Pinsteps. The monument to Emil Jacob Schindler
Places to visit in Vienna. Languages: ru, he, en

Emil Jakob Schindler was born in Vienna's Leopoldstadt (the other side of the Danube) in the former fishing village that was under the protection of the Danube Maiden. His father was a prominent industrialist who prospered in the textile business. The father wished for his son to pursue a respectable government career, but Emil did not fulfill this wish; instead, he began studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Schindler became a leading figure in the moderate Viennese Impressionist landscape painting school. Hans Makart was one of his friends. At the age of 31, he married Anna, who was already pregnant with their daughter Alma. The small family lived together with fellow artist Julius Victor Berger. During Emil Jakob's absence, Anna Schindler began a relationship with Julius Victor, and Margaret Julie Schindler, born on August 16, 1880, is likely Berger's daughter. Emil Jakob Schindler died at the height of his success in 1892 due to an untreated appendicitis. He was buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery, a tomb created by sculptor Edmund Hellmer but unfortunately destroyed by the consequences of the war.

Schindler's widow remarried in 1895 to artist Karl Moll (1861-1945), with whom she had a relationship during her husband's lifetime. Both are buried in a tomb near Alma Mahler on the Grinzing Cemetery.

Now, the intriguing fate of Emil Jakob Schindler's first daughter, Alma, unfolds. At the age of 17, Alma was courted by artist Gustav Klimt. She had a romance with composer Alexander von Zemlinsky but married composer and conductor Gustav Mahler, who was 19 years her senior. In this marriage, she gave birth to two daughters—Maria, who died at the age of five, and Anna. During Mahler's lifetime, Alma began a romance with architect and Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, whom she eventually married after Mahler's death and a passionate affair with artist Oskar Kokoschka. Kokoschka dedicated one of his finest paintings, "Bride of the Wind," to her. In her short marriage to Gropius, she gave birth to a daughter, Manon. After divorcing Gropius, she became the wife of writer Franz Werfel, with whom she emigrated to the United States. She recounted her life story in her autobiography, "And the Bridge is Love."

Public opinion about Alma Mahler-Werfel was highly polarized. She considered herself a muse, inspiring creative minds, and some contemporaries agreed with this assessment. Berndt W. Wessling, one of Alma Mahler-Werfel's biographers, called her a "symbolic figure in the history of this century." Others saw Alma as a sexually obsessed, fateful woman who used her famous companions, an anti-Semite who wrote in her diary that dealing with Jews was acceptable but marrying them was not, and someone who compelled Franz Werfel to renounce Judaism before their marriage. Writer Gina Kaus stated that Alma was the worst person she knew. The wife of Ivan Goll, Claire, wrote that "anyone who marries Alma Mahler must die," and Alma's friend Marietta Torberg believed that Alma was both a great woman and a cesspool.

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Evgeny Praisman
Vienna. The Ringstrasse.

A leisurely stroll through the historic part of the city unfolds a tapestry of enchanting landmarks. The city park, adorned with the melodies of Strauss and Schubert, leads to the venerable city gates named after Luger and Mozart. The narrative of "Ah, My Sweet Augustine" echoes through time, while the oldest church in the city stands as a testament to bygone eras. The tales of Theodor Herzl, the anchor clocks, the Jewish quarter, the square where it all began, the longest narrow alley, the Estergazi restaurant, and Andersen's house weave together seamlessly.

Wander down Graben Street, passing by the plague column and fountains, where the stories of homes, people, words, legends, and traditions blend harmoniously. Amidst it all, relish the charm of restaurants, cafes, wines, and coziness that add an extra layer of warmth to this rich tapestry of history and culture.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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