Vienna City Walk


Vienna city walk welcome to vienna. Vienna is the capital of austria. The cradle of classical music the home of the rich habsburg heritage and one of europe's most livable cities. Hi i'm rick steves. Thanks for joining me. On a walk through the historic core of vienna or venus as it's known in austria on this walk. We'll laced together. That cities three most important landmarks. We'll start at the opera house. Ground zero vienna's international reputation for classical music. Next is the cathedral with skyscraper inspire the symbol of the city. We end at the half berg palace. Once the home of the mighty habsburgs now brimming with top notch museums. This is a great. I look at the city. Use it to get the lay the land in an overview of sites. You may want to explore in more depth later allow about ninety minutes for this mile and a half walk. Now let's get started as we explore vienna's intriguing past and the vienna of today. It's a laid back. World genteel shops inviting cafes delicious. Chocolate soccer toured. It's the city where civilized austrians continually perfect their knack for good living vienna. How to use this audio guide as you can see from the display window on your mp three player. Each of vienna's great hits has its own title and track number much like the songs of a cd or album. You can skip ahead or tailor your itinerary to your own tastes but navigating through the city on your own can be confusing and it's easiest to just fall of the tour in the order. I've laid out to help you along. I've invited my colleague lisa. Welcome lisa gooden. Tug hair steve's she'll give directions from one stop to the next after listening to her directions. You can pause the audio guide then restarted at the next track when you're ready to see the next site be aware that even with the very best of directions sightseeing a busy city can be confusing. Streets can be blocked off and scaffolding may cover buildings under renovation. If you're taking this tour with my rick. Steves audio europe app. Don't miss its latest features. There are zuma maps showing the route and each stop. These are viewable. While you listen a twenty-second rewind button allows you to catch something. You might have missed or here. Vital directions the second time and the speed button makes me talk faster. Chipmunk style you can read the actual script of this tour and if you'd like more information on the spot you can download our entire guidebook on this destination with a couple of clicks those following this tour on their ipod rather than with my app may find that my guidebook to this place with its maps for an exhibit titles can make following this audio tour. Easier be flexible and don't hesitate to ask a friendly local for help. Finding your way vote means where is now. Let's head into vienna. Lisa gotta started donka. Shane rick. The tour begins the opera house. Began at vienna's landmark house. The closest ubon stop is carl's plots start in the pedestrian square along the side of the opera house. From here you can take in the sheer length of this impressive. Green roof building get oriented. The opera sits on the busy ring. Road called the ringstrasse. The ringstrasse has circles vienna's historic core. We're on the south edge of the ring on our walk will be heading north into the heart of the old city. That is to the right as you face. The opera house got it for now. Turn your attention to vienna's opera house rick if he anna is the world capital of classical music. This building is it's thrown room at vienna's peak in eighteen hundreds. The city was the epicenter of european culture. Generations of great musicians flocked to vienna. Think of it haydn mozart. Beethoven brahms johann strauss senior. And junior. it's a star studded list of classical musicians. The opera house built in eighteen. Sixty nine is a symbol of that golden age. The opera's architecture is typical of many buildings. You'll see here in vienna. It revives an older style in this case. Neil renaissance notice the renaissance style arches over the windows in the classical half columns the sloping copper roof is like a french renaissance. Chateau nearly all of operas. Luminaries have passed through. Here gustav mahler and rijkaard strauss served as musical directors luchino pavarotti maria callus placido domingo. They've all sung from its stage today. The opera still belts out three hundred shows a year both traditional end. Cutting edge notice the giant outdoor screen where some performances are projected to an adoring public. Check the posted schedule to see what's coming up. The opera's interior is sumptuous. The chandeliered lobby with carpeted stairs is perfect for making the scene. The theater itself has five wraparound balconies golden red decor and a bracelet likes chandelier to see the inside. You could attend a performance notice. There's a box office under the big screen. Actually standing room tickets are surprisingly cheap and no one will shoot you if you want to leave at intermission. How boorish well then you can get inside by taking a guided tour. That ticket office is on the opposite side of the building. The opera house is just one venue and this incredible city of music. There's the world famous. Vienna boys choir at the half burke point that out later the vienna philharmonic world-famous symphony orchestra occasionally performs here on the opera house. Stage and music fans will want to visit called house their musique. It's just two blocks away. Notice the pavement under your feet in the sidewalk are star shaped plaques. These honor the stars of classical music famous composers singers musicians and conductors. It's like hollywood. Walk of fame but vienna style before we move on remember. The opera sits on the ringstrasse. That's the broad ring road that circles the old town. If you're interested. I have an audio tour of the ringstrasse. it starts right here from the opera tram. Stop now. Let's plunge into the heart of vienna lisa from the pedestrian square alongside the opera start walking west circling to the right around the big building. This puts you on the street called philharmonic. Stresa keep an eye out for the dark. Red awning at number four. This marks the entrance to vienna's famous. Cafes s-occer cafe soccer. this is the home of the world's classiest chocolate cake. The soccer tort. It's two layers of cake. Separated by apricot. Jam and covered in dark chocolate icing. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream. The cake was invented in a fit of improvisation in eighteen thirty two by franz soccer. He was the desert chef of prince. Metternich the mastermind different who redrew the map of post napoleonic europe. The cake became world famous. When the inventor's son served it next door at his hotel you may have noticed the hotel. Soccer's fancy dorman. Since the cafes heyday many locals complained that the case of gone downhill. You may be surprised. By how dry they taste. You really need that. Dollop of whipped cream and the cafe has become pricey and grotesquely touristy. Still coffee and a slice of cake here and cafe. Soccer can be worth it for the historic ambience alone. Before moving on plants across the street in two thousand and three the first starbucks boldly open directly across. from one of vienna's oldest most loved coffee shops. Got in himmel sacrilege locals hated the idea of busy people guzzling overpriced flavored coffee to go from a paper cup but over time. They've come to appreciate starbucks. Easy chair ambiance. And its quality. Coffee the consensus. It's okay and there are a handful of starbucks in vienna but for the same price you can have an elegant and traditional experience in an independent coffee shop. The dreaded starbucks invasion stalled at the gates of vienna continue past hotel. Soccer at the end of the street is a small triangular. Cobbled square adorned with modern sculptures. Albertina plots Albertina plots on your left is the albertina museum. It's modern entrance is topped by sleek titanium. Canopy critics call it the diving board. The museum is worth a visit for chandeliered rooms and it's paintings from impressionism to modern art. The albertina is housed in a long tan and white neoclassical building. It's the tip of the hochberg policy. The sprawling complex of buildings at the habsburg emperors called home will end this walk at the center of the hochberg. Albertina platts itself is filled with statues. This is the powerful thought provoking monument against war and fascism. It remembers the dark years from nineteen thirty eight to nineteen forty five when austria came under the rule of nazi germany. It's also poignant reminder of the brutality of all war start with the split whitestone monument these are called the gates of violence standing directly in front of it. You're at the symbolic gates of a concentration camp. It's a montage of wartime images. There are clubs and world war one gas masks. A dying woman gives birth to a future soldier chained slave labors. Sit on a pedestal of granite. The stone comes from the infamous corey at the mutt house and concentration camp. It's just up the danube from vienna. Where one hundred thousand prisoners died behind the gates of islands. The hunched over figure on the ground is an austrian jew forced to scrub anti-nazi graffiti off the street with a toothbrush of vienna's two hundred thousand jews about a third died in nazi concentration camps the nearby statue with a head buried. The stone is orpheus. Entering the underworld he reminds austrians and the rest of us of the horrible consequences of turning a blind eye to the fascist threat finally behind orpheus stands the declaration that established a democratic austria in nineteen forty-five and once again restored the country's basic human rights. One more thing this monument stems on the spot where world war two bombs struck demolishing a seller and burying several hundred people alive austria had been led into world war two by germany which annexed the country in nineteen. Thirty eight saying austrians. Were wanna be germans anyway. But australians are not. Germans were never will be there quick to tell you that whereas germany wasn't a nation until eighteen seventy austria has thousand year heritage after the war. Austria lived through ten years of joint occupation by the victorious allies then in nineteen fifty five. It was granted. Total independence and austria was a free nation. Once again on albertina plots you may see. One of vienna's many traditional hotdog vendors stole over for a closer look averse versatile. Stan offers a variety of hot dogs pickled side dishes and a convenient place where locals to just hang out and chat the i usually pork. Sausage is a staple of the austrian diet. What's the best of the versed. They're too numerous to mention. Be adventurous brat. I is a generic term. That simply means grilled sausage. A bourne versed is similar to what we'd call kielbasa. There's also buck. First vice. I bind versed liver versed and much more generally that darker the weenie the spicier. It is the weiner we know the basic hotdog for vienna. Wien vena but the guy who invented the vena studied in frankfurt. Then he moved to vienna with his new fast food but he named it in a fit of nostalgia for his old hometown of frankfurter so only in vienna are venus. Called frankfurters. got that lisa got it. I enjoy your spicy anecdotes with relish. That reminds me when you order. Your first comes on a paper plate with a squirt of mustard called sent or with ketchup called ketchup or with curry ketchup. That would be very spicy. You can ask for your mustard either. Sweet seuss or sharp sharp. You also have a choice between bread or a roll prot- odor similar neither one of these resemble in american hot dog bun so to avoid looking like a tourist. Don't try to put your sausage. Your bread like a hot dog. Eat it like a local. Take a bite of weiner then a bite of bread as they say that you have two hands. Hey rick how does a buddhist order a hotdog. Make me one with everything. Had you ask for change change. Lisa comes from within also albertina. Plots is cafe to roller hof. Whether or not you choose to go inside. This is one of many classic viennese cafes in vienna. The living room is down the street at the neighborhood coffee house. It's another example of that viennese expertise in good living. Each coffee house has its individual character and characters. Admittedly some classic. Cafes can be a bit tired and shabby with famously grumpy waiters but most are welcoming for those who take the time to sit a while. They offer things that time has passed by chandeliers marble. Tables upholstered booths waiters in texas and printed newspapers. It's great for pastry or light lunch with local office. Workers enjoy the english language. International herald tribune and relaxing elegance for the price of a cup of coffee. Coffee in vienna are forever linked it dates from the seventeenth century. When coffee was introduced from turkey. There are several colorful legends of how was introduced during the time of the ottoman invasion back in sixteen eighty three but no one knows for sure in the eighteenth century coffee. Boom doesn't aristocratic drink in the nineteenth century industrial age when people were expected to work twelve hour shifts. Coffee became a hit with the working class. As well by the twentieth century the vienna copy seen became incredibly refined. Old timers. Still remember when waiters came around with a sheet of paper with various shades of brown like paint samples. Customers could make clear exactly how milky they wanted their coffee. Before you leave the square take note of the tourist information office here. You can pick up the free city map with a list of museums and hours. They have the free monthly program of concerts and other handy brochures facing the cafe to roller hof. Turn right and leave the square heading east up shirks gaza. Along the way you'll pass the tourist friendly cafeteria style. Restaurant called burger marked continue along furious casa to where it intersects with a busy pedestrian. Only street this is character. Stresa and carrington stresa. This grandma like street. Is the people watching delayed of this in love with life city. Unfortunately today's cartner strauss has become a little crass in shabby but the police is always bustling with shoppers and buskers. Turn left ahead up care nurse stresa going north away from the opera as you walk. Be sure to look up. Above the modern storefronts for glimpses of the streets former glory. In the nineteenth century it was lined with some vienna's most elegant shops near the end of the block on the left at number twenty six is jay and l. low meyer crystal founded as it says in eighteen twenty three it still has its impressive brown storefront with gold trim statues and the habsburg legal. If you step inside you can enjoy old world. Ambiance upstairs is a free glass museum in the market for some four hundred dollar napkin rings. Low myers your place. Continue a few more steps up. Kanter stresa to the end of the block. Then turn left on kodo viana gaza head. One block up marco. Wwl gaza straight ahead is an orangish church with a triangular roof and cross. This is the capuchin. Church home of the kaiser goofed The kaiser grouped in the church's basement sits the imperial crypt. It's filled with what's left of australia's emperors empresses and other habsburg royalty for centuries vienna was the capital of a vast empire ruled by the habsburg family. If you pay admission to go inside you'll see the fancy pewter coffin of beloved empress maria theresa who ruled for forty years from seventeen forty to seventeen eighty besides reforming the government banning torture and funding schools. Maria also found time to have sixteen children. The original practitioner of make love not war. She married her children off to europe's crowned heads to cement alliances her youngest daughter the famous and ill-fated marie-antoinette married the king of france. The kaiser grouped also has the tomb of maria. Theresa's eldest son. Emperor joseph the second who freed the serfs and took piano lessons from mozart. Joseph inaugurated vienna's golden age which was presided over by another kaiser grouped resident the emperor franz-josef who ruled the habsburg empire for sixty eight years until world war. One fan to the habsburgs. I wanna make a trek outside vienna to their summer home the schoenbrunn palace. This immense for satellite complex is one of europe's great sites. Well worth the trouble to get there. Let's continue our walk. The kaiser grooved sits in the corner of a square called neuer. Markt start walking north through the square. One block toward the fountain in the center of the square. No you're marked to the cathedral. Vienna's golden age in the center of neuer. Markt is the four rivers fountain. It shows lady. Providence surrounded by symbolizing the rivers that flow into the danube. The sexy statues offended maria teresa. While the empress wasn't busy making babies she actually organized chastity commissions to defend her capital cities. Moral standards from here. We return to cantor strasser. Fifty yards away. Lady providence's one bare breast points. The way as you walked back to canton estrada notice the buildings all around you most are fairly modern having been rebuilt after world war. Two half of the old city was intentionally destroyed by allied