In the footsteps of Freud and Mozart

We started off with Vienna, a city which has an infinite wealth of architectural grandeur, a rich artistic legacy and some of the finest museums in the world. It has always enticed its visitors with its lavish old world charm, gothic cathedrals overlooking richly ornamented buildings. Reaching in the afternoon after catching an early morning flight from London we were all excited to explore the city but our bodies were desperately requesting for some rest. Thus after a restful afternoon the first thing we started with was going for a classical music concert in the evening. After all we were visiting the city of Mozart, Schubert, Strauss and Beethoven, the classical musical capital of Europe. Not being into classical music as such, we were really just going along for the experience, but the Musikverein Golden hall seemed to be perfect for an intimate recital of classical music. The walls were intricately painted in red and golden tones which made it look magnificent along with the cosy seating arranged so that everyone had a fantastic view of the stage. The musicians performed a combination of orchestra and opera and recited some of the works of Mozart. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and would recommend it to anyone holidaying in Austria who wants to experience an essential part of the culture of Vienna.

DSC_0046
Interiors of the Musikverein Hall
DSC_0055
Musicians giving a wonderful performance
DSC_0064
Capturing Musikverein at night was such a delight

From a sightseeing point of view Vienna has plenty to explore. The city is scattered with Art Nouveau and early modern buildings. Our sightseeing started off with a walk around the first district of Vienna with the first stop at the Stephansdom (more popularly known as St, Stephen’s Cathedral)- an impressive Gothic cathedral known for its interesting colourful dragon scales roof and a tower 136.7 meters high. As we stepped inside the Cathedral the stain glass windows illuminated the whole space creating a sense of divineness. It was one of the most beautiful cathedrals I had seen.

DSC_0102
Stephansdom
DSC_0111
Front of the Cathedral
DSC_0093
The view from the north Tower after climbing up ( thank god they had a lift 🙂 🙂
DSC_0119
Interiors of the Cathedral

Walking a bit further on Graben Street is St. Peter’s Church. This church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity even though it’s called St. Peter’s Church. This is one of the oldest churches in Vienna.

DSC_0130
St Peter’s Church hidden away in between streets

Continuing with the walk we reached the Spanish Riding School or Spanische Hofreitschule which has been training horses and riders since it was established by the Habsburgs back in the 1500s. The buildings form a part of the Hofburg Palace (which I will get to later on in the blog). Neither the school nor its riders are Spanish but the horses are; they are all Lipizzaners, a breed which mixes Spanish, Arabian and Berber ancestry. As we entered the arena we could imagine the grandeur of the hall during Austrian royalty with its huge crystal chandeliers and a decorative vaulted ceiling. It was quite a delight to watch steeds’ and riders’ mastery of classical horsemanship.

DSC_0139
The beautiful Spanish Riding School which is a a part of the Hofburg Palace
DSC_0149
Everywhere in Vienna you can find horse carriages to take you on a royal ride.
DSC_0256
Interiors of the Spanish riding school where the show took place.
DSC_0281
Beautiful Lipizzaners horses performing

After the performance we moved on to the Hofburg Palace – the ground zero of Habsburg royal family. Six centuries of Habsburgs ruled from Vienna, including Maria Theresa in the late 1700s. Today’s Hofburg Palace is furnished as it was in the 19th century from the age of Maria’s great-great-grandson, Emperor Franz Josef. He ruled for 68 years and was the final epitome of the Habsburg Empire and also well known for his Empress Elizabeth (‘’Sisi’’). With a wistful and fascinating legacy, Sisi still retains an enthusiastic fan following among Austrians. Today inside the palace there are various museums such as the Sisi Museum, Papyrus Museum, National Library and Imperial Treasury. We chose to visit the Imperial treasury. Exploring the treasury inside the Palace was a treat to the eyes as the visitors could ruminate on the glitter of 20 rooms filled with precious stones and jewels. The power and glory of the Habsburg Empire was clear from the astonishing treasures that they had left behind.

