Once upon a time Venice was part of Austria. You know when Felix Austria used to own half of the world?
And this winged lion statue that made of sand stone trapped in a wrought-iron lattice is the proof of it. This massive work of art stands in the ground floor of the South Railway Station or Südbahnhof. This is one of the two lions that survived after the years gone by. There should be eight. The rest was destroyed during the war. The second surviving Markuslöwe stands near to the former Kaiserbahnhof (imperial railway station?) in Laxenburg.
The Südbahnhof leads you to the south of Austria. That includes countries like Italy, Croatia, Slovakia, etc. If you are already there fresh from the train Belvedere Castle is just across the street, that is if you are a tourist.
My mother-in-law has her flat situated very close to the train station. We used to live there and god knows I am gonna miss it once she’ll give that up this year. Nevertheless there is a certain malevolence in the look of the lion. Menacing, you can say. Honestly, the first time I laid my eyes on it I felt fear. It was probably due to the stories I heard about the railway stations that have nothing to do with this lion.
Or perhaps the interesting (and sometimes questionable) characters inhabiting the station every time I wait for my train every weekend off to Burgenland. Once I saw three men mugged a guy, who, I assume, their former comrade. By the looks of it they knew each other. They could be probably friends. But right there and then they were obviously foes, tearing his hair and tagging at his collar. It was a scary sight.
And what could be menacing for yours truly is the sight of sturdy heavyweight white people arguing in a language I cannot recognise.