Monday, 17 September 2018

Vienna: The City Of Music, The City Of Dreams

Vienna, the capital and oldest city in Austria is definitely a worthwhile city to visit. Not only is it culturally and historically rich, it offers a plethora of delightful sights that will surely make your visit a memorable one. Among the things that impress are the ensemble of medieval buildings; old palaces, museums, opera house and churches that are all intricately designed, parks and  gardens that are charmingly landscaped, its main shopping district that not only boasts a diverse range of merchandise but blends the modern and heritage structures to give you a unique experience even strolling along it. Believe me there are many more things that make Vienna tick.
This post is about the highlights of my sightseeing tour in this charming city.

Sightseeing The Ring Road Of Vienna
Visitors who do not have the liberty of time to explore the city can just take a sightseeing tour along Vienna's Ring Road to view some of its best architectural and historic masterpieces.
Vienna's Ringstrasse (or Ring Road) is a 5.3 kilometers stretch of road in the city centre around which stand numerous monumental buildings constructed around the 1860s to 1890s. Some of the city's major landmarks like Vienna State Opera, Parliament House and City Hall are among the few that adorn the cityscape of Vienna.

Vienna's City Hall (Rathaus) built in Neo-Gothic style architecture serves as the city's administrative center. This attractive building was completed in 1883. 

Opened in 1883 the Parliament House is the site of important state ceremonies, most notably the swearing-in ceremony of the President of Austria and the state speech on National Day each October 26.

The Vienna Opera House is not only an impressive building at the Ringstrasse but also a worldwide known opera house with 1709 seats and 567 standing-room capacity. The audience can watch daily opera performances, ballet shows, sometimes concerts here.

Secession Building is a magnificent building, with a golden cabbage dome dedicated to exhibitions and shows by contemporary artists. Surprisingly this modern looking building was opened more than 100 years ago. 

A good way to explore the beautiful sights on the Ring Road is to hop onto the Vienna Ring Tram which departs every 30 minutes from Schwedenplatz if you do not have your own transportation.

Schönbrunn Palace
One of the most imposing and popularly visited buildings must be Schönbrunn Palace.
The spectacular 18th-century Baroque palace which was formerly an imperial summer residence has 1441 rooms and apartments, a humongous courtyard and vast gardens speaking of opulence in the lifestyle of past monarchs.

Kunsthistorisches Museum 
The Kunsthistorisches Museum or Art History Museum was built in 1891 near the Imperial Palace to house the extensive collections of the imperial family. With its vast array of eminent works and the largest Bruegel collection in the world, it is considered one of the most eminent museums in the world.

On the square in front of The Kunsthistorisches Museum stands the huge  Maria Theresien Memorial. This monument which measures 19 meters high and 44-tonne in weight is a World UNESCO Site.

St Stephen's Cathedral
A visit to St. Stephen's Cathedral is a must as it is the symbol of Vienna. It is located on Stephansplatz which is one of the most important squares in Vienna.  St Stephen's Cathedral was first constructed during the 12th century but have undergone several reconstruction and renovation over the centuries. 

Kärntner Strasse
Kärntner Strasse is one of the most famous shopping streets in Vienna which existed since the Roman Age. There is a diversified mix of historical buildings, traditional shops and stylish contemporary stores which offer international labels.   
This street together with other streets that criss-cross it perpendicularly form a pedestrianized zone for the convenience of shoppers, diners or mere strollers.

There are many interesting things to see in the vicinity of Kärntner Strasse. Strolling along Goldschmiedgasse Street for instance you'll come across the spectacular St Peter's Cathoilic Church.

There are horse drawn carriages traversing the streets even though motorized vehicles are not allowed in the zone.

Donnerbrunnen Fountain
A short walk along Donnergasse Street will take you to Neuer Market Square where Donnerbrunnen Fountain is located. This 18th century fountain has many interesting statues on it. 

Besides the beautiful fountain, the buildings surrounding Neuer Market Square are all classic looking and worthy of admiration too.

There are many parks in Vienna but I just visited Stadtpark, a huge municipal park that features beautifully landscaped gardens adorned by flower beds and monuments dedicated to Vienna's famous musicians. Stadtpark is also Vienna's first public park being established as early as 1862.

The most famous and photographed monument within the park is said to be the gilded bronze statue of Johann Strauss, a world renowned Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. 

There are several other monuments in the park, e.g.that of Franz Schubert , Franz Lehár (seen in the picture above), Robert Stolz and Hans Makart to name a few making Stadtpark the park with the largest number of monuments and sculptures in Vienna.  

The Kursalon building at the park entrance is a popular venue for concerts and dances. Concerts featuring music from Mozart and Strauss are still held regularly in this building.

General Glimpses Around The City

This statue of a man standing at the edge of a roof on a high rise would give anyone a scare thinking 'a man is trying to commit suicide'. Well, this is just an iota of the uniqueness of Vienna aka The City Of Music, The City Of Dreams.....

Related Posts:
1. Vienna: The City Of Music, The City Of Dreams
2. Review Of Pandorf Designer Outlet
3. Hallstatt: A Beautiful Austrian Village
4. Salzburg: The City Of The Sound Of Music
5. Scenic Drive In Austria

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