DSC_0363
The grand Hofburg Palace of the Habsburg Empire.
DSC_0320
Entrance of the palace

 

DSC_0836
Had to go out and capture the beautiful palace again at night

Finishing off the day the day we decided to visit Prater where there is a Giant Ferris Wheel and other amusements. When we reached there we saw that there were huge queues and to be honest after getting up on the London Eye the Vienna Ferris Wheel really didn’t appeal that much. We captured some nice photos of the wheel from the ground and then moved on.

DSC_0248

Now although I feel I am bit old to be mad about any actor or singer but I swear I could feel a tinge of excitement while walking up to the former residence of Sigmund Freud. For me he is true icon of the last century because he left us an ever lasting legacy about the way we observe the world around us. Thus a visit to Vienna without going to his museum would be kind of incomplete for me. Although he lived in Vienna for most of his life, he had to flee from the Nazis in 1938 and moved to London. Stepping into the apartment where he wrote his works was a fantastic feeling where one could see all his personal possessions, books and drawings.

DSC_0254
Entrance of the Freud Museum

DSC_0250

Next we were off again to get some more dose of the Habsburg history. We started by visiting the Schönbrunn Palace – one of the most famous and visited sights in Vienna. The first look of it made me remind of Palace of Versailles in France (although the France one is much bigger and grander). It was originally built as hunting lodge which was then redesigned by Maria Theresa into a grand palace consisting of 1441 rooms and 400 acres of gardens. The most famous residents of this place was Emperor Franz Josef and his Empress Elizabeth (‘’Sisi’’). Entering the palace one can see that the emperor adopted a very simple life with his no-frills iron bed and portable washstand on display. One can also see reflections of Empress Elizabeth in the palace. Hugely loved by the Austrian people she was like the Austrian version of Princess Diana with plenty of similarities between them like going beyond the social protocols surrounding them, dedicated social causes etc. Although the interiors were beautiful it didn’t leave too much of an impression on us, maybe because we were not allowed to take photographs inside which made me grumpy. After the tour we visited the gardens which were divided into various parts and also had a palm house.

DSC_0166
The grand Schonbrunn Palace
DSC_0195
One of the many beautiful gardens in the palace

DSC_0171DSC_0176

DSC_0199
Came across a Roman fountain the gardens
DSC_0184
The Palm house
DSC_0214
Austrian Military Museum (came across this on the way to palace but did not go inside)

After spending almost half a day here we moved on to Belvedere Palace – complex of Baroque palaces built for the Austrian Price Eugene of Savoy. It actually consists 3 Palaces (the Upper Belvedere, the Lower Belvedere and the Winter Palace) that are somewhat spread throughout a large area, and several smaller museums in the vicinity. We decided to check out the upper Belvedere famous for the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection.

DSC_0234
The magnificent Belvedere Palace
DSC_0235
Beautiful architecture in front of the palace

DSC_0239

Spending a few hours here we finally moved on to the Austrian Parliament and then the Museums Quartier known for the vibrancy and wealth of bars, restaurants and modern art museums.

Top Tip : We bought the Vienna Pass which gives you entry into most of the attractions without having to queue at each one for tickets, unlimited entry onto the hop off hop on buses and walking tours. We found to this pass highly useful.

DSC_0449
The Austrian Parliament

DSC_0460

DSC_0467
Museum Quartier
DSC_0817
Albertina Museum for art
DSC_0828
The beautiful streets of Vienna at night

DSC_0832

DSC_0842
Vienna State Opera

DSC_0845

Having loved the concert so much the next day we decided to visit Salzburg for a day – the birth place of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Relying mainly on tourism Salzburg is the storybook of Austria. Standing beside the Salzach River this little town is sure to steal your heart with its old world charm and spectacular architecture. During medieval times it was salt that financed Salzburg but now there are two big money-spinners – Mozart and The Sound of Music; they hide a city with a flourishing arts scene, wonderful food, beautiful parks and concert halls that uphold musical tradition 365 days a year. Everywhere you go, the scenery, the skyline, the music and the history soothe your holiday spirits.

DSC_0476
The first view of Salzburg as we entered the town

After making a brief stop at the Mirabell Gardens we made our way into the Old Town of Salzburg. We started by heading towards the Salzburg Fortress, the largest and best-preserved fortress in Central Europe is quite an impressive sight. After a period of serving as military barracks, the fortress was finally opened to the public in the 1860s. Today, it dominates Salzburg’s skyline and offers impressive views.

