Vienna is the capital city of Austria, located in central Europe. This large historical city sits on the Danube River and contains many palaces and museums.
Tuesday, 4th September – evening
On the Ringstraße (Ring Boulevard), a circular boulevard, 4 kilometres long, which surrounds the Innere Stadt district in Vienna’s centre. Construction of the Ring Boulevard was initiated by Emperor Franz Joseph I in December 1857.
Children skateboarding in Heldenplatz (“Heroes’ Square”) during the evening. The square is faced by the Hofburg Palace, one of Vienna’s main attractions.
Tony, Tatiana at the Voltsgarten restaurant/bar.
Wednesday, 5th September
Large courtyard at the main entrance to the Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn).
The Schönbrunn Palace was the summer palace of the Imperial family of the Habsburgs and also the site of the historic Vienna Summit between President John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. The sprawling palace features an astounding 1,441 rooms including the apartments of Empress Maria-Theresia, who greatly increased the importance of the palace in court life. One is named for her daughter, Marie Antoinette. The palace is surrounded by extensive formal gardens. The palace and gardens have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. A guided tour or audio guide is available.
One of two fountains towards the centre of the entrance courtyard. A formal circular pond with a sculpture in the middle.
Tony and Tatiana sitting on the edge of one of the fountains.
At the side of the courtyard. A colonnade creating a covered walkway around the edge of the yellow and white palace building.
Formally cut trees and benches at the edge of the courtyard in the Great Parterre the sculpted garden space between the palace and the Sun Fountain.
Looking across the courtyard towards the grand main entrance to the Schönbrunn Palace.
At the tourist entrance into the palace. The gentleman in the foreground is a staff member.
Tony and Tatiana at the entrance.
Looking up at the Baroque palace exterior.
Tatiana standing in front of a column at the entrance.
Inside a room near the entrance. Decorative metal shutters on the doors.
Tony and Tatiana at the Neptune Fountain. In front is a large formal pond and behind is a white marble platform with statues on top. A statue of Neptune stands at the centre. This huge fountain was completed in 1780.
Tony and Tatiana in front of a lake. Behind the lake is the Gloriette, a large arcaded structure built in 1775. This stands on top of Schönbrunn Hill, some 60 metres (200 feet) above the palace itself. The Gloriette today houses a café and provides excellent views across the city.
Tony, Tatiana on Schönbrunn Hill. View of the palace below and the city beyond.
Sculptures at the top of stone steps leading to the Gloriette.
Tatiana outside the Gloriette.
An arcade in one of the Gloriette’s two wings. A walkway with stone arches supported by columns at either side.
Tony, Tatiana at the palace entrance/exit. Part of a large cast iron gate is in view.
Thursday, 6th September
One end of the Austrian Parliament Building.
The Athene Fountain located in front of the Parliament Building. It was erected between 1893 and 1902 by Carl Kundmann, Josef Tautenhayn, and Hugo Haerdlt, based on plans by Baron von Hansen. Various statues can be seen around the base, including a cupid riding on a dolphin and a mermaid holding a large shell aloft.
More statues on the Athene Fountain.
Tony and Tatiana at the back of the Athene Fountain.
Tony, Tatiana directly in front of the Athene Fountain. In the centre is a pillar with the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena, standing on top.
The façade of the Austrian Parliament Building looking towards the main entrance.
Tony standing inside the Burgtor (or Palace Gate). This is the outer gate of the Hofburg Palace.
Looking towards Maria-Theresien-Platz from the Burgtor.
A large statue of Archduke Charles of Austria (1771 – 1847) on horseback. In Heldenplatz, a large square in front of the Hofburg Palace.
View across Heldenplatz. Tourists riding in the back of a horse and cart (fiacre). The Archduke Charles equestrian statue in the background.
Exterior of the Hofburg Palace.
For more than seven centuries, the Hofburg Palace housed the Habsburg dynasty, the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It was originally a medieval castle built in the 13th century, but today only the Gothic Imperial Court Chapel, remnant of the Imperial Palace, remains. The Hofburg was extended to a magnificent winter residence when the Habsburg’s power increased. It currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria.
An audio guide is included in the ticket price. The ticket office is through a door inside one of the gates/arches, St. Michael’s gate.
