Fun Stuff > Places
The (only) Temple
The Leopoldine Temple in Eisenstadt, the Iron City in the east of Austria, is one of these small attractions you may find all over, if you only look for them. This one was erected by French architect Charles Moreau in 1806 in the Esterhazy Palace Gardens of the Iron City, in honour of late Princess Leopoline. When the pond in front was re-installed, the meadow, where we had played soccer as kids, had to go. Nearby picture was taken on our way to the annual Wine Tasting Festival.
Following the old Latin motto "carpe diem - savour the day", (Miniature-) Indulgement Days on the main street would replace the unprofitable event a few years later. But maybe 10 years later there may come another "Festival of 1000 Wines" in the palace gardens. In times of wellness, spa and delicacy, also our favourite down-to-earth beer pub would develop into a gourmet temple and take the all-time favourite goulash-soup off the menu. The old Leopoldi song comes to mind: "We're out of roast veal, we're out of roast pork... good luck the chestnut roaster stands just in front of the house - Der Kalbsbraten ist aus, der Schweinsbraten ist aus... zum Glück steht der Maronibrater gerade vor dem Haus!"
How many times have we walked through the park by the Leopoldine Temple? Dedicated to Princess Leopoldine Esterhazy, her statue was erected inside in 1821. For this purpose neo-classical artist Antonio Canova had portrayed the duke's daughter as a muse. A copy of it is still in there, usually hard to see through the windows. Representing another figure of the Greek mythology, this one lives on in the saying that someone has been kissed by a muse, when being inspired for a creative process.
The same Italian sculptor became famous for his marble sculpture "Eros en Psyche - Cupid and Psyche (Amor und Psyche)" from 1793, which is nowadays on display in the Louvre in Paris and in a three years later version in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. The scene shows a lifeless Psyche revived by Cupid's Kiss. A capturing motif, although I can't find any arrow in it, which the god of love usually shoots right into someone's heart, preferably on Valentine's Day. The sculpture was most familiar to me from the cover of the Whitesnake album "Saints & Sinners," which among others contained the original 1982 version of their unforgettable song "Here I go again (on my own)." A strange coincidence, isn't it, or just another example of free association?
In the United States there is also an "Iron City." It is a nick name of the former steel town Pittsburgh, PA, just like New York City is the "Big Apple" or Chicago is the "Windy City" and Detroit is the "Motor City." South of Detroit on the way towards Toledo we would one day find a small community called Vienna, one of many hommages in the US to European cities.
Touring the "Iron City Brewery" in Pittsburgh was quite an adventure, as was that strange feeling while having a drink at "The Church Brew Works" nearby, a former Lutheran house of God. Once in a while I think of a friend: Used to stronger European brew, when he was asked about the taste of IC Light, he would reply: "Like dishwater!" On the other hand it was definitely stronger than Root Beer and as by its slogan it's actually: A 'Burgh Thing!
"They're really rockin' in Boston, in Pittsburgh, PA," as Chuck Berry had put it in his song "Sweet Little Sixteen." Probably after having a can of Iron City Beer, or two...
The Leopoldine Temple in the Esterhazy Palace Gardens, also known as "Schlosspark" or "Hofgarten," in Eisenstadt, the Iron City and capital of the most eastern Austrian province.
One of the nicest quotes about music originates from Joseph Haydn, who is buried in the Haydn Church in Eisenstadt, the Iron City. Asked about his foreign language skills, when leaving Vienna for an engagement in London in late 1790, the Austrian composer would point out the internationalism and universalism of his music: "My language is understood throughout the world - Meine Sprache verstehet die ganze Welt!” His thin, sad string quartet from 1797 would become the grandiose Austrian Emperor's Hymn: "Gott erhalte, Gott beschütze Unsern Kaiser, unser Land!" ("God preserve, God protect Our Emperor, our country!"). Underlaid with new lyrics, the melody still serves as the German National Anthem. In a typical wine area, it was only a matter of time until a Haydn Wine called "The Creation" was created to honour the composer, and below is a picture found on a house front portraying the master himself with a glass of wine.
Looking at the above picture from the local wine festival, by coincidence a wine tasting stand in the background would give family name and location with "Hahnekamp, St.Georgen". Or is it no coincidence, as a major portion of the wine village's population is named after the same rooster's comb? Which is also the name of a famous ski world cup race in the mountains of Tyrol, the "Hahnenkammrennen - Rooster's Comb Race". St. George, at the other end of Austria, just lies on the foot of a small hill, commonly known as "Hedscherlberg - Mount Rosehip". The trivia question is now: How do you call it, when a hundred inhabitants of St.George run down Mount Rosehip? Answer: It's a Rooster's Comb Race (according to their family names, it would another "Hahnekamprennen")
Eisenstadt near Vienna: Leopoldine Temple, Esterhazy Palace and Haydn Church.
The Iron City is mostly known for Esterhazy Palace, where Haydn lead the court orchestra, until he would be buried in the local Haydn Church. Not to forget the Leopoldine Temple in the Palace Gardens. One day we also took "Flat Stanley" there. Ever heard of this slim guy without any weight problems, who can go to all kinds of places? We had received a letter from Brooks Elementary School in Killen, Alabama, asking us to take a photo of Stanley’s extraordinary picture in front of a local sight.
The Palace Gardens are located behind Esterhazy Castle, which can be seen from the pond around the Leopoldine temple. Notably, the highest building in town peeks out next to the castle, another example of postmodern architecture in form of a multi-story apartment building. As a friend used to put it, the nicest view in town you'd have from the top of the highest building, because then you don't see the highest building.
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