air raids winston churchill intended to moralize viennese who were disconcertingly enthusiastic about the nazis. When you reach kanter stresa turn left. Continue north down strauss stresa which leads to the cathedral and vienna's main square as you walk down vienna's main street so full of life. It's clear the city has bounced back after the world wars of the twentieth century but vienna's true peak. It's golden age was the nineteenth century back then. The habsburgs still ruled a vast empire with vienna as their glorious capital. As we've seen it was one of europe's cultural capitals. It was the city of fine wine. Exquisite art coffee and chocolates dress up balls and the good life composers came here to launch their careers mozart. Beethoven brahms johann strauss senior and junior whipped the mass into a delirious frenzy with their new dance craze the waltz architects redrew. The city's skyline vienna was a center of cutting edge. Science christian doppler studied wave frequencies the doppler effect sigmund freud launched psychoanalysis he focused on repressed sexual desires the unconscious mind and couches. The painter gustav klimt shocked the world with women in erotic poses and come hither looks by the year nineteen hundred. Vienna had two point two million people bigger than it is today. It was the fifth largest city in the entire world. Vienna sat balanced on the cusp between traditional old world. Elegance and subversive modern trends but vienna's belle epoch or beautifully age would come to a shattering end with the pull of an assassin's trigger in nineteen fourteen that launched world war one by now you should be approaching the cathedral. You're likely to see it. I as a reflection in the round glass windows of the modern building that faces it walk past the auburn station here. The streets bills into stephens plots vienna's main square dominated by the enormous cathedral of saint stephen Saint stephen's cathedral the center of vienna. The cathedral's fairly spire looms overhead worshipers and tourists poor inside the church and choppers and notch street entertainers buzz around the outside. You're at the center of vienna. Saint stephen's cathedral known for its four hundred and fifty foot tall south tower for colorful roof and for its place in vienna's history. It was built in medieval times. Roughly thirteen hundred to fourteen fifty in the gothic style with pointed arches buttresses and gargoyles. At the time it was a huge church for a tiny town it's sheer size brought prestige and attracted both church authorities and tourists to the town. It helped put fledgling vienna on the map. At this point. You may want to take a break from the walking tour. The church if you go inside you'll see it's impressive vaulted nave studded with statues. There's a marvelous carved pulpit the chapel. Where mozart was married and assorted altarpieces tombs. And icons i have another audio tour that covers the cathedral inside and out but for now. Let's continue our city walk. You're standing at the center of vienna. Think of the city map as a target. The bullseye is saint stephen's cathedral surrounding. That is the ring. stresa the grand boulevard. That circles the old town. The road marks where the city wall once stood on the south border of the ring. The opera house where we started this walk. The rings north border a few blocks to your left as you face. The church is the danube river. The ringstrasse contains the first district called a bit cirque outside. The city center is another ring. Road called the girdle that contains the rest of downtown beyond the girdle lies. The industrial sprawl of modern vienna about ten miles to the southwest are the famous hills known as vienna woods a popular playground for hikes and sipping new wine as big as greater vienna is for the tourist. It's quite manageable. Almost everything of interest to the tourist lies here within the ring. The cathedral and stephens plots are the perfect place to talk about. Vienna's colorful past wander around or find a place to relax while rick points out several sites in the square stephens pots a microcosm of vienna's history the cathedral linton stephens. Plot put the city's history on display for much of its history. Vienna has been the dividing line between eastern and western europe. The city was first occupied. Two thousand years ago by the romans. They built their fort right here where the cathedral stands today. In fact a few roman era stones are actually incorporated into the cathedral. They're part of the two octogonal towers that flank the main entrance. Roman vienna was the crossroads of europe where the danube river traveling west to east crossed the north south trade route through the alps after rome fell about five hundred ad. The city was invaded many times. By germanic barbarians hungarian magyar end mongol hordes around the eight hundred charlemagne the eastern part of his empire oester irish or austria in twelve. Seventy three noble family called the habsburgs claimed charlemagne's title of holy roman emperor for the next six centuries. The habsburgs would rule a vast and expanding empire around thirteen hundred. The cathedral was built. It convinced the habsburgs to move to vienna from their former capital in prague. The churches colorful roof sports black eagles fashioned after the habsburg family symbol the habsburg double headed eagle faced both east and west symbolizing their control over a far flung empire for the next page in vienna's history focus on the cathedral's north tower notice. It's about half the size of the south tower. That's because in fifteen twenty nine. Vienna was invaded by ottoman turks. Construction funds had to be diverted to the defense department for the next two centuries. Vienna was europe's best in against a rising tide of islam. The wars culminated