Austria Culture


Austrians seem to have a talent for dance in their blood. Not only did they invent the Viennese waltz, the world’s most famous dance, in classical ballet, the Viennese company has always been a leader throughout the centuries. By the way: in the first ballet performed in Vienna, in the year 1622, the noble company, then only aristocrats could dance, was personally directed by the emperor. The dancers and choreographers who have since had the honor of performing at the Vienna State Opera are also very famous: from Grethe Wiesenthal to Rudolf Nurejew, to Jorma Elo, who in 2010 will stage an action ballet at Haus am Ring that will last all night: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the ballet version of William Shakespeare’scomedy, which with the music of Mendelssohn Bartholdy combines classical ballet with contemporary dance.

If you like modern dance, as a country that belongs to European Union according to, Austria has a great variety: dance festivals are held all over the country. The ImpulsTanz Festival in Vienna has long since become the most important contemporary dance event in Europe. And Austria Dance at the St. Pölten Festival Theater, is dedicated to the different stylistic forms of today’s dance: from folk dance to ballet, contemporary choreographic art or sport, all of them show extreme positions. Its peculiarity is that the spectators are not only spectators. As in ImpulsTanz, it is possible to participate in workshops and even get to act.

In Salzburg, choreographic art is harnessed for audiences to enjoy even at the famous Jedermann: The avant-garde Sommerszene festival is a program that is in true contrast to the traditional festivals in Salzburg, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2010. Dedicated entirely to the crossing of borders, artistic risk and new forms of presentation, Sommerszene wants to interest the public with the most important trends in art on international stages. Further west, they bet on a wild combination of contemporary dance and passionate flamenco: in Tanz ist, in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg In recent years, true curiosities of the Spanish style have been represented with great temperament with very important protagonists. Even at festivals where dance is not at the fore, such as the Vienna Party Weeks, Bregenz festivals or steirischen herbst, a lot of time and space is devoted to this highly expressive art form. I said, Austrians have a real weakness for dance.


The largest Brueghel collection in the world, the largest Klimt collection in the world. For those who love the superlative, Austria’s museums are the perfect destination. But in addition to the great museums, such as the Museum of Art History or the Belvedere Palace, in Vienna there are countless more unknown but no less interesting alternatives: only in Vienna there are more than 100 museums; and if you leave the capital, it can even become quite an adventure. When you pass the threshold of a door you are suddenly in the middle of a prehistoric sea.

The inatura Natural Museum in Dornbirn, one of the most modern natural museums in Europe, awakens the fauna and flora of the Bregenz forests of then and today, with live screenings, virtual tours and other spectacular ideas. Here you can also immerse yourself in the fascinating world of technology: More than 40 interactive stations in six “Science Zones” bring the visitor closer to physical, technical and mechanical phenomena in a game-like manner. Its visitors understand why this museum has been awarded the European Prize for Museums.

The art of slowness

The Mönchhof museum-village in Burgenland offers nostalgia rather than high-tech. Here the life of yesteryear in Seewinkel is shown graphically: here a whole village has been built in the style of the 50s and 60s, with the church, the doctor’s office, the school, the workshops and the cellars. You can walk quietly through the streets, get to know the atmosphere of the old houses that have been decorated faithful to the original, enjoy a glass of wine in an inn of that time and thus understand how the people of that time worked, lived and celebrated. The atmosphere is similar at the Stübing open-air museum in Styria, where you can even try some old crafts. The good thing about these museums is that not only the life of the peasants of that time is known, but also the art of slowness.

Interesting facades

The buildings of modern Austrian museums are also interesting: especially the Kunsthaus in Graz, the fluorescent bubble located in the historical center of the city looks like an extraterrestrial being, which is why it has earned the nickname of Friendly Alien. The Liaunig museum in Carinthia, which, among others, houses a comprehensive collection of contemporary art, is also out of the ordinary. The reduced construction is almost totally integrated into the landscape: from the outside only the long wing of the gallery can be seen, the rest of the museum is located underground.

Austria Culture