Book look: Congress & Caricatures

A German historian has created a comprehensive portrait of a significant conference which took place in Vienna 200 years ago. “Der Wiener Kongress. Das große Fest und die Neuordnung Europas” documents the diplomatic efforts to establish new alliances and reasonable partnerships. At the Congress of Vienna, political leaders attempted to create a continent of peaceful coexistence as Europe was shattered by different violent conflicts in 1815. Eberhard Straub explains the economic and political constellation at the beginning of the event. He describes the conference’s negotiations and analyses their results. “Der Wiener Kongress” also features portraits of the most influential personalities of the era such as Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and Karl August von Hardenberg. Straub previously released a double portrait of composers Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner (“Wagner und Verdi”) as well as “Eine kleine Geschichte Preussens” about Prussia.

Der Wiener Kongress
By Eberhard Straub
Published by Klett-Cotta (

Is it possible to create cartoons about such a serious subject as war? Several cartoonists from different European countries contributed their creations for a new 80-page publication dealing with violent conflicts. Teja Fischer, Leonard Riegel and several other artists are featured in the new Holzbaum publication “Kriegerische Auseinanderzeichnungen”. The caricaturists focus on topics like propaganda, war and art, controversial monuments and political conflicts in times of a planet dominated by social media activities. “Kriegerische Auseinanderzeichnungen” follows releases featuring football cartoons and caricatures about dogs.

Kriegerische Auseinanderzeichnungen
By Dorthe Lanschulz, Harm Bengen and many others
Published by Holzbaum (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Milan manual & medieval Europe

Piper’s popular Gebrauchsanweisung series continues as Henning Klüver presents his Milan guide. The German journalist, who has lived in the busy fashion hotspot in northern Italy together with his family for many years, reveals the city’s culinary centres and food favourites in neighbouring towns. He discovers the sights of Brescia and Atalanta as well as the best risotto rice and delicious cheese, but also debates the city’s problems and the region’s controversial fascist legacy. Milan is widely regarded as a place with chaotic traffic and large industrial areas. “Gebrauchsanweisung für Mailand” describes both – Milan’s charming spots and hidden gems but also its controversial issues. In 14 chapters, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Stuttgarter Zeitung culture correspondent also writes about meeting Dario Fo and Umberto Eco as well as Milan’s aims regarding Expo 2015. Unfortunately, Klüver ignores the significance of AC Milan and FC Inter. Apart from brief mentions, the legendary football clubs do not play a role in his Milan manual.

Gebrauchsanweisung für Mailand
By Henning Klüver
Published by Piper (

A German magazine’s history and science team has released a book about medieval times as publications dealing with World War One (Der Erste Weltkrieg. Die Geschichte einer Katastrophe) and the history of Jerusalem (“Jerusalem. Die Geschichte einer Heiligen Stadt”) have become bestsellers. Der Spiegel writers Annette Großbongardt and Johannes Saltzwedel headed a group of 25 journalists focusing on the life of farmers, knights and salesmen in Europe 1,000 years ago. Their articles – now out by DVA – analyse juridical, religious and economic aspects. However, they also write about nutrition and clothing in this period which still fascinates. Economy expert Nils Klawitter, culture desk writer Ulrike Knöfel and 23 others contributed articles for “Leben im Mittelalter”.

Leben im Mittelalter. Der Alltag von Rittern, Mönchen, Bauern und Kaufleuten
By Annette Großbongardt, Johannes Saltzwedel and others
Published by DVA (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Boulevard of Hopes and Dreams

A Viennese museum offers insight views on the development of Austria’s most famous avenue.ring

The Ringstraße, a spectacular boulevard in the heart of Vienna, was created 150 years ago. Expecting nothing less but an urban sensation, the Habsburg family appealed on the city’s most renowned engineers and architects to participate.

“Der Ring. Pionierjahre einer Prachtstraße” (Vienna’s Ringstraße. The Making of a grand Boulevard), now on display at the Wien Museum, does not just feature drafts which led to the buildings that are visited by thousands of tourists each year today like parliament, city hall and State Opera.

The exhibit also presents sketches which were eventually rejected. The exhibit curators created showrooms resembling an architect’s office, ensuring that any nostalgia is avoided.


::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas