Continuing with our family recollections of Vienna… Amazing Vienna (Part 1)
We had already toured Hofburg, it was time for our next dosage of culture, Schloss Schönbrunn.
Just like the Palace of Versailles in France and Catherine’s Palace in St. Petersburg, Schönbrunn Palace is a world heritage and a masterpiece. The Austro-Hungarian Empire played such an important part of Europe’s history that being able to visit all this places was exciting for us!
With its own personality and a baroque style architecture, the imperial summer residence gave us a very detailed idea of the monarchy’s lifestyle and ruling era. The palace is impressive and clearly shows the power and splendor of the House of Habsburg.
We bought the complete tour ticket. No cameras permitted. So, I tried to absorb as much information and images as I could. No photographic memory here… just an average one 😉 . But the good thing is, since there is five of us, sharing what we all remember makes our memories more complete.
The tour was interesting and worthwhile, but long. P got bored almost at the end. He came to me with his audio guide device and said, “I finish hearing everything mom! I’m the first one, I’ve won!”. It was his way of saying “ok, let’s go and do something else”. I told him it was cool he was the first one to finish but now he needed to wait for everybody else. From that moment on, he just searched for a place to seat every time we changed rooms.
They say the Palace can get very crowded. We were there in March and it was practically empty, so it was a good thing. The downside… the gardens didn’t look as beautiful and blooming like in other seasons. Still we enjoyed walking through them.
We returned to the Innere Stadt which is Vienna’s first district. Strolled around its streets again and grab something to eat. We had another concert to attend. This one was at the Musikverein.
Musikverein was built when Emperor Franz Joseph order the removal of the city walls and the Ringstrasse boulevard was created. Its facade is very different from the Opera House, Greek Renaissance style (inspired by classical Greece).
The Golden Hall is considered one of the most traditional concert houses and the acoustic environment you get there is unique in the world.
So there we were, Dad, A and me… listening to Mozart’s music. E and P fell asleep on their seats soon after starting. Dad and I had predicted that one.
Another memory we cherish from Vienna is having lunch on a Sunday morning at the Ostermarkt am Hof, which is the Easter Market located on the Am HOF square.
After attending mass at Peterskirche, we walked the streets looking for something to eat, everyone was hungry!
We passed Graben Street, where the Pestsäule Column is located. This monument was built as a memory for the victims of the Great Plague Epidemic.
It took us several minutes of walking before we discover the Market. I don’t know if the food was truly delicious or the hunger made it taste incredible but we enjoyed every bite. Hot cup of coffee, a tasty sandwich, sausages and for dessert a huge piece of apple tart. I remember an episode of “Friends” tv show, where Monica refers to her Halloween candies as “little drops of heaven”. That apple tart tasted like a drop of heaven to us! Now that I have my autoimmune disease, and gluten is no longer part of my diet, I´m just thinking… I should have bought the entire tart haha! this is literally a sweet memory.
Last but not least, we visited the Belvedere (Winter Palace). It wasn´t our favorite palace complex, but still it was worth visiting. There are two buildings the Upper and Lower. Paintings from Monet, van Gogh and Klimt are displayed on the Upper Belvedere Museum.
We loved our time in Vienna. We got more than we expected. Invaluable memories, a good dose of history and culture, beautiful music, breathtaking architecture, and the thing I enjoy the most, family bonding.