks interesting.


  3. Very nice when Google churns out ‘bar’. 🙂

    Those are great views. I’ve been to Vienna many times but have never associated it with ‘skyscrapers’. This building doesn’t appear to be that tall, but in most of Vienna, I suppose it doesn’t need to be. Read recently that there are plans afoot to build the world’s tallest wooden building in Vienna.


    • No it’s not very tall, but as you say it doesn’t need to be. Tallest wooden building? – that will be interesting.

      On Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 5:19 AM, Travel with Intent wrote:



      • well at least do something special for 100 – like maybe try to get 100 bloggers to join on that one – and then leave it up for two weeks (or something) – also, I like it as-is – but maybe you can suggest themes for the next 100 – like week 101 – things with wheels- week 102 – geo metric shapes – week 103 – food- week 104 – Italia (just a thought)


  4. The ceilings are stunning – they know how to make you want to stay there as long as possible!
    glimpses of the inside of the human body….? Interesting, but I think I would lose my appetite:)


Come join the conversation:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7,266 other followers

Popular Posts

All gone
Seeking shelter
I'm a fan of windmills
Broadstairs to Margate: an easy coastal walk
%d bloggers like this: