Vienna, Austria | September 22 to 24, 2017
Vienna is winning big right now. It has been voted the world's most livable city seven years in a row; is where snow globes and PEZ dispensers were invented; and was home to Sigmund Freud, the famous psychologist and Mozart, the famous composer. It is an immense city that is full of museums, churches, statutes, palaces and more! I spent a three day weekend there and let me tell you, I couldn't have had more fun.
My first stop was St. Stephen's Cathedral (Domkirche St. Stephan) to get a view of the city. I walked up what seemed as a never ending spiral staircase up the south tower of the cathedral, and once I got to the top, the ache of my legs and sweat on my forehead was suddenly worth it. I was able to see and feel the seduction of Austria's capital.
My next mission was to find a great museum. Before I get any further, here is a list of a few of the top museums in Vienna:
Top 5 Museums in Vienna:
- Kunsthistorisches Museum
- Natural History Museum
- Hofburg Vienna
- Haus der Musik
I decided to go the first on the list, the Kunsthistorisches Museum. It featured Greek and Roman antiquities, Bruegel, one of the most bizarre painters in history, and art from the Stone and Bronze Age. Even the museum building was a work of art! I thoroughly enjoyed this museum and spent hours wandering through the exhibits. I could have spent even more time there.
Inside, elaborate murals, engravings and columns line every inch of the museum. One of the best parts was the entrance, which is almost better than any exhibit it has to offer. It did, however, feature one of the most unique artists that ever lived. That was Pieter Breugel the Elder's The Tower of Babel. What a sight that was. If you are interested in art, check out Breugel's other works, as well as his son's art, Pieter Breugel the Younger.
Nestled between the Kunsthistorisches and National History museum is the Maria-Theresien-Platz, a magnificent statue of the square's namesake, the Empress Maria Theresa.
On the way to my next stop, the Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere), I came across a monument to Amadeus Mozart, the famous composer. The nearly 8 meter high statue sits in Burggarten and would make Mozart proud.
After being distracted by monuments and statutes, palaces and architectural wonders, I finally made it to Belvedere Palace. It is a magnificent structure, built in the 18th century and now houses art from the Middle Ages. In the photo below, you'll notice a strange house that doesn't seem to fit with the ambiance of the palace. That bizarre house is known as the "obese house" and was installed by Erwin Wurm as "a commentary on middle-class consumer culture". It is definitely odd, but added to the intrigue of the palace.
Alas, my trip to Vienna came to an end. I saw many more beautiful sights that are worth mentioning like Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn), the Burgtheater, the Ankeruhr, and Neue Burg.
- If you want a good view of the city, go to the south tower at St. Stephen's Cathedral (Domkirche St. Stephan). The other tower is more crowded and the view is essentially the same.
- Avoid a horse-and-carriage ride unless you absolutely have to do it. They are extremely pricey, and can be a bit smelly considering the bodily functions of the huge beasts who are hauling you around.