Vienna, Austria is largely famous for the list of classical composers and musicians that once lived there. With such a romantic and baroque setting, it’s not difficult to imagine Mozart, Strauss, Brahms and Beethoven walking along the streets of Vienna and finding inspiration for their masterpieces at every turn and corner.
Since its simple beginnings as a Celtic settlement on the banks of Danube, Vienna has continued to grow and prosper. From becoming one of the most important European bases of the Roman empire to withstanding effects of World War II, Austria’s capital city has certainly come a long way. Its rich, cultural heritage continues to live in every coffee house, museum and street today.
Visitors from all over the world will surely relish in Vienna’s old world charm. The Hofburg Palace, also known as the Imperial Palace, served as the home of the Austrian Hapsburgs for 600 years. Its first architectural fortifications were erected in the 13th century and since then has evolved to become the monument it is today. The Hofburg Palace currently houses the president’s offices, 22 separate museums, the National Library, a 14th century Augustinian church, the famous Spanish Riding School and the Royal Chapel. To visit the palace alone is already a purpose worthy of a trip to Vienna!
Out of the 22 museums, the most famous would be the Kaiserappartements. It’s a little tongue twister right there but this museum will take visitors on a tour of the Kaiser’s imperial apartments (The Holy Roman Emperors used to call themselves Kaiser. This was where the Austrian-Hungarian rulers adopted the name).
“The Spanish Riding School of Vienna is the oldest and last riding school in the whole world where classic dressage is still practiced in its purest form.”
This alone tells you how much culture has been preserved in Vienna. Performances only take place between February and June, September and December but tickets are in such high demand that tickets are booked months in advance! However, visitors can still watch the horses train and can buy tickets only at the door.
One of Vienna’s most recognizable attractions is the Giant Wheel. This is located in Prater Park and was built in 1897 and is the only one of its era still standing. A ride in this wheel will take you to amazing heights and offer you an incomparable view of the lovely city.
Another thing about Vienna is their love of balls. Think Jane Austen novels. After all, it is the only city in the world where balls still dominate the social calendar during the winter season. The official ball season offers about 300 public balls that cater to every social status so anyone can join in on the fun.
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