Vienna’s sights and sounds savoured by Perse students
2 Nov 2018
Fourteen Sixth Form students enjoyed a cultural weekend in Vienna during the half-term break.
Accompanied by Head of German David Brunskill and art teacher Georgina Howling, they visited the sights of the Austrian capital and enjoyed some great views of the city from the top of St Stephen’s Cathedral.
The Sixth Formers, who are studying subjects which include art, music and German, viewed art exhibitions at the Secession Building, the Museum of Modern Art and the Leopold Museum, as well as the outstanding Gustav Klimt collection at the Belvedere Palace.
Students found the museum art to be of stark contrast to the quirky architecture at Hundertwasser Village, an urban regeneration project which converted what was once a tyre factory into a bazaar with a tree-lined roof.
Music featured prominently on the itinerary, with a visit to the Mozarthaus and two evening classical concerts at the Wiener Musikverein and the Konzerthaus.
However, one of the highlights of the students’ trip was the unusually named Ugly Vienna walking tour, in which the group was guided around some of the less obvious sights of the city. Students voted on whether a particular building was indeed ugly or whether beauty was really in the eye of the beholder.
Mr Brunskill said: “The Vienna trip is a great addition to our cultural programme. All the students had a fantastic time exploring what this beautiful city has to offer and it was a wonderful opportunity for them to enjoy a range of cross-cultural activities.”
Sasha Karabasova (Lower Sixth) gives her review of the trip below
The cultural trip to Vienna certainly crammed in an impressive number of museum, concert and sight-seeing visits. Despite the intense schedule, the small number of students and the gorgeous city itself made for a fun and informative atmosphere.
I would recommend this trip to any prospective architects and musicians especially, as the material is made accessible by being in English, and the cultural hub of music and art that is Vienna provides the students with a nice addition of material they can discuss in their portfolios and coursework or maybe in their personal statement.
Those studying German, particularly at the A level or GZ level, may find that immersing yourself in a city with a specific accent helps to further your listening skills. I was interested in the trip to Vienna mostly for my German studies, and I found that by the end of the couple of days spent there I was able to distinguish between the Austrian accent and the central German accent to which I am more accustomed.
An additional advantage to the general educational benefits and architectural beauty of Vienna is the food! Potato and schnitzel were, as expected, on the menu for a traditional Viennese meal.
My personal highlights from the trip were the Belvedere Palace – home to Klimt’s The Kiss and Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David – and the Ugly Architecture Tour. This was a particular gem and it was totally worth it to get taken around the city to see some of the buildings constructed during the brutalist craze of the 1960s.
The trip to Vienna was not only educative, but also a very nice way to start the half-term holidays in the Sixth Form.