in sixteen eighty three when two hundred thousand ottoman surrounded the city walls. Today's ring stresa. The ottomans were driven off for good as we learned earlier. They left behind bags of coffee. N vienna's first coffeehouse opened or so goes the over caffeinated legend. Vienna became one of europe's great cities attracting talent from all over the german speaking world. Wolfgang amadeus mozart lived here in the seventeen. Eighty s just a block or so behind the cathedral for the next century. Vienna enjoyed its golden age of arts sciences and the good life politically the habsburg empire was on the decline as rising powers like france britain and germany came to dominate europe but for the city of vienna the late nineteen th century was. It's cultural highpoint. One remnant from that time still stands on stephens pots. it's where cantor strauss hit stephens. Pots the grand soot-covered building with red columns. This fine neoclassical architecture sums up vienna's belle epoch mix of elegance and modernism as vienna entered the twentieth century. It was home to a man who would change history forever. Imagine this in one thousand nine hundred seven. This struggling young artists stood right here. In stephens plants he painted a watercolour. The cathedral's north tower. It was just one of many scenes. Poverty stricken young men would paint trying to make it in the world of art but after eight long years of frustration in vienna. He gave up and went on a different path in a different country. His name adolf hitler as it would turn out. Hitler and the twentieth century would prove to be brutal on vienna in nineteen fourteen. The habsburg archduke was assassinated in sarajevo in revenge. Austria declared war on serbia igniting world war. One austria was on the losing side when the dust finally settled the habsburgs were deposed and their empire was dismembered by the victors. The war left austria as small landlocked nation in vienna as an imperial city without an empire. A head without a body. For what happens next. Make your way along the right side of the church in the square to the right of the church stands placards with black and white photos in nineteen thirty eight. Hitler and nazi germany forcibly annexed now powerless austria leading into world. War two. The photos clearly show the war's destruction vienna bombs destroyed. Nearly a quarter of the city's buildings. At war's end the city was a mess like berlin. It was divided into occupied zones. Austria was declared neutral forbidden. Join either nato or the soviet union's warsaw-pact it became a kind of no man's land between east and west battleground of espionage through the cold war but slowly. The city rebuilt the churches colorful power roof though medieval style actually dates from the nineteen fifties. Vienna's ubon system was expanded in the nineteen seventies stephens. Plots was completely modernized. The modern glass building that faces saint stephen's dates from nineteen ninety. The building brings vienna's history full circle. It's curved facade. Echoes the shape of the ancient roman fortress which stood here two thousand years ago and notice. How the glass catches the reflection of saint stephen's blending the old and the new. It's a great photo op. Finally look around the square at the viennese people of today vienna's population is one point. Eight million and falling. The average viennese mother has only one point. Three children and dogs are the preferred child for many young professionals one. In every five. Austrians calls vienna home. The truly viennese person is an ethnic mix a habsburg cocktail many of their grandparents came from the eastern countries of the former empire hungary the czech republic slovakia. And so on. Today's vienna is certainly modern but compared with most big cities. The pace of life here is slow. After two thousand years of turbulent history vienna has settled down into a sleepy pleasant place where culture is still king. Let's continue on now. We head west working our way. Towards the hoff palace exit the square backtracking. A few steps are right rounding the curved modern glass building. You'll find yourself at the head of a broad pedestrian street known as the grubbing the grabbing this was once a grabbing or ditch originally the moat for the roman military camp. During vienna's nineteenth century heyday. This was one of the main streets in the nineteenth century. There were nearly two hundred thousand people packed inside the rings draw. The grabbing like other streets in vienna was dirt by the nineteen hundreds. It was paved with three noisy lanes of traffic around the nineteen seventies. It was turned into one of europe's pedestrian only zones today while only twenty thousand viennese live inside the ring. This popular promenade is as vibrant as ever take a moment to consider the scene history everywhere rebuilt after a war grand architecture fine cafes people enjoying life for me quintessential europe walk down. The grub. two blocks turn left on dora. Tayer gaza will sidetrip half a block up door a gaza to peek into three venerable eating spots and watering holes a cafe a buffet and basel dorte gossip sightseeing for your palate. The viennese appreciate the fine points of life in. Right up there with waltzing is eating. While cuisines are routinely named for countries. Vienna claims to be the only city with the cuisine of its own vienna features. Many eastern european specialties from the habsburgs former empire. a half block up dorte gossip. On the left you'll find buffet. Treas nevsky classic sandwich shop is filled with locals enjoying elegant little finger sandwiches and tiny glasses of beer. Here's how it works. I you pick out your sandwiches and choose a drink. Pay for them. Then take your drink tokens to the lady on the right. If there