Friday, July 16, 2010

Vienna: Days 1-3

We got into Vienna around 10:00 in the morning and were praying that we would be able to check into our hotel right away. Luckily, things worked out for us. We checked in, grabbed a quick pastry for breakfast, and headed back to the hotel for a nice, long nap. Beds are much more comfortable than lying places.

After our nap, we did some walking around the city. We walked through the museum quarter (which we’re planning to return to tomorrow to actually go inside), and a park called Volksgarten where we had a light lunch. Then we saw the Austrian National Library:

The Art History and Natural History Museums:


and the town hall, Rathaus:

When we were walking to find some dinner, we saw a woman selling apricots on the side of the street and they looked amazing, so we bought a box to take back to the hotel. They are delicious and we haven’t had good fruit in a long time, so they’ll keep us from getting scurvy too. Then we had dinner at a nice little cafĂ©:

Finally, we walked through Stephensplatz, a shopping district with 3 H&Ms, in the background you can see Votivkirche, where Haydn was married:

The next two days of our stay in Vienna were dedicated almost completely to seeing the musical sights. Greg just about died with all of the awesome places we got to go. We started out by going to the House of Music, which had exhibits for all of the major composers who lived in Vienna. In these exhibits, we got to see things like Schubert's glasses:

And the last door Beethoven ever walked through:

They also had what we're pretty sure was Haydn's parrot (stuffed), who would say "Papa Haydn" and sing part of the national anthem. Greg didn't want to take a picture of that for some reason.

Next, we went to Mozart's house. This is the room where he composed The Magic Flute, 3 of his best piano concertos including the D minor, and a ton of other stuff:

After that, we headed over to Beethoven's apartment where he composed the 5th, 7th, and 8th Symphonies, the 4th Piano Concerto, Fidelio, and a ton of other stuff. Here's Greg with Beethoven's death mask:

The next day, we started out by going to Haydn's house, where he composed "The Creation" and also passed away. This is Greg with Haydn's clavichord:

Upstairs in Haydn's house was an exhibit dedicated to Brahms. Brahms' apartment was destroyed in the early 1900s, so the furniture that remained along with some pictures are now displayed in Haydn's house instead:

Next, we went to the Zentralfriedhof Cemetery where all these amazing composers now have their final resting place. Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, and J. Strauss are all buried within twenty feet of each other. It's incredible to stand in the midst of all these men who created the most beautiful music:

After the cemetery, we went to the house where Schubert died. It was a three room apartment that was completely new when he moved in (apparently the walls hadn't even fully dried yet, which wasn't very good for his health). The room Greg is standing in front of is the room he died in:

After that, we went to the Belvedere palace/museum (right before it closed) mainly to see "The Kiss" by Klimt. There were no pictures allowed, but Greg snuck this one (this guy would NOT get out of the way!):

Greg also loved the Schiele paintings.

Finally, to conclude 2 days of music tourist attractions, we went to hear Mozart's Requiem in Karlskirche, a beautiful church with great acoustics:

It was incredibly moving. I had never heard it in full, but I've wanted to since I first saw Amadeus back in 7th grade. We loved every moment of it, especially the Lacrimosa. It was probably the best ending to an amazing city that we could have hoped for. 

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