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Arranged by the Austrian multimedia artist André Heller, the Swarovski Crystal Worlds have attracted about 4 million visitors since its opening in autumn 1995 when it was created to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary. The whole site is buried beyond a huge grassy hill, featuring a giant grassy sphinx above the entrance. Inside, a dreamland of colorful adventures, with caleidoscopic colors, lights and refractions awaits you, as if you've entered a fairy-tale.

Some of the chambers of Wonder

Blue Entrance Hall

Most noticable element would be the 11m tall crystal wall filled with 12 tons of glimmering crystal stones. Apart from that just at the entrance you can take a peek at the worlds largest crystal stone, weighing 300,000 carat. Decorations and texts by Keith Haring, John Brekke, Nikki de St. Phalle's, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol.

The Crystal Dome

A mediation room constructed of 590 mirrors, the music inside was composed by Brian Eno, artworks by Susanne Schmöger are shown.

Crystaloscope 'Occhi di Cristallo'

Designed by Studio Azzurro from Milan, the crystaloscope should reflect the thoughts of the giant sphinx hovering above the entrance.

The Crystal Theatre

Susanne Schmöger, together with André Heller created a bizarre, poetic scenario, a fairy-tale world full of motion, colour and mystery.

Sphinx

Designed by the Austrian artist Hubert Arat the Sphinx stands guard above the entrance.

So far my summary of the press release, now my personal experiences with the Crystal Worlds:
I've found my visits very entertaining, albeit the "ride" is a short one. You'll be walking through several chambers, each one differently designed and decorated with vast amounts of (Swarovski) crystals, lights and various other stuff. My (and most others) personal favorite is the "dome", a huge facetted ball shaped like a Swarovski crystal, but you can walk into it. Within, the slightest lights and sounds are refracted and transported across the whole room in very strange and interesting ways. Guided tours are available as well, as far as I know.
At the end of the course, the ineviatable gift shop awaits you, where you can buy most of Swarovski's consumer products, ranging from small animals constructed of of glass crystals, through Strass up to high end binoculars manufactured by Swarovski Optik. If you buy anything, you'll get a partial refund of the entrance fee.
The Crystal Worlds are located just 15km away from Innsbruck, Tyrol, so if you've ever around and want to spend an afternoon, drop in.

The Swarovski Crystal Worlds (ger. Kristallwelten) can be found at:
Kristallweltenstrasse 1
A-6112 Wattens, Austria.
Tel. ++43 5224 51080
swarovski.kristallwelten@swarovski.com
http://www.swarovski-crystalworld.com/

opening hours:
daily 09:00h - 18:00h
24. and 31. Dec: 09:00h - 16:00h
closed:
1. Jan, 25. Dec and 4. thru 15. Nov 2002

admission charges:
€ (Euro) 5.45 per person, for groups of 10 adults or more € (Euro) 4.72 per person. free admission:
Members of the Swarovski Collectors Society and children under 12 accompanied by an adult.

<information valid per 07. Aug. 2002.>

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