Vienna Waits For You…
October 8, 2013
Vienna Waits For You…
After a wonderful week together in Budapest, our glorious family reunion was over. My mother Marta and sister Michele were headed back home to the United States while my sister Marika and her husband Brian were off to Paris for a week to continue their vacation. Kathy and I had also decided to stay another week in Europe, as a celebration of our tenth anniversary, buy we had left our plans open and had no idea where we might head next.
Initially it looked like Prague was going to be our selection, but at the last second we decided to select Vienna instead as our next stop. Mostly because the train ride was shorter and we knew we could not go wrong whatever we selected. We booked a hotel near the Schönbrun park that was also near a metro line to have easy access to the sights of the city and headed to the Budapest train station to catch the short 3.5 hour train ride to Vienna.
Vienna is yet another beautiful historic European capital and as the largest city and capital of Austria it is one of the most visited cities in all of Europe. Known as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psycho-analyst - Sigmund Freud.
The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European Music Center, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The Historic center of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late-19th-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.
Upon our arrival, we spent much of the first day just wondering around the city center looking at the exquisite architecture and beautiful buildings that are found seemingly around every corner. The city is just packed with incredible structures including churches, palaces, museums and more.
Art and culture had a long tradition in Vienna, including theatre, opera, classical music and fine arts. The Burgtheater is considered one of the best theatres in the German-speaking world alongside its branch, the Akademietheater. The Volkstheater Wien and the Theater in der Josefstad also enjoy good reputations. There is also a multitude of smaller theatres, in many cases devoted to less mainstream forms of the performing arts, such as modern, experimental plays or cabaret.
Music is one of Vienna's legacies. Musical prodigies including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg have worked there. Vienna is also home to a number of opera houses, including the Theater an der Wien, the Staatsoper and the Volksoper, the latter being devoted to the typical Viennese operetta. Classical concerts are performed at world famous venues such as the Wiener Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, known across the world for the annual widely broadcast "New Year's Day Concert", also the Wiener Konzerthaus. Many concert venues offer concerts aimed at tourists, featuring popular highlights of Viennese music, particularly the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss the father, and Johann Strauss the son.