Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sightingseeing in St. Pölten

Fridays are my normal day off in St. Pölten, so I took the opportunity to go on a short walking tour of the city center with a British TA, James, who also happens to be one of my roommates.

St. Pölten has a pretty compact city center and most everything of interest is luckily in the city center. Despite the fact that St. Pölten is not the biggest city in Austria, it does have a pretty interesting city center. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, there are some interesting shops, cafes and restaurants in the center. But the center is also very historical and even has some art nouveau buildings and artwork.

We started in the Rathausplatz. Rathaus is the name for town hall in German and this is the plaza where the town hall is located.

Some photos:

The Rathaus! And it's pink!

Rathaus in background.

A mini-train that goes around the city center.

Big statue in the square.

Another interesting place in St. Pölten is the Domplatz. The church on this square isn't very impressive from the outside, but pretty impressive on the inside. While I was inside, a lot of people appeared to be praying, so I refrained from taking any photos except for one. There is also a nice little market here on Thursdays and Saturdays. We just made it to the market on Sunday before it closed. Because it is Fall, there was a lot of wine on display and I ate one of my favorite kinds of sausages with lots of mustard.

From the outside it's not impressive.

The organ.

The Market.

My Käsekrainer sausage.

There is a former synagogue just outside of the city center. The interior was destroyed in 1938, but from the exterior, it's easy to tell it was once a synagogue. I'm not sure what it's used for now, but we had to ring to get inside, and we decided it wasn't worth the effort.

Exterior of the former synagogue.

We were told we had to walk outside of the city center to see the modern part of St. Pölten. And we definitely found it! I had heard of the Klangturm (Sound Tower) from a former TA, but didn't really know what to expect. It's a huge tower, obviously. I thought we would just go to the top and enjoy the great views, but apparently the whole tower is an art installation on sounds, again, obviously. The view from the top was amazing! I could see the whole city. We even tried to see if we could pick out other buildings we knew from up high, but weren't so successful.

We walked down and stopped on each level. Each level had a different interactive sound activity. Including a set of drums that played different mechanical sounds, stories through sound, a map with regional dialects in Austria and probably strangest of all, we set in a room with the voice of a man talking and jumping around as we listened. I wasn't expecting anything like this in St. Pölten and I'm pleasantly surprised that there is this tower with modern art with a touch of humor. 

View from the elevator.

Sitting in one of the strange rocking chairs on the top floor.

The Klangturm itself.

And a few more pictures!

Mary Ward School

Also from the Mary Ward School.

I just liked the facade of this building.

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