Even a busy city can be a haven for wildlife, and Vienna, with the Danube running through it, is no exception. The river is home to more than 250 European Beavers. They live in lodges on the banks of the Danube made from branches and leaves. The waters are also home to not only fish, but also yellow-bellied slider turtles and crayfish. Vienna also provides a habitat to over 8,500 squirrels, who have made the parks and green spaces their natural home. You will also find a large deer population living in this urban jungle. If you’re a budding artist, or even a professional one, there are some amazing places to draw and paint wildlife in Vienna, where you can’t help but be inspired by nature at its finest.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Maxingstraße 13b, 1130 Wien), also known as Vienna Zoo, is in fact the world’s oldest zoo, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to more than 700 species of birds and animals. Vienna Zoo is also a valuable education center that specializes in nature conservation. The Rainforest House is one of the best places for drawing and painting birds within the zoo, as you will find them free-flying, the same way that you would in their natural habitat. You don’t need any specialist equipment to draw a bird in detail – only a pen, pencil and paper. You can practice drawing the details of the feathers as they glisten in the light of the Rainforest House.
Vienna’s Central Cemetery
On the outskirts of the city is one of the biggest cemeteries in Europe – over 330,000 people have been interred at Vienna’s Central Cemetery (Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, 1110 Wien). Where there is death, however, there will always be life, and amongst the graves and memorials, there is a thriving deer population. If you visit for a few hours, especially early in the morning or at twilight, you could be lucky enough to see them frolicking in amongst the ivy. When you are drawing and painting, it is easy to be inspired by the contrast of shadows and light in the cemetery, and the deer make a wonderful subject.
Floridsdorf Motorway Bridge
If you walk close to the Floridsdorf Motorway Bridge (there are plenty of safe sidewalks in the surrounding streets), you may be lucky enough to see some of the bigger birds of Vienna. Nesting in the area are the majestic Grey Herons. There are more than 30 nests in the colony, and the birds can frequently be seen going to and from their homes with small fish in their mouths, taken from the rivers, lakes, and sometimes goldfish ponds in the city. The herons make a striking subject to draw against the backdrop of the urban motorway bridge.
Vienna is a haven for wildlife, and it is the perfect place to practice your drawing and painting skills. Seeing these birds and animals in their habitat is a great privilege for artists, and will inspire you to create something amazing.
Written by: Brianna