Magic Vienna and its attractions
Vienna is the capital of the state of Austria and the music center of the world. The most common associations associated with the image of Vienna are the Viennese waltz, the Viennese opera, and the Viennese ball. Although not. There are also «delicious» binders — Viennese apple strudel, Viennese waffles and, of course, Viennese coffee. The list can be continued. So what happens — the main attractions of the city associated with music and food?
Of course, it is not. An imperial city with a long history cannot be monotonous and boring. And now Vienna is an aristocratic, beautiful and sublime city with dozens of theaters and museums, hundreds of architectural masterpieces and monuments and amazing cultural traditions.
History of Vienna
Vienna is located at the foot of the eastern Alps, on the two banks of the mighty Danube, which inspired Johann Strauss.
For centuries, Vienna was not just the capital of Austria, it was the seat of a powerful royal Habsburg dynasty, which was ruled by Austria, Austria-Hungary, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Spain and many other countries; were emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. Thus, it was believed that the city of Vienna is the largest cultural and political center of Europe.
The upheavals of the 20th century deprived Vienna of a significant position in the list of the largest European cities, and with the departure of the gigantic Austro-Hungary, it turned into a relatively small capital of small Austria. Now about 1.8 million people live in the city, while in Berlin — 3.5 million, and in London — 8.5. However, the greatness of the past history has not flown around from Vienna, like tinsel, and it is still in the list of those places that belong to the cultural centers of the world.
Like many other European cities, the history of Vienna began with the appearance of a Roman outpost in these places. It happened in the I century AD. After the departure of the Romans at the end of the 5th century, Avar and Slavic tribes lived in the territory of modern Vienna.
The first written mention of Vienna dates back to the 9th century and is associated with the establishment of the rule of the Carolingians on these lands.
The following milestones of the political (and metropolitan) history of Vienna:
- the end of X — the middle of the XII century — the capital of the margrave of Austria;
- mid XII — mid XIII centuries — the capital of the duchy of Austria;
- from the end of the 13th to the beginning of the 19th century — the capital of the duchy and archduchy of Austria under the rule of the Hapsburg dynasty;
- from 1804 to 1867 — the capital of the Austrian Empire:
- from 1867 to 1918 — the capital of Austria-Hungary;
- from 1919 to 1938 — the capital of the First Austrian Republic;
- from 1938 to 1945 — part of the Third Reich;
- from 1945 to 1955 — Austria is under the control of the Allied occupation forces;
- from 1955 to the present day — the capital of the Austrian Republic.
Since the XVIII century, Vienna — the center of musical art. Here composers worked: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Josif Haydn, Antonio Vivaldi, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Johann Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern and a number of others.
At the end of the 19th century, young and ambitious artists who were looking for new ways of developing fine art united in the so-called “Vienna Secession” — a vivid and talented manifestation of the modernist style.
The most famous representative of this group is the painful and passionate Gustave Klimt.
An interesting fact: every year from November 11 and until Lent in Vienna, the ball season lasts — a series of amazing Viennese balls that adhere to strict rules for their conduct and organization. The most ambitious of them — Opera Ball, always held at the Vienna Opera. It is equivalent to a state reception, and the President of Austria is present.
Many sights of Vienna are concentrated in the Old (Inner) city. There are many interesting places in this historical center of the city. In 2001 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the largest street in this area of the city — Ringstrasse (Ring Street) — are:
- The Scottish monastery is a Catholic male monastery founded in the XII century. The surviving complex was built in the XVII century in the Baroque style;
- The University of Vienna is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Europe. It was established in the middle of the XIV century. The modern main building was rebuilt in the second half of the XIX century;
- The Vienna State Opera is the center of world music culture;
- Todesko Palace is a magnificent snow-white building with Atlanteans in the neo-Renaissance style. Erected in the middle of the XIX century;
- Burgtheater is a majestic theater built in the middle of the 18th century and for a long time the second theater in Europe after the French Comedy Francaise;
- The Town Hall building is a beautiful neo-gothic building. Differs in symmetry and elegance. Built at the end of the XIX century. Until now, this building hosts meetings of the municipality. In front of the Town Hall there is a cozy English-style park. Every year, amazing and unforgettable events take place in the square in front of the grandiose building of the Town Hall and in it itself — the jazz festival, the Flower Ball, the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Society, etc. In winter, an ice rink opens on the Town Hall Square, and in the summer, an open-air cinema;
- Parliament building. Built in the 1870s in the style of a “Greek palace,” the building was intended by the architect to refer to the cradle of modern democracy — ancient Greek Athens. In front of the Parliament there is a magnificent fountain “Athena Pallas”, also referring to the heritage of ancient Greece;
- Votkirche is a grand imitation of 13th century French Gothic cathedrals. Built in the second half of the XIX century;
- Post Postal Savings Bank building is a masterpiece of Art Nouveau style. Built in 1906 by the project of Otto Wagner.
