Tag Archive: Schönbrunn


Until Next Time

Our second to last day in Vienna was spent at a number of exciting places. We started our day at the famous Schönbrunn, which was covered in snow and also holiday cheer. The Christmas market there is one of my favorite. I think the trinkets they sell are the best I’ve seen and the food is delicious. We all shared some potato soup as well as crepes, chocolate waffles and I had some delicious hot chocolate. Never mind that by the end of our time there my feet had frozen off, it was well worth the pain.

One of the fountains in front of Schönbrunn. It was completely frozen.

Frozen Fountain Schönbrunn

I loved returning to Schönbrunn in the snow. I’ve been there through three seasons and I really can’t say which one I like better. If only I could see it in the spring, but I suppose I need to give myself a reason to return!

tunnel

Snow

Schönbrunn Covered in Snow

Empty Road

After warming up a little on the U-Bahn, we headed to Karlskirche. Outside is another Christmas market and also a small petting-zoo, placed where the fountain is in the summer. All the children were having fun jumping around with the goats and ponies.

Karlskirche

Despite having walked past Karlskirche every day, I’ve never actually been inside. Today that changed.

Inside was very different from what I expected. The domed ceiling is mostly covered by a large brown platform and off to the right is an elevator that takes people to the top of the platform. I’m surprised that they would put that inside the church, because it detracted from the overall feeling of the dome and also the beautiful paintings on the ceiling, but on the other hand it was fun to take an elevator up into the roof.

The Altar of Karlskirche

After exiting the elevator there are a flight of metal and woods stairs that can be climbed even further up the dome. As we climbed them, the stairs creaked and wiggled beneath stomping feet. I felt a little nervous about the entire structure, but it was pretty cool at the top, looking down.

stiarcase

Looking down into the church.

Looking Down

I had to show my family St. Stephen’s, so we walked down Kärtnerstraße and wandered around inside the church for a good while.

stephens

That night we went to the Musikverein and saw the Rotterdam Philharmonic perform in the Golden Room. We were towards the back of the room, but seeing the entire stage and audience set out before us was pretty awesome.

The Golden Room: Musikverein

The following day we set out to find the Kirche am Steinhof, which is a church built by Otto Wagner. It’s a popular place to go for Art Nouveau lovers, but it’s not on the map of the city and the actual road to the church could be considered something of a trek.

The effort and time to travel there was well spent. In the white snow, the golden roof was amazing. We were the only people there, which was nice and we even explored the forest behind the church, which seemed to be a park.

Kirche Am Steinhof

Even though I must leave Vienna behind physically, I’ll always remember the amazing time I spent there. The city and the people I met really changed who I am and opened my eyes to new possibilities. I know that I’ll never truly leave Vienna and its culture behind. Even as I sat on a plane destined for the international airport in Paris, I never really felt sad about leaving and I think that’s because I know I’ll return someday. I haven’t seen Vienna for the last time. Someday, I’ll be walking down Kärtnerstraße again, peeking through shop windows, or strolling along the Danube admiring the new graffiti, or sitting outside the Opera and eating a warm meal from one of the food vendors. It’s hard to say goodbye, but it was easy to say, until next time, Vienna.

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Winter Lights

Christmas is just around the corner, which means that the lights go up (as well as the electricity bill) in all the homes and around the city. Over the past few weeks the busy streets of Vienna have started to sparkle. The Christmas markets, called Weihnachtsmarktes in German have also popped up everywhere.

The lights on Kärtnerstraße heading away from the center of the city.

Kärtnerstraße2

Kärtnerstraße

Lights on Kärtnerstraße heading towards the Opera House. This is one of the popular shopping streets.

Shopping

A random street.

I like these the most. It looks like it is raining light.

Snowing Lights

Schönbrunn has a Christmas market out front. Every night the building is lit as well as the Christmas tree in front. This is probably my favorite market so far. It’s touristy, but there aren’t too many people, plus the giant palace in the back just adds to the beauty.

Schönbrunn

Schönbrunn Christmas Tree

Chandeliers hang from the buildings along the Graben. Both Kärtnerstraße and the Graben were flocking with tourists and Christmas shoppers. It’s worth seeing the lights, but be prepared to do some ducking and dodging.

Graben

The Rathaus. Probably the most crowded place in Vienna at night. This is one of the bigger Christmas markets and it is always packed with people, to the point where it’s almost impossible to move between the Christmas stalls.

Rathaus

An ornament stall at the Rathaus. There are toys, candy, chocolate, ornaments, classic Austrian foods, and of course the famous Glühwein (mulled wine) and punsch (flavored schnapps)!

Ornament Stall

Lights

St. Stephen’s

St. Stephen's

A giant Christmas tree of lights by Schottenring.

X-mas Tree

Even the grocery stores are covered with lights!

Billa

Fall is one of my favorite times. Fall means family and friend time, pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, sitting by the fire and watching movies. Outside it means that the leaves are changing and the trees are at their most beautiful.

When I woke up in the morning it was raining and really not the best day to walk around outside, but the weather will probably only get worse, so it was off to Schönbrunn! Annika and Nick accompanied me this time.

When we arrived, the palace was almost completely deserted and it started to pour, but overall it was a wonderful walk in the gardens.

Later that day Annika and I went shoe shopping and found a great deal, then we all went out to see a movie.

On the way back to my house the rain was coming down hard and it stung my face like sleet. Everyone says it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, so we’ll see!

EDIT: 11/7/12

It did snow the next few days, mostly outside of the center of the city, but I did get to see a few flakes as I was walking to class.

The little snow remaining by the Opera House.

Day 29: Belvedere

It was a very nice Friday, so we decided to go and visit the Belvedere gardens. The gardens consist of two palaces, which were Prince Eugene of Savoy’s summer residence, the Orangery, and the stables. Inside the Belvedere there is also a museum hosting work from Gustav Klimt.

We were able to walk around the gardens and see both the palaces, one which is on top of the hill overlooking Vienna and the other at the bottom of the garden.

While we were walking around we couldn’t help but compare the castle to Schönbrunn, and we all decided that we had become palace snobs. So far nothing I’ve seen has come very close to Schönbrunn in terms of the expansive garden and giant palace.

Don’t get me wrong though, Belvedere was huge too and I wouldn’t complain if that was my summer residence.

The gates to the upper Belvedere palace.

This was only the very front garden, behind the building is a much larger garden.

Front of the palace

As soon as we rounded the corner of the upper palace we encountered two sentries. The garden itself provided a spectacular view of the city.

Whenever I see a sphinx I think of The Neverending Story. 

Mermaid fountain with the Lower Belvedere in the background.

The upper palace from further into the garden.

I did think that the flowers were more impressive than the ones at Schönbrunn. Belvedere had some really beautiful flowers that grew a little more wild and colorful, which I think is a good thing when it comes to flowers.