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  • Writer's pictureSElliott

Day 12 - Architecture, Ferris Wheels and an Evening Concert

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

Today we are in Vienna. This is the capital city of Austria and has magnificent buildings and amazing architecture, especially in the city centre, the 1st district. On the way into Vienna we passed a first generation Ferris wheel, the oldest in Europe. We also passed a column celebrating one of Austria’s successful Admirals – although it’s landlocked now, in the past Austria was a considerable naval power.

Picture 1 - Ferris Wheel

Picture 2 - Column

We travelled round the centre of Vienna on the Ringstrasse - this road used to be the place of the city walls and moat before they were demolished. On each side of the road grand and elegant buildings stand. Although these look old, the architecture is neo-classical/baroque/gothic, etc.

Pictures 3, 4, 5 and 6 - Vienna Buildings

We left the buses by the Opera House and walked to the Winter Palace where we saw the Spanish Riding School. The Habsburgs were catholic and, to prevent them from getting influenced by Protestants, they sent their children to Spain for their education as Spain was strongly Catholic whereas Austria was more relaxed. One of the things that they brought back was the Spanish Riding school.

Picture 7 - Spanish Riding School

From the Winter Palace we passed through to the museum district where the National History and Fine Art museums are located. The buildings for these are mirror images of each other so people kept getting confused as to which was which, including the police! Eventually a person discovered how to tell the buildings apart – by the statues on the top of the domes! The statue on the National History museum is of the Greek God Helios whereas the statue on the Fine Arts museum is of Athena.

Pictures 8 and 9 - National History and Fine Arts Museums

We exited the Winter Palace and started to walk down the pedestrian streets to St. Stephens Cathedral. On the way we saw some horse drawn carriages (used for tourist tours) and a monument erected to commemorate the ending of the plague in the city. The monument was very fancy – all gold leaf!

Picture 10, 11, 12 and 13 - Winter Palace

Picture 14 - Monument

St. Stephens Cathedral was much more to my taste than the fancy baroque cathedrals. A bit more subdued but awe inspiring none the less. We had a little free time (just enough to peruse the local souvenir shop – all three levels!) before returning to the coaches and from there to the ship.

Pictures 15 and 16 - Vienna Cathedral

All-in-all I didn’t much like Vienna, it was just a big city, much like London. I had expected that there would be a lot more greenery and wide streets but we didn’t find any.

Tonight Mum and I went to a Classical Music Concert. It was held in one of the formal concert room of the Palais Neiderösterreich. This room was marvellous on account of its frescoed ceiling. It was wonderful!

Picture 17 - Concert Room

The concert itself was lovely, music by Mozart, Strauss and Schuebert including the overture from Die Fleidermouse, the Radetsky March, The Blue Danube Waltz and the Turkish March. I even recognised some of them! We also had dancers and two opera singers.

Pictures 18, 19, 20 and 21 - Concert

Tonight we stay moored near Vienna.

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