are no tables sit on the bench. Then scoot over to a tiny table when a spot opens up three different sandwiches and a small beer called v in austria. Make a fun light lunch. The favorites are guff. Pflueger labor chicken liver much is midst. Feeble herring with onions and spec mit i- bacon and eggs trish nevsky has been vienna favourite for more than a century. And it seems many of its regulars might have been here. Since the grand opening across the street from cafe treas nevsky toller. Bison bison is a uniquely viennese tavern kind of a cross between an english pub and a french brasserie. This one's a timewarp that serves simple and classic food all day long on nearly every corner in vienna. You can find a bicycle filled with poetry teachers. And their students couples loving without touching housewife's on their way home from cello lessons and waiters who enjoy serving hearty food and drinks at an affordable price. Ask at your hotel for a good bison head a few more steps up door tear gas to one more eatery find cafe elka. It's on the right at number six. This is a classic viennese cafe. With all the ambiance you'd hope for it's dark brooding trotsky atmosphere. It feels like a saloon with paintings by struggling artists. Who couldn't afford to pay for their coffee. Chalkboard menu well-worn velvet couches and international selection of newspapers. And a phone. that rings for regulars. Now slowly make your way back to the grubbing along the way browse bit on. Dora tare gaza as rick. Explains a little more about vienna cuisine wherever you end up eating try. Some of vienna's signature dishes. Venus nitzan named of course for this city wien. It's on every menu. It's a veal cutlet. Breaded and fried though pork is also common. These days goulashes. Beef stews spiced with onion and paprika. It's a traditional shepherd dish from hungary a former habsburg land another meet specialty is tough bits boiled beef for side dishes. There's plenty of starch. Potatoes noodles rice. Austrians do enjoy good salads. And if you're here in early summer there's one fresh grown delicacy. You've gotta try chicago white asparagus for dessert. The viennese classic is of course soccer tort. But there's also at full strudel the local apple pie toppin. Strudel is wafer thin strudel pastry filled with sweet cheese and raisins. austria's best known wines are white since the best wines are from small wineries and not exported. There aren't many names. We'd recognize but the quality rivals. French and italian whites white wine and german is vice. Fine you can order it. Sweet seuss dry token or medium hob truckin prost. That means cheers and wish someone happy. Eating offer a cheery gooden apetite. Now you've got me hungry. Don't worry there's a place to buy a picnic just ahead and the famous chocolate door just after that. Now you're tacking once you're back on the robin head for the big column in the middle of the street. The holy trinity plague column this extravagantly blobby monument is a sixty foot pillar of cloud. Sprouting angels and cherubs at the top is the wonderfully gilded trinity father son and holy ghost all are protected by an anti pigeon. Net in sixteen seventy nine. Vienna was hit by a devastating epidemic. The boo panic plague around seventy five thousand viennese died about a third of the city. Emperor leopold the. I dropped to his knees. Something emperors never did in public and begged god to save. The city finally pulled about a quarter of the way up the monument just above the brown banner is he the one with the under bite. Yes that was a product of the typical inbreeding of royal families. Leopold's prayer was heard by lady faith. She's the statue below. Leopold carrying the cross with the help of a heartless little cupid. She tosses an old naked woman symbolizing the plague into the abyss saving the city in gratitude. Leopold vowed to erect this monument. It became a model for other cities ravaged by the same plague. Continue west down the grubbing thirty yards past. The plague monument looked down the short street to the right. The street frames broke church with a stately green. Dome saint peter's church whether or not you actually visit the church right now. it's worth pointing out. Its interior shows up at its baroque best. After the plague of sixteen seventy nine leopold also ordered this church to be built as another thanks to god. Saint peter's stands on the site of a much older church. That may have been vienna's i inside. It's the full baroque multi-media package. The nave is oval shaped. It's all done in a rose and gold color scheme and topped with bombastic ceiling fresco. Throw in the ornate oregon the altar painting and the exuberantly carved pulpit and it all comes together in an overwhelming experience to add music to the package. Be there during one of its free organ concerts. Generally at three o'clock or eight pm on weekends. You can check the posted schedule. Continue west a few steps on the grubbing in the center. You'll find some stairs leading underground to to public restrooms. Public toilets in about nineteen hundred local chemical maker. Needed a publicity stunt. He wanted to prove to the masses. His chemicals really got things clean so he bought to wine cellars under the grab and and had them into classy. Wc's he hired a cutting edge architect named adolf lohse more on him later. Who refurbished them in state of the art modernist style while the original chandeliers are now gone. You can still see the finely crafted mahogany. The restrooms remain relatively appealing place. To do your business in fact. They're so inviting that they've been used for poetry readings. It cost a little to go inside there. you'll see both locals and lookie loos looking at these lose by los. You're losing a continue on the grab a bit more to where it dead ends