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Wittgenstein House


#1

After being in Vienna for over two months, I paid a visit to the Wittgenstein House.

At the side of the street, I saw the familiar shape of the building I had seen numerous times in photographs. Its narrow windows were particularly eye-catching, and its outlines seemed alarmingly clean as it stood in the twilight.

I approached the building and noticed a huge and noisy crowd already at the entrance. They were huddled around the front lobby, their hands clutching champagne glasses as they greeted and chattered incessantly with one another. Against the vertical iron grills of the door and windows, the whole scene looked a little like it was set in the common area of a prison. I opened the door and my ears were assaulted by the buzzing conversations; I deliberately let my touch linger on the legendary solid and unyielding stainless steel doorknobs, and felt its cold calmness.

Thanks to an invitation to a film screening, I found out that the Bulgarian Cultural Institute was now located in the Wittgenstein House. I noticed that the small room on the left of the entrance had been turned into a security kiosk—the old fellow in the kiosk kept alert while observing the surroundings. The screening room was on the right side of the front hall. The original rooms—initially kept separate—were revamped into a space for exhibitions and public events. The guests began to filter into the seats as I stood in the corner and continued to watch the lively crowd.

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