From Hamburg, I took a plane to Vienna. The original plan did not call for any more flights, but since I was working around other people's schedules, it made sense to take a shortcut, plus I got a reasonable deal on Germanwings (the budget version of Lufthansa). I stayed in Vienna with my first-cousins-once-removed Jill and Bob, whom I had not seen in at least fifteen years. They live in a nice apartment near the Schoenbrunn Palace, and it was great catching up with them. I also enjoyed home-cooked dinners and had a room to myself, so who could ask for anything more?
I spent much of my time in Vienna visiting palaces and museums (photos were either prohibited, or the items were under glass):
- Schoenbrunn Palace - This started out as a hunting lodge in the seventeenth century, and was eventuall enlarged into a grandose palace. A guided audio tour takes you through about forty rooms, focusing on Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph I. One of the rooms was where the young Mozart made his debut at age six.
- Kaiserliche Schatzkammer (imperial treasury) - This splendid museum contains secular and ecclesiastical treasures from the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian Empire. Highlights include the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Emperor and the crown of the Austrian emperor Rudolf II. The museum contains portraits of various emperors wearing the two crowns.
- Kunsthistorisches Museum (fine art museum) - The collection was assembled by the Hapsburgs. Highlights include the largest collection of paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Elder in the world; several self-portaits by Rembrandt; and The Art of Painting by Vermeer.
The Karlskirche is the largest baroque church in Vienna.
The columns were modeled after Trajan's Column in Rome.
A Henry Moore sculpture sits in front of the church.
St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) lies in the center of the ring road and is the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna
Here is a closeup of some of the roof tiles of the cathedral.
This is the Prunksaal (state hall) of the old imperial library in the Hofberg palace. Note some of the bookshelves are empty.
Here are some closeups of the library shelves.
This is pair of globes, one cellestial and one terrestrial, by the cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli.
This is the Neue Berg wing of the Hofburg palace.
The main entrance to the Hofburg palace reminds me of the Brandenburg Gate.
Here is the opera house:
This is the exterior of the Schoenbrunn Palace.
After visiting the palace, I spent some time walking around the gardens.
Unfortunately, the greenhouse was closed for renovation.
The gardeners use this platform to trip the tops of trees.
Here is a statue of Gutenberg.
The Judenplatz (Jewish Square) contains the Holocaust Memorial as well as a statue of the philosopher and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.
Finally, I really like this sculpture I found on one of the buildings while wandering the streets of Vienna.