Austria Vienna 2000.09.10 - 09.17

Holy Roman Empire Throne

Vienna (Wien in German), the current capital of Austria, was once the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Habsburg rule. Lavish city architecture attests to the wealth of the former Empire that encompassed areas today known as the Netherlands, Burgundy (in France), Spain, most of South America, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Hercegovina, Yugoslavia, and Macedonia. At every turn, Renaissance arches held by Doric pillars are lined with carved statues of Greek mythological gods. Elaborate spires rise from ornate structures that house even the most mundane of government functions.

At least a week is needed to see Vienna. Discounts to attractions are given to International Student Identity Card (ISIC) and Vienna Card holders. The Vienna Card can be purchased at the Tourist Information Office and most hotels for ATS 210. It's valid for unlimited local transportation and city discounts for a 72 hour period. Nobody verified the expiration date of our Vienna Cards - we used them for a 168 hour period.

Tours that broadly introduce the city are offered. This is a good starting point from which to explore the city in greater detail on your own. Again, the Tourist Information Office is the best place to get specifics that meet your interest.

Stephansdom (or St. Stephen's Cathedral) stands in the middle of the pedestrian-only posh shopping district in the most touristy section of the city. The apartment we had was a direct 10 minute ride away - great location.
This monument was erected to celebrate the end of the plague in Vienna. Monuments with similar features and meaning exist in several European cities.
The Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburgs, is like a small Versailles (built by Louis XIV outside Paris). It's absolutely worth a visit, but maybe more impressive prior to seeing Versailles.
The Belvedere Palace is a fine example of Baroque architecture. It houses the Austrian Gallery and has works by Gustav Klimt including "The Kiss".

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