OK – time to walk around an explore Vienna. We are at a great historic hotel Bristol in the old city center.
People love to walk around and in the city center, to promote LGBT awareness and acceptance, the street lights have all different mixes of people and genders happily walked together in love. Love and comfort is definitely the culture of this city.
Steps away from the shopping district and Opera house. We can even hear the opera playing if we open the window in our room without paying 250 euros. Last night was the 5.5 hour Wagner’s Lohengrin 🙂
The shopping district is definitely a tourist area. It is like the Austrian version of NYC Times Square. You can buy anything. Swiss watches, expensive clothes, even your favorite mocked up AK-47 that you could walk out in 2 minutes and carry in the street.
OK – lets talk music. Vienna is also where Mozart lived and worked and not just Salzburg. He loved gambling and card games and that is why he never had money. He died young and it is not clear why he died.
Vienna is also full of many sites of destruction and WWII history when annexed by Hitler. Heldenplatz, the Square of Heroes is where Anschluss occurred.
28% of Vienna was destroyed in the war. You can see in the distance, one of the 6 “flak towers” that still remain in Vienna. “In the still of the night”. They were built by the Nazis for mounted anti aircraft guns during WWII. They still remain because they were built heavily re-inforced concrete which is too hard to demolish with destroying surrounding buildings. This one hosts the ocean Museum.
We walked over and spent a little time at the Art History Museum – also known as the fine arts museum.
It is really big and quite amazing to see the wealth and opulence of the Hapsburg dynasty.
I will call out one interesting piece. This is one painting that is full of controversy. It was one of the first paintings purchased by Adolf Hitler for the planned Fuhrer museum. The museum was never created, but the paintings were stored in the Salzburg salt mines during the war and this is one of the paintings recovered Monument Men as depicted in the movie with that title. It is titled the “Art of Painting” by Johannes Vermeer who is the same artist and same subject as the girl with the pearl earring. It has not been in the museum very often because it is travelling so much. But it is staying in the museum because the original family keeps suing to get the painting back.
We talked a bit to our guide about the immigration status from an Austrian perspective. So far, 90,000 refugees have come to Austria and in Vienna 25,000 have settled. She said that many did not stay, even though they are welcome…they want to go based on the Internet rumors that they will be given free homes, social security, etc. in Germany and Sweden.
OK – back to the walking tour. Everything in Vienna is about the Hapsburgs. Palaces, homes, gardens, libraries, green houses, discos, you name it. The national library looks quite interesting. May have to check it out tomorrow.
We spent the afternoon checking out the palace and gardens. And snacking on a little local schnitzel and strudel of course. The Austrian strudel is definitely different from the German strudel.
It was interesting to learn that Napoleon had married into the Hapsburgs and also lived here in the summer of palace. Learn something new every day…
OK, this entry is long enough, will post more tomorrow. Stay tuned to this channel!