Vienna occupies a worthy place in the galaxy of brilliant European capitals. From the very beginning, in ancient times, the city experienced several architectural ascents, but it began to turn into a real masterpiece after the accession of the Hapsburg dynasty in the 13th century.
The life and work of the musical geniuses of Mozart, Schubert, Haydn is connected with Vienna. Here are the magnificent palaces of the Austrian emperors, the bells of the majestic cathedrals are ringing, real court balls are held.
For tourists, the capital of Austria is attractive all year round. In between sightseeing tours, they sit in cozy Viennese coffee shops, taste delicious Austrian sausages, enjoy fresh pastry baking at Kärntnerstrasse. And in the evenings they arrange promenades in the parks and admire the lighting of the promenade of the Danube.
What to see and where to go in Vienna?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and brief description.
1. Hofburg Palace
The palace is the former city residence of the imperial family and embodies the very spirit of the once great Austro-Hungarian Empire. The complex occupies a whole block: dozens of buildings, nineteen courtyards, two parks and countless indoor areas. Hofburg acquired its current look by 1913. Now on its territory are located museums, galleries, the national library and concert halls.
The summer residence of the Habsburgs, built in the pompous style of the Austrian baroque. The palace is surrounded by a huge landscaped park, especially the picturesque spring and early summer. It grows hundreds of species of flowers, shrubs, trees and exotic plants. 40 rooms and rooms of the residence are open for visits, where you can look at the imperial bedrooms, reception rooms, ballrooms.
Another pearl of the palace baroque style of the XVIII century. The palace complex is often called the “Versailles of Vienna” for its beauty. Belvedere belonged to the brilliant Austrian commander, Prince Eugene of Savoy. Now in the halls of the Lower and Upper Belvedere there is a museum complex of medieval art, the baroque period and impressive collections of paintings from different eras.
4. Vienna Opera
The symbol of Vienna Musical, one of the best opera houses in Europe. Here, at different times, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas and other great performers performed. Among the regular productions are works by Strauss, Mozart, Verdi and Ravel. The modern building of the theater appeared in the XIX century. It was immediately headed by Gustav Mahler. At the opening in 1965 for the audience sounded “Don Juan” W. A. Mozart.
5. Vienna Philharmonic
Famous concert venue, one of the centers of the musical life of the Austrian capital. Here the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and guest groups perform, many come on tour from other countries. The philharmonic society is popular with the guests of Vienna, as musicians in costumes of the Mozart era often perform here and a unique entourage and atmosphere of the 18th century is created.
Royal Dramatic Theater of Austria. He appeared at the behest of Empress Maria Theresa in the first half of the XVIII century. The building is located near the Hofburg and the City Hall. The theater was destroyed by bombing during World War II, it took a lot of time and effort to restore it. Today, the Burgtheater is a well-known and popular venue hosting the world’s leading theater companies.
7. Vienna City Hall
The building is located in the inner city (central district of Vienna) and serves for administrative purposes. The town hall has a parliament – the Landtag, the municipal assembly, and the residence of the mayor is also located. The model used in the construction of the Brussels Town Hall in the neo-Gothic style. The interior is more like a palace with rich decoration, huge crystal chandeliers and large halls.
8. Austrian Parliament Building
Architectural complex with elements of neoclassical, Byzantine and ancient style, designed and built by architect Baron Hansen in the XIX century. He specially created such a project to remind future parliamentarians of the homeland of democracy, Greece. Since the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, the national and federal council meets here, before that the Chamber of Deputies was located.
9. Palace of Liechtenstein
The Palace Museum, in the past belonged to one of the oldest and noble European families – the princes of Liechtenstein. The building houses a large private collection of pieces of art that the family began to collect from the 16th century. Among the exhibits of the work of Flemish painters, paintings of the Renaissance, Romanticism, jewelry, antique furniture, collections of weapons, household items from different times.
