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City of Music
Another composition is what you could call this page. Although it cannot compete with music themes that please the ear and the heart. Vienna got a worldwide reputation not just for good coffee but especially as the city of music. We look back and we look up to unforgotten pieces of classical music of a number of famous composers residing in the city and enriching our cultural heritage with their symphonies, masses, waltzes and operas.
Zahnwehherrgott a.k.a. Toothache Savior (c) omeidl
City landmark: St.Stephen's Cathedral, in short "Steffl"
Former home of Stalin, Schoenbrunner Street
Horse and buggy in front of the National Library
Golden Strauss statue in the City Park
View from the Gloriette at Schoenbrunn Palace
View from Kahlenberg over the Danube River, flanked by Millenium Tower and the U.N.
St. Charles Church
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whiz-kid from Salzburg, will be forever remembered for giving us such dateless melodies as "A Little Night Music." In 1791 he wrote his own requiem mass, a commissioned work for an undisclosed requestor, which was to become his final composition. A typical Austrian fate, he died in poverty and was buried in an unmarked mass grave at the St. Marx Cemetery in the third district of Vienna. Only after his death his musical genius was fully understood and celebrated ever since. In a way he was a "punk" of his time, as Falco put it in his hit-single "Rock me Amadeus," in today's world he is a locomotive to local tourist industry.
Getting used to big portions in the States as well as drinks with lots of ice cubes, we came up with the following comparison: America without ice is like China without a wall, or Austria without music. In a travel agency in Kuala Lumpur I would discover the advertising slogan "Waltz into Europe via Vienna." In the Vienna City Park there is a golden statue of composer Johann Strauss (the son), who was known as the "Waltz King." Going with the times, ever since the preservation of a handful of old tradition has been important to the Viennese citizens, such as the old city taxi ancestor  a horse carriage locally known as "Fiaker." One might just detect a number of horse and buggies waiting near the town's landmark, St. Stephen's Cathedral (depicted on every package of Manner wafers), or crossing the historically controversial Heroes' Square, hosting the Hofburg Castle with the National Library.
"Schoenbrunn Palace" was named after its "pretty fountain." The Gloriette uphill behind the castle offers a spectacular view over the West of Vienna. The castle served as the Habsburg kings' summer residence since times of 18th Century Empress Maria Theresia, who was not only known for having no less than sixteen children (our role model) but also was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions after successfully defending her succession rights against half of Europe. Schoenbrunn gives a new meaning to the old saying "My home is my castle." And how do you like the castle?
The Kahlenberg, literally the "Bald Mountain" (despite the fact that there are no American bald eagles around this part of the world), provides an amazing view over the part of Vienna that had been attracting settlements since Celtic and Roman times: The "blue" Danube river, a waterway where "East meets West." Finally, have you already seen Vienna by night, as Fendrich used to sing? Especially the nicely lit St. Charles Church...
Once in a while I am being asked for a (non comprehensive) list of sights I would recommend in the city of Vienna. Let me post one here to help my own memory the next time I am being asked...
  • Downtown/City Center: St.Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), St.Charles Church (Karlskirche), Hofburg Castle incl. Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer) and Nationl Library, Mozart statue in Hofburg Gardens, Ring Street Buildings incl. Opera House, Museum of Aret and Natural History (Statue of Empress Maria Theresa in between), Parliament, City Hall, University, Stock Market (Boerse), City Park (with golden Strauss statue), Belvedere Castle with National Gallery (Gustav Klimt's Painting "The Kiss").
  • At/Across the Danube River: Danube Tower (across from Millennium Tower shopping and office center), UNO City (same area), Kahlenberg Hill (view from Polish chapel down to Danube River), Danube Island (Restaurants near water).
  • In/Around the City: Schoenbrunn Castle (incl. Gloriette Cafe uphill behind castle), Prater Amusement Park (with Ferris Wheel and new Madame Tussauds Wax Cabinet), Central Cemetery (Beethoven, Strauss graves), St.Marx Cemetery (Mozart grave), Wine Tavern (Heuriger) in Grinzing, Nussdorf or Stammersdorf (Wine areas around Vienna) and much more..
The next page is all about enjoying some sunshine at the Lake Corner.
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