Celebrating Christmas in Vienna, Austria with Gilles Gubelmann

Celebrating Christmas in Vienna, Austria with Gilles Gubelmann


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December is the month during which, the length of the days gradually diminishes before reaching the winter solstice. During this period, Vienna transforms into a city of lights, with bustling Christkindl markets attracting curious travelers from all over the world.

In addition to the holiday pop-up shops, spiritual concerts are given in many churches and in the Town Hall. Squares transform also into little forests, where the Viennese buy their Christmas tree.  From the 27th of December on, the city starts preparing for New Year's eve, transforming Vienna into a huge street party. And of course, on the morning of the 1st of January, the Austrian orchestra's iconic New Year's Eve Concert is re-broadcast on more than 80 television channels from the golden hall of the Musikverein.

Led by artist and historian, our conversation will examine the origins of the Christkindl markets, the history of the Christmas celebrations, and the introduction of the Christmas tree tradition at the beginning of the 19th-century in Vienna, Austria. Our local expert will dedicate some time to presenting the concert tradition typical of this period.

To explore our other seminars which explore Holiday season traditions around the world, click here.

Swiss artist Gilles Gubelmann studied piano and dance at the Geneva Conservatory. He then worked for many years as an expert for arts and antiques in an important Swiss Auction House (Koller Auctions) where he was director of the Department of Antique Furniture and Decorative Arts. He realised a dream and moved to Venice where he started working as a painter and as an opera set and costume designer all over Europe, and also deepening his knowledge of art history and architecture. Settled now in Vienna, Gilles continues his artistic activities, works as a lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts and highly enjoys uncovering the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Vienna to curious travellers.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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