A second equestrian statue in Heldenplatz. This one features Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663 – 1736).
A fiacre (horse and cart) approaching the Burgtor. Tourists can take guided tours of historical Vienna in a fiacre for a large fee!
Visitors queueing to enter the palace through an archway off Heldenplatz.
Another view of the palace exterior at the entrance archway.
Hofburg Palace inner courtyard. A monument to Emperor Franz Joseph I stands in the middle.
Gate out of the inner courtyard to Michaelerplatz.
Crowd of tourists at Swiss Gate (Schweizertor). This is one of the few remaining Renaissance monuments in Vienna. It was designed by Pietro Ferabosco in 1552. The gate gives entry into the oldest part of the palace: Alte Burg (Old Castle) with the chapel and treasury.
Façade of the palace from the inner courtyard.
Closer view of the Emperor Franz Joseph I monument. The wing of the palace in the background is the Amalienburg. There is a dome on the roof, a clock face on a small tower in front and an unusual astronomical clock below. The offices of the President are located in this wing.
Domed ceiling inside St Michael’s Gate.
Michaelerplatz: A square outside St Michael’s Gate.
St Michael’s Church located on Michaelerplatz. This is one of the oldest churches in Vienna, dating from 1220–40. The present façade was built in 1792 in the Neoclassical style.
Another view towards Swiss Gate. The Imperial treasury (Schatzkammer) is accessed through here. The treasury houses a valuable collection of secular and ecclesiastical treasures covering over a thousand years of European history. An audio guide is reportedly available.
Tatiana by a stone sentry box close to the Swiss Gate.
Tony and Tatiana stood in the Swiss Gate.
Maria-Theresien-Platz: a large square on the Ringstraße. In front is the entrance to the Naturhistorisches (Natural History) museum. The Kunsthistorisches (Art History) museum is also near by. Both museum buildings are very large and grand with the appearance of palaces: they opened in 1889.
Tony and Tatiana in Maria-Theresien-Platz.
Tatiana and Tony again. Behind another view of the impressive façade of the Naturhistorisches Museum.
Tony sitting on a bench in Maria-Theresien-Platz. The Naturhistorisches Museum again in shot.
Tony by a fountain in Maria-Theresien-Platz.
Tony stood on a stone statue of a horse with rider, at the entrance to Maria-Theresien-Platz – an identical statue is opposite. Unfortunately, the large statue of Empress Marie-Theresa of Austria, which stands in the square’s centre, was covered and under renovation.
Tatiana by a stone-carved lamp post, Maria-Theresien-Platz.
Friday, 7th September 2012
Large fountain outside the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) on Kärntner Straße (Carinthian Street – one of Vienna’s exclusive shopping areas).
Side entrance to the Vienna State Opera on Herbert-von-Karajan-Platz.
The Vienna State Opera – an opera house and opera company – with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It’s located at the southern end of Kärntner Straße, at Karlsplatz on the Ringstraße. August von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll built the Court Opera House from 1861-69 under the order of the Emperor. Guided tours are available.
View of the ceiling and balconies inside the auditorium of the Vienna State Opera.
Tony and Tatiana at the Vienna State Opera. Sitting in the auditorium.
Rows of balconies around the side of the auditorium.
The back of the auditorium. Gold-coloured moulding on the front of the balconies.
Tony, Tatiana in the backstage area. Assorted machinery in the background.
Tony and Tatiana by a decorative marble staircase in the Vienna State Opera.
Looking up from near the foot of the staircase to the ceiling high above. The walls and ceiling are richly decorated with paintings, moulding and statues.
Tony behind a dress costume resembling a ‘queen’!
Tony, Tatiana outside the main entrance to the Vienna State Opera.
Tatiana and Tony by a main road (Museumstraße) with a tram passing by. Opposite is the Volkstheater (roughly translated as “People’s Theatre”) which was founded in 1889.
Tatiana standing by a decorative cast iron lamp post. The building behind, with statues looking down from the roof, is the Palais Trautson. This Baroque palace was built in 1712. It is on Museumstraße opposite the Volkstheater.
Tony and Tatiana standing by a fountain in the Volksgarten (“People’s Park”). Taken in the early evening. This public park was opened in 1820.