there. You'll find a store called euless. Minal omg robin since eighteen sixty two this pushed supermarket has been selling top end deli products with all the gourmet fancies. It's a great place to assemble a picnic. There's also a cafe with light meals and great outdoor seating or visit the takeout counter there are good benches nearby for people watching while you munch from yulia smile turn left in. The distance is the big green and gold. Dome of the hochberg where we'll end this. Walk the street leading up to the hoff. Berg is cole marked call marked. This vienna's most elegant in unaffordable shopping street. There's cartier giora. Money gucci tiffany and the emperor's palace at the end as you stroll up call marked start daydreaming about chocolate soon. You'll reach the ultimate viennese chocolate shop. Demo it's on the right ogle the edible displays in the window. They change monthly reflecting current happenings in vienna. Then step inside. The room is filled with art. Nouveau boxes of choco dreams come true candied violet. Pedals cousins yuban cats tongues. And so on you might see items adorned with the portrait of empress sisi. Some ad agency is convinced. Vienna to make the enigmatic nineteenth century queen an advertising icon. You'll see images of her all over town. Some people are fascinated by her good looks her tiny waistline and obsessions with dieting. They're drawn to her horribly. Tragic life forced by circumstance to be a rich and pampered ruler. A kind of nineteenth century princess di cc. You'll learn ordered her chocolates from demo. There's also an impressive. Cancan of vienna's most beloved cakes. The cakes here are moist compared to the dryer soccer torts. You can sit inside with a view of the cake making or outside with the street action shops like this. An emblem with two ks. Good enough for the kernigan owned kaiser king and emperor. It's the same guy if you happen to be here at exactly seven. Oh one in the evening just after closing. You can witness one of the great tragedies of modern europe the daily dumping of demos unsold cakes that is tragic call marked ends at the square called michaela plots michaela plants. The square is dominated by the hockberg palace. This is the main entrance to a sprawling complex of buildings. once the home of the habsburgs. It's now filled with great museums. Steady the grand. Neil rococo facade dating from about nineteen hundred. The four heroic giants are all of hercules wrestling with his great challenges. Emperor franz joseph who commissioned the gate felt he could relate in the center of the square a scant bit of roman van. Allies exposed just beneath street level. Now do a slow clockwise pan to get your bearings facing the huff. Berg start to your left with the church over your left shoulder. Saint michael's church offers fascinating tours of its crypt to the right of saint. Michael's is the fancy loden plunk shop. They sell traditional austrian form aware including dirndls further to the right across augustine. Strada is a wing of the huff. Berg palace this house is the spanish riding school. it's famous white. Lipizzaner stallions give choreographed performances for the public. Now look further down augustina. There you'll find the augustinian church or habsburg weddings took place further. Still is the doro. Tam auction house. It's like an austrian sotheby's where rich people bid for exquisite art objects at the far end of the street are albertina plots and the upper house where we started this walk. Continue your spin to the right. There's the hot brick facade again then. Two buildings to the right of the hockberg is a more modern building now a bank. It's known as the los house designed by a low around the year nineteen hundred. It's facade is a perfectly geometrical grid of square columns and windows. Decoration is a crime wrote los. He hated the popular style of fake. Greek columns faked roman doldrums and statues of gods los stripped buildings down to their structural skeleton inspired by the american architect. His contemporary frank. Lloyd wright loest built this vienna's first modernist building its footprint forms a trapezoid making no attempt to hide the awkwardly shaped street corner. It's placed on the windows. Lack the customary decoration framing the top. So it sometimes called the house without eyebrows. Compare it with the hof burke just opposite. They seem to be from entirely different ages. But the ornate huffed berg and the barebones most house are from the same generation roughly the year nineteen hundred this jarring juxtaposition represents a showdown between the old world. And the new by nine thousand nine hundred emperor. Franz joseph was nearing the end of his sixty eight year reign he decorated his palace in a style recalling. Great empires of old the statues of hercules half man half god symbolized his own semi divine status mortal but ordained by god to rule. Los responded with his starkly different house across the street. Boring as the los house might seem today in its time. It was revolutionary from his front door. The emperor had to look at the modern world scaring him in the face. The emperor was angered by the lack of decor los relented only slightly by putting up the ten flower boxes beneath the windows but a few flowers couldn't disguise. The fact that the notion of divine monarchy was sharing vienna now with new ideas. Stalin hitler trotsky and freud all rattling around vienna. Women were smoking riding bikes and demanding the vote it was a tumultuous time ripe with change by nineteen eighteen. The habsburgs would be history. We'll finish up our tour where austria's imperial history began at the hockberg enter the palace through the main gate and pause beneath the rotunda. This complex of palaces is where the habsburg family lived except in summer