Miznon Vienna offers Jewish-Mediterranean street food. // © 2016 Angelo Kreuzberger
Feature image (above): Spanish Riding School is the oldest riding school in the world to practice classic equestrian skills in their original form. // © 2016 Vienna Tourist Board
Though Vienna is known for its rich history, the city continues to keep itself fresh and relevant for today’s travelers. In this spirit, the destination has welcomed a slew of new restaurants, contemporary exhibitions and a new UNESCO designation as we turn the corner into 2016.
A trio of new arrivals have been added to the capital’s burgeoning restaurant scene. The former Dom Beisl restaurant behind St. Stephen’s Cathedral was taken over by a new tenant at the end of 2015. The new leaseholder, Israeli chef Eyal Shani, is building Miznon Vienna, a Jewish-Mediterranean street-food concept. Dishes include filled pita and braised vegetable specialties, and the barbecued cauliflower is not to be missed.
Also in December, Austrian fusion cuisine star Wini Brugger, of Indochine 21 fame, opened a small Heuriger wine tavern serving Asian fare inside of a 400-year-old bakery. Menu highlights include Japanese Yakitori chicken skewers with homemade sauces, along with salads and hot pots.
Austrian chef Wolfgan Zankl started a unique concept at Pramerl & the Wolf, which opened in December. The menus are focused on individual diners, and the basic premise is internationally inspired cuisine that uses regional ingredients from small-scale producers.
While Vienna is regarded for its baroque opulence, the Austrian capital has a booming contemporary arts scene, as well. Coming in 2016 are a host of new modern-art exhibitions throughout the city.
From March 9 to June 26, 21er Haus museum is hosting a retrospective devoted to Oswald Oberhuber, one of the most influential figures in contemporary Austrian art. The space was designed by the artist and presents work from all his key creative phases, from the late 1940s through today.
“The Woodcuts,” a retrospective on German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, will be held at Albertina museum through June 19. The exhibition will show 30 key works selected from his famous woodcuts. Kiefer’s work is characterized by an intensive examination of German history, cultural history and mythology. Later in the year, Albertina will also host an exhibition of Jim Dine, a celebrated star of American pop art after Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Albertina will show 100 self-portraits from June 24 to Oct. 9.
The famous Leopold Museum in MuseumsQuartier will host an exhibition devoted to Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere from April 8 to Sept. 5. This sculptor focuses on the fragility and raw beauty of the human body; her pieces tackle existential questions of life, death, pain and suffering. In the fall, travelers can visit Leopold Museum for “Poetics of the Material,” held from Oct. 21, 2016, to Jan. 30, 2017. This exhibition will present works by six Vienna-based artists: Benjamin Hirte, Sonia Leimer, Christian Mayer, Mathias Poschl, Anne Schneider and Misha Stroj. Their works are characterized by a range of ties to different cultural discourses, forms of narration and depictions of history and stories they portray.
A New Cultural Heritage
A Vienna favorite, Spanish Riding School has been a beloved part of the city’s culture for more than 400 years. In December, members of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage deemed the Classical Horsemanship and the High School of the Spanish Riding School Vienna important parts of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This year, a total of 34 forms of cultural expression, tradition and customs were nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO list.
The riding school is the oldest riding school in the world to practice classic equestrian skills in their original form. Basic knowledge of horse husbandry is passed down generationally through word-of-mouth. For a full calendar of events, visit the Spanish Riding School website to catch performances of the famous Lipizzaner horses in action.