Felt a little sore when I got out of bed this morning. Gee, how far did I walk yesterday? 20,590 steps – no wonder I’m a little sore. But soon walked it out and was good to go for today.
Thought about starting off today’s adventure with a tour of the Hofburg Palace and the royal treasury.
After getting ready and having a little breakfast, I walked toward the Hofburg. On the way, went Volksgarten, which is part of the Hofburg Palace. When entering the park I saw rows of rose bushes, each with a label. Reminded me of Portland’s Rose Garden.
Walked around the palace grounds a little to get my bearings. It is so vast. I took a picture of a display that shows the overall layout of palace complex.
A couple of picture outside of the palace where the staterooms are located.
Found the palace ticket office and purchased a ticket for today’s tour of this palace and the ticket is also good for a tour of the “summer palace” (Schonbrunn) which I’ll see tomorrow.
The first part of the palace tour was an exhibit of the silver collection. Actually more than just silver, but all of the items used to serve meals in the palace over the years. Some of the pieces were added to the collection as the empire acquired new territories. An amazing accumulation of wealth that I’m sure impressed many dinner guests. The whole exhibit took several rooms to display.
Next was the Sisi Museum – a collection based on Empress Elizabeth, the wife of Franz Josef 1 of Austria who she married when she was 16. She was very popular and admired by many. “Sisi” was her nickname.
From there, the tour went through the state rooms of the palace. Think there were about 20 rooms as part of this tour.
The ticket office posted a notice saying it would take about 3 hours to tour these exhibits. I was done in less than an hour. As a side note, the family I spoke with yesterday agreed that the more museums and palaces you see, the more it becomes repetitious. For me, it stirs an interest in doing further research.
The last part of the palace I wanted to see was the Treasury. This is where the crowns and jewelry are kept – and many other items as well. Of course, there is the crown of the empire (pictured below).
One exhibit in the Treasury was the one showcasing an interesting collection of biblical items – sacred items from the Holy Roman Empire: the tooth of John the Baptist; a piece of tablecloth from the last supper; and a part of Jesus’ manger. (Following the picture is another picture showing the labels for each item.)
After leaving the palace, I wanted to try “Cafe Central” a long-standing venue for Viennese cuisine with links to Freud and Trotsky. I saw the line and decided to have my coffee and cake somewhere else – maybe some other time Cafe Central.
Paddington Bear and I thought Cafe Diglas, another long-standing establishment would serve us well.
The cake, a Sachertote, was amazingly good. Really a simple (not too sweet) chocolate cake with a thin layer of apicot jam. It went very well with a double shot of espresso.
I walked out the door of Cafe Diglas and saw a church a few blocks away – so I walked over and went inside. The outside was under renovation. I learned that I was now in The Votive Church (Votivkirche). It was dedicated in 1879, the year my Grandfather Marsh was born (and I used that year as part of my email address). The inside was very grand with many large stained glass windows. I took pictures, but the colors that I saw were much more vibrant than the pictures. Picture of the church from the outside can be found here.
When I returned to my room I decided to hear more music this evening. After checking to see what was available, it looked like a performance by a quartet playing in a nearby church would be a good place to be this evening.
The venue was St. Anne’s Church (Annakirche) and has been at that location since 1320. The inside was filled with many gold figures along with Corinthian pillars and three beautiful ceiling frescos and a high alter painting. For a moment, being in this amazing place, I forgot that I was there for a performance.
The quartet, the Lercenfeld Quartet, was comprised of the usual two violins, a viola, and a cello.
Mozart: KV 458 “The Hunt”
I Allegro vivace assai
II Minuetto trio. Moderato
IV Allegro assai
Beethoven: Op. 59 N. 3 “Rasumovsky”
I Andante con moto-Allegro vivace
II Andante con moto quasi Allegretto
III / IV Minuetto. Grazioso / Allegro molto
And one encore per the request of the audience was given to us. And I was very happy with my music selection this evening. Even better, I didn’t get rained on walking back to the hotel.
When I returned to the hotel, I noticed a new centerpiece as I walked in the main door. Nice way to be greeted.
Was a little hungry after I got into my room, so I asked room service to bring me some chili. Wanted to see what Viennese Chili would look and taste like. Was very good! (Very few beans, loads of ground beef, and some corn.)