Monday, June 18, 2007

Nine Centuries of History and Wine Making

Follow the Danube northwest out of Vienna by car, train or bicycle, and the cityscape shaped by the Hapsburgs and the Secessionist architect Otto Wagner quickly slides away into verdant countryside. Hamlets pop up, like tiny Kahlenbergerdorf, looking like an Epcot Center idealization of a Mitteleuropean village; Wagner's Art Nouveau Church of St. Leopold looms stark and lovely on a hilltop.

Twenty minutes outside the city limits, the Stift Klosterneuburg, a 900-year-old monastery straight out of a fairy tale, comes into view, rising up above the B14 highway with its stern peaks set against the backdrop of a steep, perfect-for-grape-growing hill. “Wo sich Himmel und Erde Begegnen” (“Where Heaven and Earth Meet”) advertises posters, beckoning visitors.

To read the rest of the story, please visit the New York Times

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