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Tales from the Vienna Woods unfold in Austria Pavilion

THINK of Austria and you think of Vienna, torts and strudels, the Blue Danube and Alpine vistas. In the Austria Pavilion at the World Expo, the Kingdom of Music will showcase not only its waltzes and symphonies but also its natural scenery, its delicious cuisine and comfortable urban living.

Visitors will be "beamed via satellite" from Shanghai to Austria. The Huangpu Bridge is transformed into the Vienna's Reichsbruke, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower into the Danube Tower and the Shanghai Municipal Government Building into the Vienna City Hall. Nihao turns into the Servus! of a welcoming Austrian.

The 2,000-square-meter Austria Pavilion will also take visitors on a journey through snow-capped mountains, forests, flowing rivers and urban landscapes, all through three-dimensional slide shows.

The pavilion theme is "Feel the Harmony."

The pavilion has a dynamic and abstract external form, highlighted by the red-and-white porcelain outer skin. The colors are Austria's national colors and red is also the color of good luck in traditional Chinese culture.

"Austria repatriates a porcelain-like object of modern architecture to China, so that Austria pays tribute to China's millennia-old tradition of porcelain exports to Europe," says Brigit Murr, deputy commissioner general of the Austrian section at the Shanghai Expo.

Visitors to the Austria Pavilion will begin their journey on the snow-covered peak of Mount Grossglockner, Austria's highest peak at 3,798 meters.

The walls are covered with snow and ice, the temperature is freezing. Visitors can touch the snow and shiver. This unique glacier experience is augmented by sounds of cracking and breaking ice and blowing wind.

Visitors can throw virtual "snowballs" onto the wall and see who can make it the highest.

They can also admire a starry sky as it only appears from an Austrian mountain peak.

Sixty-four slide projectors will show more than 16 million pictures, combining fantasy and fable with reality.

Visitors to the Expo will have seen numerous exhibits elsewhere and the Austria Pavilion will be a relaxing environment for them, without many formal exhibits.

The journey continues from the mountains down into dense woodlands, complete with the scent of pines and flowers and the chirping of birds.

Light changes according to the time of day and the leaves change color according to the season. Visitors can hear twigs breaking as they walk along, the crunching of dry leaves underfoot and gentle rustling of leaves on the trees and the wind blowing through the pine needles.

The tour moves from forests to crystal-clear lakes, Lake Constance in the west and Lake Neusiedl in the east. The waters are presented visually and acoustically with the rushing of waterfalls, the bubbling of streams and the lapping of waves on the lakes' shores.

As they cross a riverbed, walkers will have virtual encounters with squirrels, deer and other animals that eye them curiously.

The countryside gradually turns into green suburbs and city. When visitors reach the center of Vienna, for centuries a center of art and culture, they will see images of Mozart and Strauss and hear their music.

Traffic moves to the rhythm of Viennese waltzes, construction cranes dance to Falco songs, peasants stroll to the music of Mozart.

"These images are completed by the thematic integration of conditions for a better city, environmental technologies, alternative energies, mobility in urban areas, quality of life," says Murr. Austria Pavilion Highlight: Visitors will experience a 3D journey through snow-capped mountains, forests, flowing rivers and urban landscapes.Theme: Feel the Harmony What to see?

Visitors can enjoy Austria's Mt Grossglockner, Lake Constance and the Viennese Reichsbrucke, the Danube Tower and Vienna City Hall - by virtual technology.

What to eat?

The second floor will be an Austria restaurant, serving traditional Austrian cuisine in a sidewalk cafe setting. Sugar will be reduced. Capacity is 160 guests.

Want to have fun?

Visitors can throw virtual "snowballs" at a wall and compete in throwing the highest ball in the Mountain section.

A souvenir shop will sell Austrian produce, products, arts and crafts. Swarovski, the crystal maker, might open a branch to sell Expo souvenirs.2,000 sq m

The 2,000-square-meter pavilion will take visitors on a journey through 3D slide shows.2 to 3 million visitors

The pavilion aims to attract 2 to 3 million visitors.US$22.72 million

The budget of the Austria Pavilion amounts to US$22.72 million.


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