Beauty and the Abyss: Modernism in Vienna

At the beginning of the twentieth century Vienna was a hotbed of Modernist expression in art, architecture, design, music and thought. In 1918 four of the leading exponents of Modernism died: the artists Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Koloman Moser, and the architect and town planner Otto Wagner. One hundred years later, in 2018, Vienna celebrates this extraordinary cultural period with a series of special exhibitions and events devoted to these pioneers of Modernism in Vienna.

Designed as a post-tour to The Elbe Art and Music Cruise, this tour can be booked on its own.


This tour is part of the World Art Tours program organised by the Art Gallery Society of NSW in partnership with Renaissance Tours.

Suggested departure from Australia and New Zealand on Emirates / Qantas flights (via Dubai). Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist with your travel arrangements.

Early afternoon arrival and check-in to your hotel perfectly located on the Ringstasse, opposite the Hofburg Palace and Vienna State Opera, and within walking distance of many of Vienna’s famous attractions.

This evening, join Liz for a talk on Viennese Modernism in architecture and the decorative arts, followed by dinner.


Begin your exploration of Viennese Modernism with a morning visit to three architectural masterpieces designed by Otto Wagner (1841-1918).

Begin with a visit to his Steinhof Church, considered one of the most important Art Nouveau churches in the world. Continue to what is today known as the Ernst Fuchs Museum, but was originally the villa built 1886 to 1888 by Wagner for himself and his wife Louise. Finish with a visit to the Otto Wagner Hofpavillon Hietzing, the Imperial Court Pavilion at Hietzing station, part of Vienna’s metropolitan railway, and the biggest infrastructure engineering project in the city around 1900.

After lunch spend the afternoon at the Belvedere Palace, the beautiful Baroque architectural ensemble which houses a collection of Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. The heart of the Belvedere collection is formed by 24 paintings of Gustav Klimt including The Kiss and Judith. In 2018 the Belvedere Palace will host a special exhibition, giving pride of place to its extensive collection of oil paintings by Egon Schiele. Each piece is given additional context by sketches, related pieces, works by the artist’s contemporaries, archive material and photographs.

This evening, immerse yourself in the ground breaking music of the period with a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (1899-1900) at the Konzerthaus, performed by Russian orchestra MusicAeterna conducted by Teodor Currentzis. Soprano TBA.


Following a talk on the artists of Viennese Modernism, continue your exploration of the art, architecture and decorative arts of Vienna Modernism. See Otto Wagner’s Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station and visit the Secession Building, an exhibition hall built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna Secession. See the Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt (1901) and visit the special exhibition ‘Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser and the Art of their Time’.

Continue to the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s famous food and produce market for lunch on your own.

Continue past the Majolica House by Otto Wagner to the Imperial Furniture Collection which will host the special exhibition ‘Wagner, Loos and Hoffmann Furniture Design in Viennese Modernism. Artists, Patrons and Producers’. This exhibition presents the work of the key architects of the Wiener Moderne – Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann – as interior designers and furniture designers and their differing approaches to the two disciplines.

Tonight, you may attend an optional performance at the Vienna State Opera of Verdi’s Falstaff. Not included in tour cost. Cat 1 tickets AUD 352 including bkg fee). Subject to availability and confirmation.


Enjoy a drive around the Ringstrasse, on your way to one of Vienna’s most famous addresses, Bergasse 19, home of the Sigmund Freud Museum. For almost half a century, from 1891 to 1938, the founding father of psychoanalysis lived here until he was forced to emigrate to Britain after Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany.

Continue to the Leopold Museum, which boasts one of the world’s most important collections of Austrian art of the early 20th century, with works by Gustav Klimt (including his masterpiece Death and Life), Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin, Richard Gerstl and Albin Egger-Lienz, not to mention the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world.

Afternoon at leisure to further explore the many other wonderful museums of Vienna including the nearby Fine Arts and Natural History Museums, the Albertina and the Vienna Museum which will host a special exhibition dedicated to Otto Wagner.

Tonight, celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a special farewell dinner.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. If returning to Australia today, depart Vienna on Qantas / Emirates flights to Australia (via Dubai). Evening arrival in Australia on Saturday 30 June.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 2,950

Single supplement*

AUD 750

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due

26 April 2018

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see terms & conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current fares and specials.

Tour price includes

  • Four nights’ accommodation in Vienna with daily breakfast (B)
  • Other meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=dinner) including wines
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including entrance fees as per itinerary
  • A-reserve ticket for a performance at the Konzerthaus
  • Introductions and talks
  • Hotel porterage and gratuities

Tour price does not include

  • Flights
  • Transfers on arrival and departure
  • Items of a personal nature (i.e. mini-bar, telephone, laundry etc.)
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional performance of Falstaff at Vienna State Opera


Your hotel
Marriott Vienna****+

NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted