A Walking Tour of Vienna

The weekend before Spring Break began, Salzburg College took all of us on a weekend trip to Vienna in order to learn more about Austrian culture from the capital. Our first day there, we took a two-hour walking tour of the city following lunch at Vienna’s famous Naschmarkt, an open-air food market where you can find anything and everything.

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The entrance to the Vienna Naschmarkt.

We began our tour by walking around the Hofburg, the former imperial winter residence of the Habsburgs. Built up from the 13th century, it embodies numerous architectural styles. Today, it is used by the Austrian Federal President and houses a series of museums.

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A greenhouse that now houses a cafe and a butterfly garden.
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People reading and drinking coffee outside on the walls of the greenhouse.
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The interior courtyard with a statue dedicated to Emperor Francis II.
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A carriage riding in front of the President’s offices.

 

On the other side of the complex are some Roman ruins lying beneath the church of St. Michael. Also on this side of the palace is one of the old shopping streets, which houses the famous Demel pastry shop, and the Spanish Riding School.

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The simple church of St. Michael.
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The Roman ruins lying in the centre of the bustling city.

To complete our tour of the Habsburg history, we visited the Imperial Crypt which holds the bones of 145 Habsburg royalty. Located underneath the Capuchin Church and monastery, some of the dozen Capuchin friars continue their role as the guardians and caretakers of the crypt today; the most recent entombment was in 2011. Some of the most famous members buried here include Empress Maria Theresa, Archduke Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, and Emperor Franz Joseph.

 

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After leaving the crypt, we walked over to the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, our last stop, where we proceeded to climb the 343 spiraling steps up one of the towers to get a view over the city. The subsequent descent made me incredibly dizzy, but the sights were worth it.

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The outside of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, much of which was covered by images due to restoration work.
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One of the views from the tower overlooking Vienna.
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A view of Vienna over the tiled roof.

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2 thoughts on “A Walking Tour of Vienna

  1. Vienna looks quite impressive. I’ve read a little bit of Austrian history from the two tour books I have, and it will be amazing to see some of the historical sites in person. St. Stephens Cathedral is incredible. It was worth climbing the steps to the tower to get these great photographic overviews of the city. I know what you mean about the dizzying effect of descending spiral stairs, and 433 steps is a lot of stairs. It’s a little bit hard to believe I’ll be seeing Vienna up close and personal in 10 days!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been many years since I’ve visited Wien and I’m so looking forward to our excursion there next week! It’ll be great that you’ll be able to personally guide us to the main sights (though I wiil likely skip the 433 steps up & back down the tower). I think, however, a stop at Demel’s will be mandatory!

    Liked by 1 person

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