DSC_0491
Salzburg Fortress in sight
DSC_0516
The view of the town from top of the Fortress

Descending from the fortress we reached the Salzburg’s Cathedral.  The interior decor of Salzburg Cathedral is beyond words but the biggest touristic interest is attracted by fact that in 1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized here. We also saw the house of another famous inhabitant of Salzburg–the confectioner, Paul Fuerst, the creator of the rounded chocolates called “Mozartkugel” which now are well known all over the world as Mozart balls.

DSC_0502
Salzburg Cathedral

DSC_0565

DSC_0567
Interiors of the Cathedral
DSC_0512
The famous Mozart Balls 🙂

While wandering the streets we made stops at various beautiful squares for photo stops. Finishing our tour we finally visited Mozart’s Birthplace (Geburtshaus) in Old Town, where he learned to play piano and violin and composed his first boy-genius works.

DSC_0506
Mozart Square
DSC_0584
Mozart’s Birthplace
DSC_0598
The famous love locks on bridges of Europe
DSC_0615
You can find art everywhere in Salzburg (weird and beautiful 🙂 )
DSC_0623
The Monastery at Salzburg
DSC_0629
Interiors of the Monastery

DSC_0630

Thus came to an end our holiday in Austria. With everyone leading such busy lives when you visit Vienna it truly feels like that soothing place where art has become the life interest for people. One can find art in every corner of Vienna; you can find it dancing in the streets, whistling in the winds and in the heart of each and every person in Vienna. But I feel the thing that we both will miss most about Vienna is the long walks through the courtyards of the historic centre and sipping endless ‘melanges’ in the coffee houses.

Have you been to Vienna? Share your thoughts with us….

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Naveen says:

    I am generally not into reading long text, but your writing kept me connected throughout the blog. Must say beautiful pictures (You can try on photo business :):):)). We will be visiting Austria in September end, and your blog is definitely a good help to finalize itinerary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. roshniray says:

    Thank you Naveen for such a lovely comment. Vienna is a beautiful city and I hope you have a lovely holiday in September. Please let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂

    Like

  3. sophie says:

    Guess what! I visited this place last summer, and let me tell you one thing I envy you for the photos you have clicked, I couldn’t click better photos with my SLR but your photos look amazing and yes the city looks beautiful after 8PM and the nightlife is the best part .Thanks again for these lovely photos , delighted seeing it .. Cheers ..xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks Sophie 🙂 The city definitely looks magical at night….

      Like

  4. I cant believe that this is the 1st blog post I have ever read about Austria since I play the French horn and absolutely love Mozart. I would love to go to Vienna to sit in Musikverein Hall to see a concert.
    The architecture there is amazing too. I heard they have these unbelievable desserts in either Vienna or Salzburg called Mozart Balls..their chocolate with some sort of cream inside..DId you have any?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks Eric for such a lovely comment 🙂 If you love Mozart a show in Musikverein or Staatstopper is must. We definitely tried the Mozart Balls in Salzburg. If you ever go to Salzburg try the blue Mozart balls they have a heavenly taste 🙂

      Like

  5. Joic says:

    beautiful architectural pictures

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks Joic 🙂

      Like

  6. I have been wanting to go to Vienna for years but for some reason it still hasn’t happened. You make it look and sound incredible and I really do hope to travel there soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks Sanne 🙂 Hope you get to travel to Vienna soon

      Like

  7. I already been in Vienna and Salzburg and i really like it. The cathedral of Vienna was closed during my stay, so i´m glad to know a little more about it and see the pictures.Did you tasted the desserts and chocolat?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks 🙂 There was still works going on the outside but at least it was open. We definitely tried loads of desserts, the Mozart Balls in Salzburg is a must 🙂

      Like

  8. Philip says:

    I was in Vienna last year. I really wish I had time to see Salzburg palace. I made a short video of the trip. http://www.pmexplore.com/see-vienna-austira-span-2-days/

    Like

  9. carmyy says:

    Vienna looks so stunning but oh my goodness your photos captured it perfectly! I would love to know what camera you use and editing! I’ve been wanting to visit Vienna for a while now and your photos are making me want to go right now!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s