when they stayed at the schoenbrunn palace a few miles outside the city today. The hochberg is home to several fascinating museums. Stand under the rotunda and get oriented. The doorway on the right is the entrance to the imperial apartments. Here's where the habsburg emperors once lived in chandeliered elegance today you can tour the lavish rooms. There's also a museum. On empress sisi the wife of emperor franz-josef you'll learn about her narcissism and struggles with royal life about her dieting mania and chocolate bills. And you'll learn about her assassination by an italian anarchist on the left side of the rotunda. Is the ticket office for the spanish riding school. And they're dancing lipizzaner stallions by the way. Why is the rotunda covered with nets with free audio guide. I guess you get what you pay for now. Continue on straight ahead. You emerge from the rotunda into the main courtyard of the hochberg. The centerpiece of this square called in der berg is a caesar statue of emperor. Franz the second he ruled in the early eighteen. Hundreds during vienna's heyday. Franz was the grandson of maria theresa the grandfather franz-josef and the father-in-law of napoleon imagine the christmas dinner behind. The statue is at tower with three kinds of clocks. The disc shows phase of the moon tonight to the right of franz. The second are the imperial apartments end to left or the offices of austria's current president. The role of the president here is largely ceremonial the more powerful chancellor lives in a building just beyond this courtyard the statue of franz the second faces the oldest part of the palace so turn around one hundred and eighty degrees and find the colorful red black and gold gateway marched through the gate. It used to have a drawbridge over remote as you cross. You enter the next courtyard. Which is the oldest part of the palace. This is where the original fortress here was first built. Here you'll find one of the hof berg's best sites the treasury or shuts comer. It's an on. Spiring collection of massive jewels sparkling crowns and other habsburg bling highlights include the crown of the holy roman empire charlemagne sabre and a unicorn also nearby as the imperial music chapel. Where masses song by the vienna. Boys choir. retrace your steps backtrack through the gate over the moat and back into the courtyard with the statue of franz the second when you reach their face franz and turn left pass through the tunnel. The tunnel has a handicap fe for cheap smack. Finally the tunnel spills out into a spacious area known as heldenplatz heldenplatz and beyond held plots or heroes square captures both the grandeur of the habsburgs and their demise on the left is the impressive curved facade of the new palace this vast wing was built in the early nineteen hundreds to be the new habsburg living quarters they were hoping to build a matching wing facing but in nineteen fourteen these optimistic plans changed drastically and france joseph's nephew and heir the archduke franz ferdinand was assassinated his death sparked world war one and the eventual of seven centuries of habsburg rule in nineteen thirty eight. When adolf hitler returned to vienna in triumph from he came here to the huff berg he stood on the new palace balcony and addressed his adoring throngs right here in heroes square. The building now houses the new palace museums. It's an eclectic collection from medieval armor ancient. Greek statues the rare collection of musical instruments has violence and keyboards played by beethoven mozart and others in hilden dot stand to avoid statues celebrating austrian war heroes prince eugene of savoy battled the ottoman turks and archduke charles battled napoleon follow. Eugene's gaze in the distance are prickly spires of the anna's hall. Several notch sites are nearby though they're not visible from here. The bird garden lies just behind the new palace. That's the lovely park with a much photographed. Mozart statue now. Locate the greek columns passageway. If you went through there you'd reach. The ringstrasse across the street are twin museums. The kunsthistorisches museum is one of europe's great art galleries showing off the vast habsburg collection. It has everything from italian. Renaissance to rembrandt portrait's to a tiny gem by vermeer the highlight for many is the world's best collection of peterborough eagle. The norman rockwell of the sixteenth century. Next door is the natural history museum. It has twenty million exhibits from meteorites to dinosaur skeletons. The star is a twenty five thousand year old statue of a voluptuous naked woman that venus of villain dorf but enough of museums. Even if you can't tell a habsburg from a huff berg. Vienna is a joy. Have a picnic in a park nurse a pastry and a coffee over a daily paper at a small cafe. Catch a classical music concert joy reid on a tram the city is eminently livable. The some of its luxurious past. Our walk is finished. You're in the heart of viennese sightseeing from the opera to the huff berg from chocolates to churches from saint stephen's to sucker towards the anna waits for you. We hope you've enjoyed our walk through vienna. Thanks to jeanne openshaw. The co author of this tour. If you're up for more sightseeing we have audio guides. Saint stephen's cathedral and a ring. Stresa tram tour remember. This tour was excerpted. From rick. steves. Vienna guidebook for more details on eating sleeping and sightseeing in vienna referred to the most recent edition of that guidebook for more free audio tours and podcasts and for information about our guidebooks tv shows bus tours and travel gear visit our website at rick. Steves dot com. This tour was produced by cedar house. Audio productions thanks outfitters and goodbye for now.

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