You can see all the sights of this historic street of the city, if you take a sightseeing tram along the Ring, an amazing and sentimental tourist route along the old Vienna.
Palace complexes of Vienna
The imperial past of Vienna left behind remarkable monuments of the power of the Habsburg dynasty. One of them is the Hofburg, the winter residence of the Austrian representatives of the dynasty and the place where the imperial court in Vienna was located. It consists of 19 palaces and 18 buildings, made in a variety of styles and containing more than 2,500 premises, some of which are used as the official residence of the President of Austria.
The history of the palace began in the distant Middle Ages — in the XIII century. From the medieval buildings, the gothic chapel of the XV century and the imperial treasury with the attributes of the imperial power of the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire — the imperial crown, Spear of Destiny, imperial sword have been preserved.
The main building of the grandiose complex is the majestic and pompous “New Castle” in the neo-empire style.
Other interesting buildings of the Hofburg:
- Silver Chamber — the imperial collection of silver, allowing to ascertain the sophistication of royal cutlery;
- Sissy Museum, dedicated to the life of the legendary Empress Elizabeth, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph II. Her life, tragically cut short in 1898 at the hands of an Italian anarchist, is reflected in numerous works of art. Especially popular is her image, embodied in the cinema by the remarkable actress Romy Schneider;
- The Austrian National Library is the largest library in Austria. Founded in 1368. The library building was built at the beginning of the XVIII century, the fund is about 8 million units. The library has several museums, the most interesting of which is the Papyrus Museum.
Another stunning imagination of the palace complex of Vienna, reflecting the history of the Habsburgs — Schönbrunn — the summer residence of the Habsburgs, built in the late XVII — early XVIII centuries in the Baroque style. It is considered one of the most beautiful palace and park ensembles in Europe. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The main decoration of the ensemble is its magnificent palace. For visitors are open several rooms and about 40 rooms. The most interesting of them are:
- The Hall of Mirrors, named after the crystal mirrors that give the room additional volume;
- A large gallery in which all important state meetings were held under Empress Maria Theresa;
- Ceremonial hall with paintings depicting the great battles, wedding ceremonies of the Austrian emperors, etc. Paintings were painted in the second half of the 18th century;
- Emperor Franz Joseph’s study with a portrait of Elizabeth of Bavaria;
- the bedroom of Franz Joseph, introducing the way of life of the emperor, known for his modesty and simplicity;
- a bedroom of Franz Joseph and Elizabeth with walls covered with French silk;
- the bathroom of the Empress Elizabeth. Marbled room with shower and porcelain washbasin.
In addition to the palace in the ensemble of Schönbrunn, of interest are the beautiful park with fountains and statues, the Palm House, the Gloriette Pavilion and, of course, the zoo.
This zoo, founded in 1752 as an imperial menagerie, is best known for being the oldest zoo in the world. From the end of the 18th century, the zoo was open to the general public with free admission.
Nowadays, the zoo is proud of the fact that in it not only live large pandas but also reproduce in a natural way. In addition, the exposition of the zoological park includes the Polarium — a fragment of the Arctic world with representatives of the fauna inhabiting it. The aquarium presents the underwater world of Amazonia, and in the terrarium you can see one of the best collections of reptiles and insects.
In 2010, the Schönbrunn zoo was recognized as the best zoo in Europe.
It is impossible to list all the sights of Vienna. The imperial past is represented in it by majestic, pompous, elegant, luxurious and simply beautiful monuments of architecture, beautiful music by great composers and unique cultural traditions.