The Sights in Vienna
Trip Start May 07, 2012
14Trip End May 16, 2012
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Our walk to the city center was more of the same as yesterday. Block after block of incredible architecture and sculpture
We started the tour proper downtown with a stop at the Imperial Palace. We visited the summer palace Schoenbrunn on our first day here. This is just as impressive. You can see it for blocks before you actually get to it. There is gold gilding everywhere. The Hapsburg dynasty ruled this country for over 600 years, and the architecture and sculptures constantly refer to their greatness. As the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, there are sculptures everywhere of them in Roman garb, so as to link themselves with the ancient rulers. The palace was built in various phases, with the first phase started in the 14th century and the last phase finished just before the Hapsburg's abdicated after World War I. In front of the palace is an excavation of some ancient walls when the Romans used Vienna as their front lines of defense against the German tribes during the first centuries AD. They discovered them when digging for the subway lines now running through Vienna. Just next to the palace is the building that a young Joseph Haydn lived in while scraping together a living and teaching himself composition
from Fux's "Gradus."
We traveled from the Imperial Palace to the Stephansdom
After the performance we had dinner with our host choir, Chor Weidling. It was my first time having schnitzel. Dinner was great and the company was fantastic. We sang Mozart's "Ave verum" together and an ad hoc version of "Ride the Chariot." It was a real cultural exchange, even though our German was rough and their English was as well. The quote of the night was after a less than stellar performance by Chor Weidling, their director Helmut Kunzel and Dr. Burleson looked at each other and said, in unison, "too much wine." It became a catch phrase for the rest of the trip.
At the end of the day, we felt that we had squeezed two days of activities into one. Tired and content, we headed back to the hotel.