I traveled to Vienna this August..Travelling within Europe is extremely fun and easy. Inter city and country trains are affordable, classy and oh so punctual. We traveled from Bratislava,Slovakia to reach Vienna..Being Austria’s capital, Vienna boasts of a population of 1.8 million people. It lies on the east on the Danube River. Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud.
Vienna boasts of what is called Baroque architecture, which denotes a style of European architecture, music, and art of the 17th and 18th centuries that followed Mannerism. Every turn and corner is a postcard shot.
So lets begin with the basics? What to do and what to eat?
Vienna is all about architecture. Architecture that you cannot get enough of.
Schloss Belvedere is one of the world’s finest baroque palaces. Designed by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, it was built for military strategist Prince Eugene of Savoy, conqueror of the Turks in 1718. The palace is replete with artworks by Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka.
The palace building is divided into what is called the the Upper Belvedere, showcasing Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1908) and the The Lower Belvedere, with its richly frescoed Marble Hall, which sits at the end of sculpture-dotted gardens.
The Kiss is an allegorical depiction of lovers locked together in an embrace. Covering a surface of almost four square metres. The Kiss (Lovers) marks the culmination of the phase in Klimt’s art in which he explored the contrast between naturalistic, delicately painted passages of skin, and a planar, ornamental approach. The role of ornament was to communicate the pictures’ symbolic messages.
Schonbrunn was the summer palace for the Emperor and his family. The 1,441-room palace has vast gardens which span over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburgmonarchs.
The tour of the Schonbrunn palace is a must..It is a walking audio tour that transports you right into the lives of the Imperial Apartments. The tour of the Imperial Apartments and the magnificent state rooms includes the residential suite of rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth in the west wing, which were furnished in nineteenth-century style..(photography is not allowed inside)
My favorite room was the Dressing Room ..Empress Elisabeth had her own dressing room made of rosewood furnishings ,carefully chosen ornaments,silver ware and a giant mirror for her adornment. Her daily routine was dominated by a strict regime of beauty care and exercise which she followed to preserve her appearance.
One of the definite must-try foods in Vienna is the traditional Wiener Schnitzel, a thin cut of meat – originally veal – coated in breadcrumbs and fried. It is available in pork, chicken and turkey.
I cannot put everything in a blog simply because Vienna has so much to offer and so much to experience.
Quick tips for Vienna:
*Take tours. They are absolutely worth it. Open bus tours, palace tours or the city walking tours.
*Eat local food. Vienna is a culinary experience. Forget the diet and gorge on the yumminess.
*Vienna is an expensive city. Be smart about where to spend and on what. It is not a shopping destination so leaving the souvenirs ,you should spend all the money on watching theater, eating or enjoying the city-scape.
Praha is next 🙂