If Disney created a magical Kingdom of Crystal, he would surely have used the fabled "Crystal Worlds" as his role model. In just 15 minutes (by taking the Wattens bus from the Busbahnhof, next to the Hauptbahnhof), you are delivered to a fantasy world, a man-made hill where you'll see a giant face spouting a waterfall. This bizarre fantasy sets the theatrical stage for what's hidden inside and below. Deep inside the hill is a wonder world of crystal -- an underground fantasy with seven linked chambers. Designed by the Viennese multimedia artist Andrew Heller, the kingdom is dedicated to the vision of Daniel Swarovski, founder of the world's leading producer of full crystal. Since it opened in 1995, millions of visitors have descended on the site.
After entering the giant head with its glittering eyes and waterfall, you'll immediately see a long wall of crystal with 12 tons of some of the finest cut stones in the world. In other chambers, you can wander into the "Planet of the Crystals," with a 3-D light show. Crystalline works of art on display were designed by everybody from Andy Warhol to Salvador Dalí. In the Crystal Dome, you get an idea of what it's like being inside a crystal, and in the Crystal Theater, a fairytale world of color, mystery, and movement unfolds.
After your visit, purchases can be made from the mammoth range of Swarovski products at the on-site shop. These range from detailed crystal items such as tiny musical instruments to depictions of animals. There's also a wide selection of crystal jewelry such as necklaces and earrings. The Crystal World also contains an alpine garden with rare and indigenous plants, plus an adventure playground for children. You can easily spend 2 hours here.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Very Highly Recommended 2010