ROHILAS IN EUROPE-XV (Final)
September 27-October 14, 2007
Sometime after leaving Maribor, Slovenia, we took a toll highway to our final destination, Vienna, Austria.
Close to our destination we went over a suspension bridge across the Blue Danube River to enter
We reached Nh Danube City, our hotel in Vienna, late in the afternoon. After freshening up, I went out exploring the area around the hotel, located in the city’s newest districts city across the Danube River.
Next morning we started our guided tour of Vienna.
Vienna has been a capital for a very long time. It was the capital of the Austrian Empire in 1804, of the enlarged Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867, of the First Austrian Republic in 1918, and of the German Empire after Adolf Hitler’s triumphant entry here in 1938. It again became capital of Austria, following its fall to the Soviets.
Now with a population of 1.7 million, Vienna is the largest city of Austria. Also it is the country’s political, economic and cultural capital.
Until the abdication of Charles I of Austria, it continued to the imperial summer residence, except during the life of Franz Josef of Austria, who spent most of his life - since his birth till his death in 1916 – in this palace. In 1996, the Palace and the Garden got listed as UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage Site.
We posed for a group picture in front of the Palace. Roman, our Tour Directors, patiently photographed with the cameras of each one of us.
Then we were ready for an escorted tour of some of the rooms of the Palace. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the Palace.
The Palace has a vast complex of gardens. The sculpted garden behind the Palace is the most popular of all.
This garden extends to the Neptune Well.
Since we had seen some of them on a previous trip, we limited ourselves to a few of them. Some from our group went for a tour of the Imperial Treasury, which has on display the imperial crowns, regal robes, crown jewels, and other treasures.
The exterior of the Austrian Parliament, especially the statue and fountain of Athena were designed by Baron Hansen in the neo-Greek style, as homage to ancient Greece as the cradle of democracy.
Almost completely destroyed in the World War II, the State Opera House was rebuilt, and reopened in 1955.
The Jesuit Church, also known as the University Church, is located near the old University of Vienna buildings. It was originally built between 1623 and 1627. In 1703, twin towers were added, the façade was reworked and the church was rededicated to Assumption of Mary.
Built of limestone, the church is 445-ft high. Discolored by soot and air pollution, it is now being restored to its original white. Its colorful, ornate roof is covered by 230,000 glazed tiles.
Between the State Opera House and Stephansdom is the city’s main pedestrian shopping area.
There are many other rides also.
We were greeted with a welcome sign and a red carpet.
Inside the restaurant was decorated with hodgepodge of many things as well as photographs of many dignitaries. Walls of the men’s restroom were covered with pictures of various beauties. But I liked the one below of some boys at a pissing contest.