Sunday 10 November 2013

Returning to the Strudlhof Steps
Vienna's Alsergrund District

On the Strudlhof Steps in Vienna
When the leaves upon the steps are lying
from the old stairs is heard an autumn sighing
of all that's gone across them in the past

A moon in which a couple, holding fast,
embraces, lightweight shoes and heavy footfall
the mossed urn in the middle, by the wall,
outlasts the year between the wars and dying.

So much is past and gone, to our dismay,
And beauty shows the frailest power to stay.

"On the Strudlhof Steps in Vienna"
Poem by Heimito von Doderer
Quoted from his 1951 novel "The Strudlhof Steps"
Translation by Vincent Kling © 1974

Chestnut Leaf
Holding on to fountain rim
The Strudlhof Steps
9th District

Images by Merisi
© October 2009


  1. One more repost - I have collected a number of images of this year's autumn mood around the Strudlhof Steps, but the time to frame then into a new post is still scarce (and yes, not only duty keeps me busy).

    A wonderful Sunday to all of you,

  2. I didn't see any strudels on those steps. :)

    1. Next time, I'll try to remember to take some strudel to the Strudlhof Steps! ;-)

  3. Dear Charles, eating is very important here in Vienna, but not all names refer to edible things. The steps are named after Peter Strudl ( or Strudel, 1660-1714 ) a baroque painter who owned the the place where much later the famous
    steps were built ( 1910, if my memory doesn't fool me ). The novel is a must-read, only second to Proust, and the english version by Kling honours both the
    style and the spirit of the original. Happy reading!

    1. Thank you, roe, for your kind comment! :-)
      I have read the novel, but thanks to you I now can recommend King's English version to my friends.

  4. This reminds me of another ‘poetic’ staircase: Luís de Camões.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.