Our December Shoot in Vienna, By The Numbers


A look at the numbers that went into our four-day shoot in Vienna, from the fudgey sachertortes we ate to the ingredients in an Austrian-made snow globe’s snow.

Vienna is something of a cultural smorgasbord—you can read Freud (a Vienna native) over morning coffee and nibble world-famous dark chocolate for dessert, spend an afternoon visiting a grand museum and then head to a buzzy new gasthaus. Here, a look at our trip by the numbers.

7 films: the number of movies in which we’ve spotted Vienna’s Riesenrad, a 212-foot-tall Ferris wheel, appears. (Our personal favorite: the 1949 post-war film noir The Third Man.)


35 years: the length of time composer Ludwig van Beethoven lived in Vienna. One of the many residences he inhabited over the years was in the creative Mariahilf district, shown above, close to other composers, actors and poets.


4 days: the time it takes for strudels and rich chocolate sachertorte to be shipped from the world-famous Café Demel to the U.S. (11 pasteries: a conservative estimate of the number we shared in one afternoon.)


5 weeks: the holiday time off given to every person who works in Austria—compare that to our much-too-quick four-day shoot.


2 ingredients: Glitter and semolina. That is, what we think is used to make the fake snow in the orbs produced by Original Vienna Snow Globes, a family-owned company that keeps its “flitter” recipe a closely guarded secret. The owner’s grandfather is credited with creating the first snow globe ever while trying to improve on the design for the light bulb in 1900.


1 coffee shop: the number of cafés we visited that played music. The other eight we stopped in were noticeably quieter, and guests were encouraged to hang around as long as they’d like—part of the Viennese kaffeehaus tradition.


78.8 degrees: the average daytime temperature during our shoot—plenty warm enough for the half-dressed sculptures that dot the city’s corners. (Shown here is Die Macht zur See, or “Power at Sea,” sculpted by Rudolf Weyr in 1895.)

Shop new arrivals from our Vienna shoot here.

Read about our shoots in Paris here and in Malta here.

Photography by Angi Welsch.