Sunday, June 5, 2011

Vienna - Central District

The oldest part of the Vienna is known as the Central or, 1st District and this is where you'll find most of the the museums, St. Stephens Cathedral, the Hofburg which, whose beginnings date back to the 1,100s and today includes Austria's State Administrative offices, the Spanish Riding School, the Chapel where the Vienna Boy's Choir perform, the national library and numerous other official offices and institutions. Then there's the Rathouse (the major's office), the and Art and History museums, etc.
The Hofburg is very interesting in that it is not a single building but, rather is adjoining complexes that were built starting in the 1100s through the mid 1800s and have housed royalty and aristocracy for centuries. Today, it still houses government officials, including the office of the Austrian president.

As impressive as St.Stephens Cathedral, which is the dominates the sky with its 300 ft. plus spire and mosaic tiled roof is, the inside is even more impressive. 
Just happened to be walking by the Spanish Riding School, the home of the Lipizzaners in Vienna, one of the stallions happened to pop it's head out and send a hello to his cousins in Sarasota at the Hermann Royal Lipizzaner stables.

Warning, the scale of the buildings and the area can be deceiving - the area is considerable and is packed with buildings and gawking tourists, so bring along some good walking shoes. Here you'll also find souvenir as well as very exclusive shops (hang on to your wallet) restaurants and cafes, where you can rest your feet and watch people walk by.

The number of things to see and the explore can be overwhelming, so if you must, do stop at a cafe or restaurant for a break, and yes, you'll even find Starbucks in the vicinity.
And if something cooler suits our taste, the Ice Salon am Schwedenplatz, hands down, has the smoothest and best ice cream I've ever had - no calories of course.

Next, how about a Sunday morning with the Vienna Boy's choir and then...

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