10. Castle Lichtenstein
The castle is the family nest of the Liechtenstein family. This magnificent example of medieval architecture is located in the Vienna Woods. The history of the castle began in the XII century, along with the history of the family. Over the centuries, the building was repeatedly destroyed during the fighting. After the bombing of World War II, it was restored at the expense of citizens, and Liechtenstein rented the castle to the Vienna municipality.
11. Kreuzenstein Castle
Kreuzenstein – one of the most visited Austrian castles, it is located a few kilometers from Vienna. The fortress arose on the site of the ancient Roman fortifications, in the XIII century, passed into the possession of the reigning Hapsburg. After the destruction in the 17th century as a result of the Swedish war for almost two centuries, the castle lay in ruins. Only in the XIX century, the Wilczek family bought the land and reconstructed the castle in its original form.
12. St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Gothic cathedral of the XIV century with lush interior, a real symbol of the Austrian capital. The temple has gone through many reconstructions, by 1523 it acquired the form in which it has survived to this day. From the observation deck on one of the towers offers a fascinating view of Vienna. In the catacombs of the cathedral are the tombs of E. Savoy, Frederick III, Rudolph IV and other members of the royal dynasty.
13. Church Karlskirche
The Baroque Catholic Church with elements of Rococo, Byzantine, Greek and even Arabic style, built on the orders of Emperor Charles VI in the first half of the XVIII century. The reason for the construction was a terrible plague epidemic that hit Vienna in 1713. The emperor promised the Lord that he would build a church in honor of his patron Saint Karl, if the city got rid of a terrible contagion.
14. Votive Church
A bright monument of neo-Gothic architecture of the XIX century. It has the most typical elements for this style: delicate decorative patterns, creating a “flying” air image, pointed windows and arches, high spiers of the main towers. The temple is built of white sandstone, so the building often requires renovation. The church appeared in gratitude to God from the Emperor Franz Joseph.
15. St. Peter’s Church
One of the oldest churches of the capital, built under Emperor Leopold I. The dome of the church was designed in the image of the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican. According to some historical sources, in 792 there existed a church founded by Charlemagne. The first direct mention of the temple refers to the XII century. The building in the Romanesque style burned down in the XVII century. Ten years later the modern church of St. Peter was erected in its place.
16. Mozart House Museum
The apartment in which the great composer lived with his family in the period 1784-1787. Here one of his main creations came into being – the opera The Marriage of Figaro. The museum was opened for the 150th anniversary of the death of Mozart and reconstructed after 100 years. From the original situation remained only oven, window openings and doors. In the museum you can look at various items belonging to the family of the composer.
17. Albertina Gallery
An outstanding collection of paintings, initiated by the Duke Albert (Albrecht). The gallery has several dozen rooms in which works by Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Rubens, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt are exhibited. In addition to the picture exhibition in the “Albertina” there is a library with a reading room. For tourists, there is a restaurant and a gift shop where you can buy books on art history.
18. Sigmund Freud Museum
The museum, organized in the house of the founder of psychoanalysis Z. Freud. Exposure tells about the activities and research scientist. Visitors can look at the psychoanalyst’s waiting room, office, waiting room. The museum also contains an extensive library of three hundred volumes devoted to the study of psychoanalysis. Freud and his family lived in this house until the German occupation of 1938.
19. Museum of Art History and Museum of Natural History
Two museums in the style of the Italian Renaissance, located close to each other. Both buildings were built by the project of masters Baron von Hasenauer and Gottfried Semper. Between the museums there is a picturesque landscaped square with small fountains, avenues and figurally trimmed trees. The interior decoration is also luxurious, the interiors resemble the Imperial Palace.
20. Leopold Museum
Located in the Museum Quarter of the capital. Expositions are devoted to the works of modern Austrian artists. The gallery exhibits works by Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt. The basis of the museum was a private collection of the Leopold family. In 1994, the Austrian government bought more than 5,000 canvases from them, established a museum, and Rudolf Leopold was appointed its life-long director.
21. Danube Tower
Observation tower on the territory of the Danube Park with a height of 252 meters, the highest point of the Austrian capital. From the top in clear weather visibility reaches 80 km. You can climb on two high-speed elevators, or breaking the ladder in 779 steps. The tower has two restaurants on a rotating platform. In the summer of bungee jumping enthusiasts organize competitions on the buckles from the observation deck.
22. Tower of the Mad
The construction appeared in the XVIII century. and served as a haven for people with mental disabilities. This is one of the oldest homes crazy in Europe. In 1786, the ominous tower was given to the museum of pathology. The exhibits of the museum are human organs and parts of the body (as well as the body completely) that have undergone mutations as a result of diseases or gene pathologies, stored in alcohol solutions. The exhibition is part of the Museum of Natural History.
23. Hundertwasser House
The home of avant-garde artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser with an interesting and unusual design. The eccentric creator himself called it an “ecological home”. On the one hand, the architecture of the building is somewhat reminiscent of the famous works of A. Gaudi: smooth asymmetrical shapes, bright colors, balconies, decorated in the style of “modern”. On the other hand, the fabulous dwelling of the hobbits from The Lord of the Rings.
24. Vienna Woods
Beautiful nature and landscaped resort area, located on the spurs of the Alps in the vicinity of Vienna. The forest has been recognized by UNESCO Biosphere Reserves because of its unique ecosystem. Here grow valuable beech and oak trees. Many folk legends and tenements, united under the common title “Tales of the Vienna Forest”, are associated with the Vienna Woods.
25. City Park of Vienna
Public park, broken in the XIX century. by order of the emperor Franz Joseph. A popular place for walks of local residents and rest from the bustle of the city. Busts and statues of famous personalities are installed on the tracks: Schubert, Strauss, Lehar, Bruckner. The park constantly hosts concerts, dance venues are arranged, cafes and restaurants are open. The territory is decorated with flower meadows, curly bushes and fountains.
26. Ringstrasse Street
The street encircling the central part of Vienna is one of the main urban arteries. Ringstrasse built on the site of the old city walls. Along the boulevard are located the most famous sights of the capital: the Hofburg complex, the Vienna Opera, the Parliament building, museums, parks, monuments. There are busy transport routes. The street stretches for 5.3 km. in length.
27. Park Prather
Located on the left bank of the Danube. Until the 18th century, the imperial hunting grounds were located here, then, at the behest of the royal family, a park was laid out – coffee shops, carousels, and pastry shops appeared. People were entertained by clowns and street performers. Since the XIX century, the Vienna Fair was held on the territory. In the park there is a ferris wheel, recognized as one of the oldest in Europe. Prater is a favorite vacation spot for Viennese families with children.
28. Cafe Zaher
The world-famous Viennese coffee house, located on the first floor of the five-star hotel of the same name. The cafe is open to all comers and is distinguished by fairly reasonable prices. Here you can drink the magnificent Viennese melange and taste the famous Austrian cake “Sacher”, the recipe of which is still kept in strict secrecy (it is owned only by the café confectioners).
29. House of the sea
Aquarium and terrarium in the same area, where a wide variety of marine life and amphibians. It contains jellyfish and rays, rare species of fish, sharks, turtles and snakes, crocodiles, spiders and lizards. About 10,000 animals live in aquariums and reservoirs. The house of the sea is located in the building of the 45-meter tower, on top of which there is an observation deck.
30. Schönbrunn Zoo
The zoo appeared in the XVIII century at the request of the Emperor Franz Stefan (the monarch was experiencing a craving for natural sciences). Nowadays, the zoo is recognized as one of the best in the world, several hundred species live here. Special pride – big pandas, a rare endangered species of animals. The newly emerged baby pandas are sent to China at the age of 2 years,