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Vienna, Wien

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Think of Vienna and think of music ! The capital city of Austria, standing on both banks of the winding River Danube, was the birthplace of Schubert and Johann Strauss; you can see a gilded statue of Strauss in City Park. Beethoven lived in Vienna for a time, and Mozart, Haydn, Brahms and Mahler all worked and performed there. In the present day the world famous Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Vienna Philharmonic and the State Opera House keep the musical tradition alive. It is claimed that there are 15,000 classical music performances in Vienna each year, attended by 10,000 people a night.
Perhaps one of the most convenient and cheap ways to hear live music is to visit one of the numerous coffee shops that offer classical music as an added attraction. On the other hand, if you do not want to pay 10 to 240 euros for an opera ticket (and by the way 10 euro seats may have limited or no view!), you could take a guided tour in the daytime, including standing on the famous stage.
Vienna has warm summers and cold winters, with snow possible from December to March; Spring and Autumn are mild. But there is no need to restrict your visit to the summer months: from mid November Vienna is full of Christmas markets in romantic squares – I counted at least 9, selling traditional food, crafts and Christmas gifts.

The 12th century St Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) is well worth a visit at any time of year. A mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, it opens from 06.00 to 20.00, and there are guided tours every day.
One of the world’s great art collections is to be found in the Kunsthistoriches Museum on Ringstrasse. It displays many famous old masters, including a large number of valuable Flemish paintings. The museum, which also houses Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, among other treasures, opens 10.00 – 18.00 (except Mondays), entrance fee 12 euros.

Many of the interesting sights for tourists lie in the old town, also called the ‘inner town’ (Innere Stadt). These streets are rich in Baroque architecture, and the Ringstrasse, which follows the old city walls, is lined with magnificent 19th century buildings. In the street called Graben you can see one of Vienna’s best-known landmarks, the elaborate plague monument celebrating the end of the last big plague in 1679. For something different, try the Hoher Markt clock, also in the inner town. Every hour on the hour a different golden historic figure appears as music plays. If you can be there at noon you will see all 12 figures lined up in a row.
The Imperial Palace (Hofburg) was the centre of the Habsburg Empire for centuries. You can visit the imperial apartments, and gain an insight into the lives of the Empress and her children in the Sisi Museum. (Open every day including public holidays.) The Crown Jewels are also on view, but you will need to allow for more than one visit to see everything.

In 2012 a worldwide survey ranked Vienna 2nd out of 140 world cities as a great place to live. (In case you are wondering, the No. 1 city was Melbourne.) 5 million tourists a year visit the World Capital of Music, and it is the number one destination for conferences and international conventions. Surely so many people can’t be wrong? 

a13_wien.jpg (256987 Byte) Riesenrad, Giant Ferries Wheel, Prater, Vienna, Austria a29_wien_stephan.jpg (179171 Byte) Stephansdom, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Wien, Vienna a19_wien.jpg (154846 Byte) Hofburg, Imperial palace, Vienna, free pictures a22_wien.jpg (208915 Byte) burgtheater,  Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenauer, Burgtheater,free pics
a24_wien_mozart.jpg (265068 Byte) Mozart, Wien, Denkmal a20_wien.jpg (144149 Byte) Kunsthistorisches Museum, Museum of fine Arts, Vienna, Wien, pictures a28_wien_haas.jpg (178090 Byte) Haashaus, Wien a21_wien.jpg (137859 Byte) Parlament, Parliament, Vienna, Wien
a26_wien_opera.jpg (188152 Byte) Oper, State Opera House, Vienna, Wien, pictures a11_wien.jpg (183319 Byte) Secession, vienna, wien, gratisbilder a23_wien.jpg (172816 Byte) upper belvedere palace, Schloss Belvedere, Wien
a31_wien_graben.jpg (213328 Byte) Graben, Pestsäule, Österreich a14_wien.jpg (225346 Byte) Vienna, view from giant ferries wheel; Wien, vom Riesenrad aus a32_wien_hofburg.jpg (168823 Byte) Hofburg, Wien a27_wien_kaerntner.jpg (204041 Byte) Kärtntnerstrasse, vienna, Wien, Österreich
           
a38_wien_karlskirche.jpg (125320 Byte) Karlskirche, Church of St. Charles Borromeo, vienna, wien, free photo gallery a34_wien_strauss.jpg (238086 Byte) Johann Strauss memorial, Vienna, Wien a30_wien_mozarthaus.jpg (165568 Byte) Mozarthaus, Wien, Austria a39_wien.jpg (135499 Byte) Otto Wagner, Stadtbahn-Pavillon, Wien
a25_wien_hundertwasser.jpg (173033 Byte) Hundertwasserhaus, hunderwasser house,  austria, oesterreich, images, bilder, fotos a40_wien_donaukanal.jpg (202478 Byte) Donaukanal, Wien, Österreich a43_wien_rathaus.jpg (335175 Byte) Rathaus, City Hall, Wien, picture, fotos, bilder a12_wien.jpg (203528 Byte) UNO City, Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Wien, Austria, photoss
a35_wien_schoenbrunn.jpg (224150 Byte) palace  Schönbrunn, schloss schoenbrunn, Wien, Vienna, photos a37_wien_gloriette.jpg (125962 Byte) Gloriette, Schloss Schönbrunn, Wien, free photo gallery a36_wien.jpg (146074 Byte) Palmenhaus, palm house, Schloss Schönbrunn, Wien a55_wien.jpg (143069 Byte) danube tower, donauturm; image gallery

 

               
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