Vienna is a city with so much historical and cultural value you just can´t get enough of. Even our children became absorbed by it all. We have never seen the three of them with such curiosity and interest. The museums, the concerts, the architecture… Visiting Vienna was such a delight for us.
I hope that by sharing some of our memories and photographs we can transmit, even just a little, the grandeur of this beautiful city.
With a map on our hand we decided to walk to every point of interest we had on our list. The tour began with Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) which is considered not only a city landmark but also a cultural heritage for Austria.
The Cathedral´s design was handled mostly by the Habsburgs, Duke Rudolph IV played a special role. It was interesting to learn that during the Austro-Hungarian Empire no church could be built higher than the Southern Tower of Stephansdom, which rises above 136 meters.
Needless to say, Stephansdom has witnessed countless historic events, obviously many concerning the Imperial Family and others worth mentioning, like Mozart´s wedding and funeral. It has survived several wars, including the Turkish invasion and the end of World War II when the cathedral was severely damaged by fire debris. Seven years later it was rebuilt. Today it continues providing services so it is still a place of worship, not just a museum.
Stephansdom has such beautiful gothic facade. Its multicolored tile roof makes it unique and defines it from the rest of Europe’s gothic cathedrals. The interior is engaging as well. We were there during Holy Week so our Lord Jesus Christ was covered with a purple cloth.
Dad took several family photos at Stephansplatz and then A and I sat down on a bench for a little while and watch people pass by. Very relaxing.
We then continued to Hofburg Palace. The former imperial palace caught the interest of everyone. Even P, our youngest son, endured the whole tour and asked questions about Franz Joseph and the Habsburgs.
For over 600 years Hofburg was the official residence of the Austrian sovereigns and the Sisi Museum as well as the Imperial Apartments helped us learn more about their dynasty and the Austro-Hungarian Empire history. So interesting!
It was already afternoon when we ended our tour of the Imperial Apartments. We then headed to Maria-Theresien-Platz, but before that we stopped to take some photos around Heldenplatz (Heroes Square) which is in front of Hofburg Palace.
Surrounding the Maria-Theresien-Platz there are three museums. On each side, with almost identical buildings, you have the Natural History Museum and the Art History Museum. Adjacent to both lies the Museumsquartier, which we did not enter. On the center of the Plaza is a statue of Empress Maria Theresa.
When we were planning our trip to Vienna, Dad and I considered a good idea to experience a couple of concerts during our stay. We chose one presented on Karlskirche (St. Charles´s Church) and another on The Musikverein.
Before getting ready to attend the concert we walked to our last touring sites of the day. The Parliament and the Rathaus which is the Vienna City Hall.
We went back to the apartment, dressed ourselves for the occasion and were ready for our first concert, Vivaldi´s Four Seasons!
The ambience was really nice. With its baroque style architecture, Karlskirche gives you an elegant feeling. I was a little bit worried my children would find the concert boring, but thankfully they behave remarkably well given the circumstances (tired from a long day). They survived it triumphantly 😉 Dad and I truly enjoyed it!
Since the concert was held at night, we return the next day to visit Karlskirche formally. On our second visit we stayed there after sunset to watch the changing colors of the sky that served as background for the church. E and P spent some of their energy running around the huge fountain in front of the church.
We had learned and experienced so much. At that point we had already fallen in love with Vienna.
There are still some more memories I would like to share. Schönbrunn, Belvedere Palace, Peterskirche… Amazing Vienna (Part 2)!