Sunday, October 24, 2010

All the Time in the World

Misti and I ventured out into a grey Vienna day intending to resume the walking tour of "hidden" Vienna that we began a couple of weeks ago.  We were diverted by clocks and globes.

As we wandered toward the center of the old city, we stopped first in the Globe Museum, which is just what it says it is ... a museum of old globes of the Earth, the heavens,  Mars, Venus, and the solar system, both pre- and post Copernicus.

It is an intriguing, unusual museum that reveals past visions of our world.

These two globes date from 1621, and were made in Amsterdam.  They are desktop sized, and they are stunning.

It is wonderful to look carefully at the details of the many globes in the museum and consider what people knew and didn't know about the planet at different times.  You realize the amazing effort, attention to detail, sheer concentration, that went into each one of these.

This picture gives a sense of the museum, with its cases of globes dating back several centuries.

In addition to the big globes, there was a pocket-sized Earth, complete with a carrying case.  That is pictured here (above).

And then there was the tiny globe and the little fold-up paper that included images of the people of the world.  We weren't allowed to use a flash in the museum, and the place is much darker than Keir's Cannon makes it seem.   So, it was difficult to get clear pictures of tiny things ... but the Earth with its people is whimsical.

And finally, on our globe tour, I'll include the image of a spectacular Zodiac globe dating back to 1698 (to the right -- click on it to see it in detail).  It is very dimly lit, but the images on it ... copper engravings on paper ... are beautiful.

Okay, enough of the globes ... although we will be returning to the museum in the future.  It is both quiet and worldly.  And though it is small, it is housed in a palace ... or what used to be a palace.  Sometimes it's hard to tell, but the little hallway leading into the first room is a giveaway.

While this seems ornate ... well, it is ornate ... there are a lot of ceilings and walkways and hallways like this in Vienna.  This one is cozier than most.  Even the old schloss/palace where I work,  despite being in some disrepair, has a few rooms and ceilings like this.  They restored one big room and the gold leaf alone cost enough that they don't plan on doing a second room.

One last picture from the globe museum ... which is both educational and quaint.  If you want to show the relationship of the Earth, the moon and the Sun in a model, and you want to see how the moon casts shadows ... and electricity hasn't been invented yet, what do you do?  See below.

After the Globe Museum we wound our way through some alleys to the Clock Museum.  The museums here usually include the buildings.  The Clock Museum is contained on three floors of a small old building across from the little clock maker shop we showed a couple of blogs ago.

To get to the three levels of exhibits, you have to wind your way up these:
Once inside, we found an amazing collection of clocks -- including this 200-year-old Christmas ornament style clock that was wonderful for its simplicity.

This clock (left) from the 1700s was amazingly modern, and it was ticking away as it has for more than two centuries.

This cabinet clock (right) was puzzling. Clearly it took someone a long time to make it.  The dials are hand painted and lettered, somewhat crudely.  Somewhere in all of these dials is the time ... but we couldn't find it.

 This one was (left)  ... well, the eyes moved left and right as the clock ticked.  Not what you want in your room.

And behind Misti is a clock painting and a clock figurine.  There were several clock paintings and they were all bad.

And finally there was a very old 16th Century piece that was dark and gloomy.  It had a group of religious figures circling a bell with hammers.  They looked like they'd been doing it for much too long.  

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