26 September 2016

What to do in Linz - par 1 of 3

From the Danube to Space, passing through outdoor art, all flavoured with excellent traditional food

We’re in the capital of the state of Upper Austria, the third most populated city after Vienna and Graz. Linz was declared European Capital for Culture in 2009 and now you’ll see why…

The first thing to do is head to Hauptplatz, the main square (and one of the largest of Central Europe), and inside the old municipal building you’ll find the tourist office, where I strongly recommend you buy a Linz Card, with which you’ll be able to move around on the public transport, access different museums and get discounts on meals and much more (have a look at the web site: http://www.linz.at/italiano/199.asp).

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Once you’re inside this building, there’s no point in just looking around the main hall, but have a look inside, there’s even a scale reproduction of Linz seen from high up (http://www.foto360.at/altes-rathaus,425) and in the courtyard there’s a very cute restaurant where they serve typical products of the region.

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After buying the Linz Card, you’re ready for your first experience: a boat trip on the Danube.

Right in front of the LENTOS Kunstmuseum, which also deserves a visit, you can take a boat that will take you up and down the river for about an hour and a half, to discover the town from a different point of view.

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You’ll see Linz’s well-developed industrial area: along the right river side there are lots of warehouses and companies and on the left there are long bicycle lanes.

What amazed me was that even with all these industries, the city was not in the least bit polluted! In the 70s they started working and taking care of the environment, creating solutions for all the air born gases. Today all this is carefully followed and companies use special filters to not pollute the surrounding area.

And to make this industrial area look more appealing, they created the largest outdoor gallery!

In the area surrounding the port, there’s street Art with incredibly large artwork!

20 large wall paintings created on old industrial buildings by international artists from eight different countries.
This open air gallery «Mural Harbor» is slowly turning the commercial port in a space for urban art, visible to everyone.

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So as I sip a warm tea on board the little tour boat, to warm up on such a grey day, I return to the dock. It’s almost closing time for the wonderful Ars Eectronica Center, so I have to hurry if I want to see the last show of “Deep Space 8K” at 5pm.

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I rush across the Nibelungenbrücke bridge, and as I walk into the centre I stop to marvel at the enormous hall, with light coming in through large windows that falls on the main piece of the room: a swing next to a piano.

I’m pushed by a childhood longing, so I sit on the swing and discover that it’s connected to the piano that starts playing in rhythm with the swing’s movement.

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It’s lovely, but I bring myself to step off. It’s time to see “Deep Space 8K”! I wonder what will happen in this dark theatre with my 3D glasses on!...

You really need to see the show to understand how incredible it is! A 16x9 metre room, where 8k images in 2D and 3D are played on the walls and on the floor. The images surround you completely, and tell the story of the universe and our planets. The show lasts about 20 minutes, but it will seem like a couple of minutes. These time-lapse videos will guide you through the galaxies of our universe.

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Once the show is over I have little time to see the rest because the museum closes at 6pm and will be closed tomorrow, Monday! I go to the top floor because I read that from the terrace there’s a lovely view of the city, then I slowly walk back down through the different floors until I reach the lowest one where they installed the Internet – Timeline, and below the year 2012, after the development of  Windows 8, I see … the launch of MissClaire 😉 !

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I then leave the Ars Electronica Center, that has become a centre for technology innovation and visionary art for the new digital tools.

Each year in September there’s an annual festival called «Prix Ars Electronica». The digital archive at Ars Electronica is the largest in the world, dedicated to the creation of cyber art. The first edition was in 1979!

After all this digital art I’m starting to get hungry, so I return to the main square (Hauptplatz) take a little side road (Rathausgasse) where I find Laberkas –Pepi! A buffet that reminds me of the Buffet da Pepi in Trieste - I’m sorry if many of you don’t know about this historic place in Trieste, but it’s so similar that I had to point it out. Here I order a typical Austrian dish: Leberkas!

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It’s similar to a meatloaf, but it’s considered a Wurst. The ingredients – beef, bacon, water, onion, salt and marjoram are all grinded and set in a mould, very similar to the one for bread loafs, from which the typical shape of the Leberkäse.

In this buffet they have different types of Leberkas, some with cheese, peppers or spinach. Anything you like really!

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My day in Linz is almost over, there’s just one thing left: I hop on a tram in the main square and head up to one of the 11 hills that surround the city, to enjoy the sunset from higher up.

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With a 16-minute tram ride a reach the Basilica of Postlingberg, about 4 km from the city, and also known as the church of the seven pains of the Holy Mother. It was built around mid 18th century and is a famous pilgrim destination.

From this little hill you can admire some lovely residential villas around the city, so I sit and relax as evening falls on the city.

The shades of orange slowly fade into the dark of the evening, covered by the light of the museums along the river side.

My day is over, goodnight Linz, I can’t wait to see what you’ll show me tomorrow!

Ph. Andrea Zangrando

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