Outside the Theseus temple in the centre of the Volksgarten.
Tony, Tatiana by a bronze statue located next to the Theseus temple. It is a male nude called “The Winner”. It dates from 1922 and is by Josef Müllner.
A closer view of “The Winner” statue.
Saturday, 8th September
In Stephansplatz looking towards the front of St Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom). This Romanesque and Gothic style Roman Catholic cathedral was consecrated 1147 and completed 1160. Major reconstruction and expansion lasted until 1511, and repair and restoration projects continue to the present day. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. The cathedral has borne witness to many important events in Austria’s history and is, with its multi-coloured tile roof, one of Vienna’s most recognisable symbols. The top of the massive south tower is the cathedral’s highest point and a dominant feature of the Vienna skyline.
Address: 1 Stephansplatz
Guided tours: Monday-Saturday: 10:30am and 3pm
Phone: +43 515 52 3526
Inside the cathedral. View towards a doorway into the cathedral’s shop. Small altars at each side. Lots of visitors walking around.
Looking down one of the side aisles. Rows of pews. Several tall windows adorned with stained glass.
The lower part of a large organ on the side wall. This could be the Choir organ built in 1991.
A bronze statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.
The High Altar. Built over seven years from 1641 to 1647. At the centre is a large painting depicting the stoning of the cathedral’s patron St Stephen. There are four marble statues of patron saints from the surrounding areas near the base. A statue of St Mary looks down from the very top.
Looking towards the right side of the main altar. In the corner is the large sarcophagus of Emperor Frederick III.
Stone relief of a man, probably a king, at the side of an altar.
Another altar – there are 18 altars in the main part of the church.
New Pummerin bell inside the shortened and damaged north tower. The original bell hung in the south tower from its installation in 1711 until its destruction at the end of World War II in 1945. The present Pummerin was installed in the north tower in 1957. It’s the third largest swinging bell in Europe. A lift/elevator takes visitors up 68 meters to the bell.
Tatiana and Tony up the north tower.
Tatiana, Tony back on ground level outside the main entrance to the Cathedral known as Giant’s Door.
In Stephansplatz looking towards the cathedral’s very tall south tower. The lower part is covered with scaffolding.
Stephansplatz is a square at the geographical centre of Vienna. It is named after the Stephansdom, Vienna’s cathedral, one of the tallest churches in the world. To the west and south, run the exclusive shopping streets, Graben (literally “ditch”) and Kärntner Straße (Carinthian Street).
The cathedral’s exterior from Stephansplatz.
Tony and Tatiana behind a metal model of the cathedral in Stephansplatz.
Tony climbing the south tower.
View across the city from the south tower.
The cathedral roof below decorated with tiles forming a mosaic of a double-headed eagle: the symbol of the Habsburg empire.
Looking down to Stephansplatz from the 136-metre tall south tower.
Another view of the cathedral’s mosaic roof tiles and the city skyline beyond.
Tony and Tatiana in the cathedral’s gift shop at the top of the south tower!
The Palais Equitable. A 19th century mansion in Stock-im-Eisen-Platz in the Innere Stadt of Vienna. It was built for The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States.
Tony and Tatiana beneath the Stock-im-Eisen (“staff of iron”), which is located in a niche on a corner of the Palais Equitable building. It is a section of tree trunk into which hundreds of nails have been hammered since the Middle Ages, and which is ringed by an iron band closed by a large padlock. The earliest written mention of it dates to 1533 and it is the subject of legends about the Devil.
Tatiana by a statue and drinking fountain in Stadtpark during the evening.
The Stadtpark (“City Park”) extends from the Parkring in the First District up to the Heumarkt (a street, literally translated as “hay market”) in the Third District. Attractions include: the Kursalon, used for concerts and dance, plus monuments to Johann Strauss II, Franz Schubert, Franz Lehár, Robert Stolz and Hans Makart.
Tony and Tatiana sitting in front of a water feature and sculpture in Stadtpark. The stone sculpture appears to be of two men trying to lift a boulder.
Another view of the sculpture.
Tony and Tatiana in front of a gold statue of Johann Strauss II in Stadtpark.