vienna

Travel to Vienna in January.

What is your first thought when you hear Vienna? Also when you should visit Vienna during the winter? Some of my main associations in the capital of Austria are great architecture, art, Mozart balls, Danube, (although they have originated from Salzburg, but my God, it’s all Austria), but also lot of peoples working there from all around the world. Mostly from Balkan.

Although I had the desire to visit Vienna during the spring, so that I could enjoy the beautiful gardens of Belvedere and Schönbrunn, the fate wanted me to go back here in New Year’s time. Just like the first time. My wife and me took a chance to find a good tourist offer to visit Vienna, while kids were preoccupied with their New Year party with their friends.

Since January is not the most perfect month for outdoors, the primary reason for visiting Vienna was to visit the Museum of Art History and the Natural History Museum. However, in addition, there were a few more places I wanted to visit, so instead of city transport I decided to go to the center. If you do not want to waste your time, you will very easily reach the center by U-Bahn. At the station you also have an info center where you can get a free map or answer your concerns.

My first destination was the Church of Karlskirche. But I realized that the Belvedere Palace was located half way from the station to there, so I therefore put it in the tour program. Belvedere is a complex of two baroque palaces built for the Austrian prince Eugene Savoy. After the purchase of the land in 1697, the prince initially arranged the gardens, and then built a villa, after he started on the construction of the Down Belvedere palace, which was originally built as a park villa.  A picture gallery and a wing for living. Down Belvedere was completed in 1716.

The construction of the Upper Belvedere began in 1717, as evidenced by two letters that Prince Eugen sent from his servant from Belgrade. Describing the progress of the works at the court. It was completed in 1923, but there was a risk of collapsing Sale Terrenon due to structural problems, so that in the winter of 1732, four pillar was laid, which adhered to four pillars decorated with the image of Atlas. The castle was later expanded to become the main summer residence of Prince Eugene.

After Prince’s death, his successors sold Belvedere in 1752 to Empress Maria Theresa. During her rule, the complex was expanded. Collections of paintings that were once in the castle were later transferred to the Museum of Art History.

vienna-belvedere

Since I did not have time to visit the interior of the palace, I can not give you impressions. As far as I was informed, there is a museum, a picture gallery, but the interior itself is decorated with the frescoes of Italian artists worth a visit. There was a long-headed row in front of the ticket office, and I’m not sure whether it was a sightseeing tour of a permanent or some guest setting. The sightseeing of the gardens, which, although in January, were not nearly as glittering as for a lovely time, is free. But no matter what the greenery is and what fountains are not in operation, the gardens continue to radiate a certain beauty.

The next station was to me the Karlskirche Church, dedicated to the Archbishop of Milan, Milan Boromejski. Although it did not seem far from Belvedere, one of the streets leading to it turned out to be infinitely long, but the landscape was worth every passing step. This is the most prominent Baroque church in Vienna and is located in Karlovy Vary (Karlsplatz). It was picked up by Karlo VI after the last major plague epidemic in honor of its importer who was worried about the patients of this wicked disease.

Especially interesting are the two relief pillars in front of the church that depict scenes from Karl Boromejski’s life, and their purpose is to remind them of the pillars of Boaz and Jakin standing in front of the temple in Jerusalem. Since I was hurrying to the museum, I did not get to see the inside of the church (which I think was charged for the entrance), but the photographs I had the opportunity to see was really richly decorated.

I continued to go by the city, in order to reach Maria Theresien-Platz Square, where the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Art History are located. On the way to there, I had the opportunity to see a lot of interesting things, and one of them is the specific pedestrian traffic lights set before Eurovision in Vienna.

With the aim of encouraging tolerance towards the LGBT population. Instead of the standard guy standing or moving, depending on the color of the light at the traffic lights, there are two perfect characters (male or female) and the heart between them. Although such a traffic light was supposed to be a temporary setting, the authorities decided to keep them even after Eurovision finishing. I went to Opernring through the street, looking at numerous souvenir shops looking for a perfect little thing for myself and dear people. On this move you can find up to a few euros more favorable souvenirs than on the move Äußeres Burgator-Stefanplatz.

