Travel Writing by Cory Hanson

Vienna Vignettes – Moving Pictures


VIENNA–JULY 16, 2015

Yesterday was a slower day for me, and a very exciting day for Sara. She was giving a presentation at her science conference while I continued my barnacle-like bumming around the beautiful city of Vienna. I did some writing in the morning before heading out to grab photographs of a few sights in the Ringstrasse I had yet to see.

Sadly, I forgot my camera memory card, and wasn’t able to get any pictures of the Secession – an ornate, golden-domed art museum. Skipping the Musikverein and Karlskirche for now, I jumped back north to get a look at Vienna’s Anker Clock. One face of this clock (facing Hoher Markt) doesn’t display the time in a circular face, but with a an arrow that moves horizontally on a timeline from 00 to 60. The time arrow displays the hour, and each of the twelve feature a famous Viennese historical figure, the only one of which I cared to see was composer F. J. Haydn.

Anker Clock

Anker Clock

At noon each day, the characters of the clock take a quick (ish) spin through its face while a mechanical organ plays a tune. I got to the clock ten minutes before 12, and a small crowd was already gathered and waiting. When noon struck, a very slow progression of the various Viennese began, with calliope-like music playing accompaniment. The whole slow show took about ten minutes…or so the clock said when the display finally stopped back where it had begun. Most of the crowd around me filmed the whole ten-minute display. That would be quite a boring video to go back to, in my opinion; this would be better experienced in person or not at all.

I went back to the apartment for lunch and to do some more clicking about our bicycle trip before heading back out to take some pictures of the sights I’d missed that morning and to attend yet another free organ concert at St. Peter’s. After the concert, I set out to get a German congratulations card and some flowers for Sara’s presentation. I found a card with some cute artwork and some German text that I couldn’t read. Upon returning to Google Translate, I discovered it said, “I am here, you are there. One of us is in the wrong place!” Well…good thing she can’t read German!

We made it another early night, enjoying some takeaway chicken schnitzel fried up by a very jolly man at the local doner kebab stand.

Fresh Fried Chicken Schnitzel

Fresh Fried Chicken Schnitzel


  1. January 20, 2016    

    I have never notised that clock while in Vienna. I will have to take a look next time I’m there 🙂

    • January 22, 2016    

      It was cool to see the show, but I was more interested in the detailed artwork around the clock. Thanks for “chiming” in!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Five Suitcases