Imperial Vienna

posted in: Austria, Europe, Postcards | 1

Dear Reader,

I recently had opportunity to spend few days in windy and chilly, but otherwise lovely, Vienna and thought I should share some of my favorite moments.

1. Seeing Hofburg Palace for the first time, just after the sunrise.  With no other people in sight, I had the privilege to enjoy discovering majestic architecture in proud solitude.

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Hofburg Palace housed some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria. (Wikipedia)

2. Admiring numerous Viennese cafés that radiate grandness and exclusivity, and are unlike coffee shops seen in Italy and France, despite geographical proximity.  Vienna also has impressive number of pastry shops with enticing displays, which are practically non-existent in Munich.

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3. Stumbling upon Stephansdom while going on the evening walk around the center.  Set against the dark sky, this enormous cathedral literally took my breath away for few seconds, while I was trying to take in the complex structure.  Next day, I returned for an elevator trip to the bell tower to admire cathedrals famous multi-coloured tile roof.

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Vienna’s most important religious building was consecrated in 1147, stands at 136 meter high, hosts Austria’s largest bell weighting 20 tons, and is believed to have been built on top of ancient cemetery dating back to Roman times. Catacombs beneath the church contain bodies of 11,000, mostly victims of bubonic plague. (Wikipedia)

4. Watching baby elephant run around its mother at Schönbrunn Zoo, located on the grounds of the famous Schönbrunn Palace.  The zoo, founded in 1752, is considered to be the oldest existing zoo in the world.  I found myself lost in a leafy forests, inhabited by mountain goats, panda bears, with occasional patches of desert populated by rhinos and elephants.  I rarely enjoy visits to the zoo as it reminds me of animal jail but on this occasion, I caught myself thinking that all animals looked quite content and well-cared for, and are probably better off being where they are.

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5. Having breakfast at Hotel Schwalbe in a room filled with all sorts of objects.  While other guests hid themselves behind the newspapers or conversations, I craned my neck in feeble attempt to take in my surroundings.  See for yourself.

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 Of course, these are just some of the fragments from my trip and there were many more favorite places I visited including Belvedera Palace, Vienna State Opera, the Prunksaal in Austrian National Library, and dinner inside Vienna City Hall.

You should have been there!

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Liebe Grüße,

Anya

One Response

  1. Stephansdom appears to be covered in Middle-Ages LEGO bricks. I like the idea of cute cafe-pastry shops, filled with efficient but relaxed Austrian staff, compared to pretty but inscrutable French cafes, or efficient but slightly rushed Italian ones. Or Munich ones that are filled with twenty-seven different types of Breze, all of which contain some form of ham.

    L.

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