Upon arriving at the square where the museum is located, I decide to visit the Museum of Art History, since I have been in the Natural History Museum before, even though I did not have enough time for a thorough tour. Since the Museum of Art History deserves a special article, I will not describe my impressions here, but I will tell you that without a minimum of three hours it is intended for a little more dynamic tour and you do not think about visiting. Not counting that I’m going to get rid of this, I had to write off the Natural History Museum, because the time of stay in Vienna was slowly running out, and I had to eat something and eat that I would not crash from malice.

I went through the Äußeres Burgator, the gate that the rest of the fort was erected in the seventeenth century, during the Second siege of Vienna and Heldenplatz, and because of the darkness that began to fall slowly and the louder hunger, I completely forgot to photograph half of the interesting things. Soon I came to Michaelerplatz, a circular stream from which numerous streets continue to restaurants and boutiques of exclusive brands. I was lost in the river of tourists, among which the Azzas were loaded with a lot of LV and Armani kesama.

It has been somewhat shocked by the frequency of our language in the streets, which I have to admit is not overly popular because my travels are fleeing from everyday life and local mentality. But it seems that Vienna is definitely a favorite New Year’s destination for tourists from Balkan countries. Coming to McDonald’s near the cathedral of St. Stefan on the square of the same name, I realized that it was the place I did not want to eat. From the crowd and confusion inside I simply lifted my hair on my head.

So I went to google maps to find a pizza hut, and I was taken to Mariahilfer Straße, probably the most well-known shopping street in Vienna. The box of plasma crackers that hit me in the backpack helped me survive there and thanks to good intuition and suspicious instructions from google I knew before the arrival at the destination that the pizza hut was not there. Of course I was right, because there was completely another restaurant with pizzas at the cooked address.

vienna-trip-mariahilfer

At the end, the decision fell on Turkish kebab in a small restaurant with a blue neon sign at the entrance. There was a big crowd inside and there was no place for a drug. Some two bed bugs stinked pizza for about 20 minutes, so we almost had to get them out of the restaurant. But it was worth it, because the kebab was fantastic. From my travel experience I have to admit that kebab is always a good and safe variant that you will not be hungry.

For the end of my stay in Vienna I decided to visit the Rathaus and the Parliament. The Rathaus is a beautiful building situated on the same square in the vicinity of the Volksgarten Park, serving as the seat of the mayor and city council. It was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt in Neo-Gothic style, and the construction lasted from 1872 to 1883. At the top of the tower is Rathausmann, one of the symbols of Vienna. At Christmas time in front of Rathaus, there are a number of booths selling holiday festivals and souvenirs. Which I had the opportunity to see at first sight. This time the park in front of Rathaus was closed for renovations.

The last station was the bracket of the Austrian Parliament and its two houses. It was built between 1873 and 1883 as a historicist building and represents one of the most monumental buildings in Vienna. With its Corinthian pillars and other elements of ancient architecture, it often resembles Greek temples, and the fountain of the goddess of Father Palada, carved in the period between 1892 and 1902, additionally contributes to it.

At the foot of the Corinthian Pillar, where is the statue of Athens holding the golden statue of the godparent Nike in hand, there are two statues that symbolize the legislative and executive power. While the lower level contains four figures incorporating the four, at that time, the largest Austrian rivers : Danube, Inn, Elba and Vltava. An additional decoration is made up of small statues of dolphins.

Again deferred to the many things I wanted to see in Vienna, I knew I would have to go back there again. I headed back to the train station to get to the train to Bratislava, and by the way I drove into the local Spar market where I was supplied with various types of chocolate that can not be bought with us. If you are traveling by rail, I recommend stunning croissants with a marquis in the bakery where you are a lover.

I hope you liked this travel story from Vienna. I would recommend to visit Vienna to everyone, but from my perspective, next time i will go in summer to visit Schönbrunn and Zoo near by.

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