Another one of my favorite cities, Vienna is the capital of Austria and has a rich history dating all the way back to 500BC. Often known as the City of Music due to it’s musical heritage, Vienna is also known for it’s quality of life and is ranked amongst the top most livable cities in the world.

We visited Vienna in 1999, travelling by train from Salzburg. Going from one city rich in musical history to another, it’s easy to get lost in all that wonder. After checking into our hotel, it was off for sight-seeing. It was autumn when I visited and the changing color of the trees from green to yellow, orange and red made this visit even more enjoyable.

One of the many churches that can be found in Vienna. This church was located near my hotel.
Votivkirche, one of the many impressive looking churches that can be found in Vienna. This church was located near my hotel.

Vienna was the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire from 1483 to 1806 and became the capital of the Austrian Empire in the 1800’s. Because of this illustrious past, you can see many grand imperial buildings and palaces here.

The imposing looking Austrian Parliament Building.
The imposing looking Austrian Parliament Building built in a Greek Roman style.
A lot of details in the figures on top of the many imperial buildings.
A lot of details in the figures on top of the many imperial buildings.
Next to the Parliament Building is Hofburg Palace and the former imperial palace. It is now the official residence of the President of Austria.
Next to the Parliament Building is Hofburg Palace and the former imperial palace. It is now the official residence of the President of Austria.
Karlskirche (St Charles Church), built in the baroque style. The architecture of this church is rather unique.
Karlskirche (St Charles Church), built in the baroque style. The architecture of this church is rather unique.

Many of the palaces, museums and churches in Vienna are within walking distance, but if you don’t want to walk, there is also the subway that makes getting to most of these places very quick and convenient. As we explored further, we found ourselves at Stephanplatz, where the main cathedral of St Stephen is. This is the mother church and seat of the Archbishop of Vienna.

I was lucky to catch the setting sun light up the multi-colored roof of St Stephen's Cathedral.
I was lucky to catch the early setting sun light up the multi-colored roof of St Stephen’s Cathedral in golden light.

Stephanplatz is where most of the tourists gather and there are many shops and restaurants here to choose from. We also took a tour inside St Stephen’s where we got to enter the crypts below the church and were shown the skeletons of victims of the plague in 1679. Kinda eerie but interesting.

The main hall and church organ of St Stephen's.
The main hall and the massive pipes of the church  organ in St Stephen’s.

Vienna has produced some of the best musicians like Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss and in recent history, Falco of Rock Me Amadeus fame. Besides it’s musical heritage, Vienna is also famous for Sigmund Freud, father of psycho-analysis. Besides, there are a couple of buildings built in the design and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. If you are into modern art, they are worth taking a look.

Hundertwasser House. A quirky looking building which is a work of modern design and art. Besides, just looking at the building from outside, there is a shop where you can buy related curios, souvenirs and art.
Hundertwasser House. A quirky looking apartment building which is a work of modern design and art. Besides just looking at the building from outside, there is a shop inside where you can buy related curios, souvenirs and art.

No visit to Vienna would be complete without a visit to Schönbrunn Palace, once the palace of the Habsburg monarchy. This beautiful Baroque style palace can be easily reached by subway. You can get a nice view of Vienna city from the Gloriette that is built on a small hill in the palace gardens.

The park and gardens of Schonbrunn Palace.
The park and gardens of Schönbrunn Palace.
The Gloriette, a grand looking pavilion that is used as a dining hall or festival hall. There is an open air café there where visitors can eat and have a good view of Vienna.
The Gloriette, a grand looking pavilion that is used as a dining hall. An emperor once used it as his breakfast room. There is an open air café inside where visitors can eat and have a good view of Vienna.

Besides, Schönbrunn Palace, we also visited Belvedere Palace, another Baroque style palace.

Schönbrunn Palace.
Schloss Belvedere is another equally impressive looking palace.

There are also numerous parks where visitors can sit and relax, enjoying the autumn scenery and cool weather.

The wonderful autumn scenery in Vienna.
The wonderful autumn scenery in Vienna.

With all these attractions, a rich history, lively arts and cultural scene, low crime and open spaces, it’s no wonder that Vienna is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. I wouldn’t mind living here at all, and definitely would visit it again.

 

 

2 thoughts on “A Viennese Fall

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