A Travellerspoint blog

Vienna - Day 8 Thursday February 15

To quote Billy Joel, "Vienna waits for you"

View AmaMagna 02/2024 on Cybercsp's travel map.

This morning, we participated in the “City of Waltzes” Vienna city tour. We got off to a very rainy start.

We drove along the impressive Ringstrasse, Vienna’s famed ring road. If you recall, the city built what were believed to be impenetrable walls with the Richard the Lionhearted ransom money. After Napoleon pretty much waltzed right in to the "city of waltzes," the walls were removed and a circular grand boulevard replaced them. The Ringstrasse is lined with grand buildings, monuments, and parks. Here are some bus window photos.


The top of Rathauplatz (Town Hall)


We spied Mozart...


...the Vienna Opera House...


...and Goethe. The writer is seated as he always said that after his death, he did not want to be standing on a pedastal in some park. So, he is seated.


Onto the sprawling Imperial Palace. The Vienna Hofburg was the center of the Hapsburg Empire. Today, the palace houses three museums. Here is the impressive exterior...


...and the equally impressive interior courtyard.


We passed...and smelled..the Spanish Riding School, which is located in one wing of the palace.

Here are some exposed ruins discovered during the renovation of the palace after WWII bombings.


Since it is Throwback Thursday, today's treat is lifted from the Vienna entry on our 2016 blog, where I deftly summarized my understanding of our guide's presentation: "Our guide talked a mile a minute about Hapsburg history as if we could remember (or had ever learned) any of it. Here is what you need to know. The Hapsburgs had quite a run. They had lots of children. And lots of money. Maria Theresa got very depressed and very fat after her beloved husband died, and had to be carried by minions to his grave daily. Elizabeth ("Sisi") seems to have been a prototype for the Kardashians, as she was famous for being famous, and there are a number of tours in Vienna revolving around her life. That should do it."

Today's guide was much more into geography and the geopolitical aspects of Vienna. I will admit to some moments of overwhelmed distraction. That said, we heard at least three times that Maria Theresa had eighteen pregnancies and delivered sixteen children. She is said to have weighed 280 lbs at the time of her death. There is the human interest part of today’s news.

With the palace behind us, we moved toward St. Stephen’s Cathedral.


You will note that the second tower was never completed, as funding was shifted to a war with the Ottomans.


Here are a few interior shots of the church. Many of the statues are draped in purple for Lent.


Right outside the church is the queue of the horse carriages that are so popular with tourists.


Speaking of churches, we ducked into St. Peter's Church during Mass, so we took photos from the back of the church.


I could not resist popping into Cafe Demel, where we indulged in sweets during our last visit to Vienna. This time, there was only time for photos.


Needless to say, we had to stop in and leave some euros with a chocolatier whose name contains "Schanz."


King Leopold erected this “Plague Column” as an offering to protect his city from further loss after the plague swept through Vienna in 1679. He made sure that his prayers were recognized quite publicly.


More street shots from soggy Vienna.


The shops here are decorated beautifully - they are charming and expensive! Here is an Easter tree.


As we headed to the bus, we viewed some of the older sections of Vienna.


My lunch choices today included consomme, Tiroler Bread Dumplings (I will diplomatically assess them as "hearty" and left most of them) and "Austrian Kaiserchmarrn", a pancake dessert with preserves. That is Charlie's ice cream. He had Tafelspitz, which tasted like pot roast (no photo).


Since blogging fatigue has set in, I will be lazy and quote the AMA promotional literature for our visit to the Palace of Schönbrunn: "an exquisite example of Baroque architecture and opulence, illustrating the tastes, interests and aspirations of successive Hapsburg monarchs. Built as the summer residence of the Hapsburg Emperors and spanning an astounding 1,441 rooms, this Rococo palace soon became one of their favorite homes." (Whew) Our visit included a guided tour of the Imperial Apartments (the living quarters of the Emperors) which still contain their original furnishings.

We entered through the main gates...


...admiring the beautiful fountains.


The palace is so large that you will see it in segments.


Our first stop was the chapel where Maria Theresa prayed for her deceased husband daily.


Feast your eyes on the "public" palace rooms...


...and the private rooms.


Special shout out to the floors.


For most guests, the magnificent gardens are the highlight of the trip; we have been told (but cannot confirm) that they feature impressive botanical specimens.


Dinner tonight featured Austrian classics: a beef carpaccio, cream of broccoli soup, Wiener Schnitzel and Apple Streudel. Yum!


The food consumption led to a little stroll along the river.


Our closing thought today is that we are grateful that we spent two days in Vienna on our Viking Grand European River cruise. There is simply so much to see and do here.

Photos are tagged Magna and Vienna_2024

Posted by Cybercsp 08:37 Archived in Austria Tagged megna vienna_2024

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Hmmm.. blogging fatigue?! vacationing is rough.
love the starbucks photo, we are branding all the great cities.
Great memories of Vienna, thanks for bringing me back!

by mark f

Did Charles find a friend with the same job as him at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral? xo

by Daniella

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