On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

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Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

Once again, if it’s Friday, it’s otmar, do prepare to gasp – I warned you!

Next week, more great stuff as I work through so many great submissions from JR in WV and Le Compte and many others.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Today, pictures from valued commenter otmar.

This week we hosted a small international conference in Vienna’s city center. In order to spice up the day, we organized a guided tour to the state hall of the Austrian national library.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_National_Library for the Wikipedia entry.

This library started as the Hapsburg’s court library, but was accessible to all citizens. The main building is part of the Hofburg complex, the residency of the emperors. Most of the pictures below show the baroque “Prunksaal / State Hall” which was finished in 1723.

Entering the hall.

The oldest book in the collection: from 1368.

The emperor had a statue of himself put in the center of the hall: in a Roman general’s uniform, with Baroque hair, larger than in reality, with a boastful inscription.

Guess what my association was when the guide described this statue?

Frescos in the central cupola.

Book. Lots of books. The big ones in the lower rows, the smaller ones higher up.

Once more the center of the hall.

The new wing of the Hofburg also houses parts of the library but also a different museum.


Thank you so much otmar, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


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24 replies
  1. 1
    otmar says:

    My next batch will be a change of scenery: we’re on a skiing vacation, thus: less buildings, more nature.

  2. 2
    Amir Khalid says:

    Ich erwarte, dass die österreiche Landschaft wird so wunderschön wie die Gebäude sein.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Beautiful pictures 😄

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:


    Oops. “österreichische”

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    Gorgeous photos! I love Vienna and hope to have the opportunity to visit it again someday. Once is not enough!

  6. 6
    ThresherK says:

    I think the overbearing statue is of Charles (Karl) VI, HRE at the time. He’s a bit of a wreck, even for a Habsburg, and the Trump analogy holds.

  7. 7
    Baud says:


  8. 8
  9. 9
    JPL says:

    Beautiful photos and thank you to Alain for allowing the photos to be shared.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    debbie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Google Translate knew what you meant, FWIW.

  12. 12
    otmar says:

    @debbie: Google translate is tolerant. The words are correct, but the order was not quite. Where to put the verbs is pretty tricky in German.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    Dang. I keep forgetting that the main verb is supposed to go to the end of the subordinate clause.

  14. 14
    ThresherK says:

    @otmar: I knew all that reading would pay off. “Danubia” by Simon Winder is highly recommended.

  15. 15
    MomSense says:

    All those beautiful books look heavenly. That is the kind of place I would like to get lost in for a year or so.

  16. 16
    MazeDancer says:

    Quite the wow! Enormously enjoyed!

  17. 17
    Quinerly says:


  18. 18
    Another Scott says:

    Thanks for the pictures, otmar.

    Everyone should probably see Vienna and the palaces once. The stuff there is so amazingly over the top that even Trump’s attempts to mimic it are a pale shadow.

    I thought it was interesting that they melted down their gold plates and utensils for currency when times were tough. I guess it makes more sense than just having the stuff stacked up in gold bars in the vault.

    “Hey princess, darling. We’re a little short this month. Have the help melt down a couple of serving dishes from grossvater’s set and get yourself something nice at the furrier. Run along now…”


  19. 19
    StringOnAStick says:

    Vienna is an amazing city; Betty is right that once is not enough. I looked at Otmar’s cupola photo and my mind said “I know his it feels”, meaning how it feels to be there viewing such beauty. Thanks Otmar!

  20. 20
    otmar says:

    @MomSense: the old books are in the progress of being scanned. So you should be able to read them all from the comfort of your home soon. Some of them should already be online at

  21. 21
    Waratah says:

    @otmar: I would love to go to a library as lovely as this. Thank you Otmar.

  22. 22
    Elmo says:

    @otmar: “It is the German who is so uncourteous to his verbs.”
    -Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal In Bohemia

  23. 23
    J R in WV says:

    Fabulous palace of a library. We visited Fiernza aka Florence Italy and toured parts of a huge pile of a a palace, bedrooms with ceilings taller than the rooms were wide, with huge ceramic stoves in a corner – no chimney, just a huge stove to burn charcoal, I assume. Home of the Count of Tuscany, not really sure of the proper title, bound to have changed over the years, but you get the drift.

    This is much improved over the Italian palace, but of course Italy was a rough place for several centuries there, compared to the Holy Roman Empire’s control of Vienna.

    Love the photos Otmar, great detail. Ancient palaces really appeal to me, if I were ruler of the world I would spend all my time wandering around all the palaces, from attic to basement and through the “maintenance” tunnels and halls.

    Folks, you should be aware that you can open these photos by clicking or right clicking to open them in a new tab, then click on that photo to expand it greatly, so as to, for example, examine the frescoes on the ceiling. I also noticed railings in the windows below the ceiling which mean that there’s a maintenance passageway inside the ceiling of that room.

    Who knows how many interior passageways (and doors, and viewing locations, and listening places) there are in those palaces? What conspiracies were hatched about the Dukedom of The Upper Rhine (for a made up example) in the library over coffee and cognac and a good book or two?

  24. 24
    Origuy says:

    It’s not as gorgeous as the Austrian National Library, but the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University is pretty impressive. The exterior is a grid of marble panes that are so thin that they transmit light. The bookshelves inside are in a glass room, that you need permission to access. Between them are two floors of exhibits, including a Gutenberg Bible and Audubon’s Birds of America. When I was there, they had a collection of items from the Harlem Renaissance.

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