5/28/2006: Vienna (1)
It's been raining all night and this morning too. As usual, we explored the possibilities of lockers at the train station.
Lockers at Wien Westbahnhof are electronically locked. What you get after inserting the coins is the ticket for your safe keeping.
When picking up your luggages, just insert the ticket into the slot, locker's door will automatically open.
Escalator to platforms upstairs.
Escalator to U-bahn stations down below. There're only 5 lines of the underground trains which make transportation throughout Vienna very easy.
Per Sida's advice, we took tram (either #1 or 2) which circles around the Ringstrasse just to have a view of all the important places
so we can decide where to start off.
After two rounds we decided to get off at the Opernring where the Opera House or Staatsoper stands so magnificently.
This is the first building on the Ringstrasse, built between 1861-69.
Part of the elegant Opera House.
This is Karntner Strasse, a pedestrianized shopping street. Temperature is about 15-16 celcius with light rain - such a cool weather for a stroll.
Lovely procelains at very dear prices!!! The smallest is about 2,000+ bahts, while the biggest ranges from 22,000 to 42,000+ bahts!
Malteserkirche, chapel of the Order of Malta.
McDonald's - a lifesaver!
Here I meant to take picture of a beautifully painted facade but Pravet thought I was taking his picture, ergo the poise!
Closer look at the painted facade.
Haas Haus, a modern architecture right across Stephandom.
Aida, a confectionery store, renowned for the most delicious applestrudel.
Street acts always draw crowds, even the curiosity of this little boy!
The exquisite St. Stephen Chapel or Stephandom, the centre and the soul of Vienna. The Gothic cathedral was built over centuries
on the remains of a 12th century Romanesque church of which the main entrance, the 'Riesentor', and the front towers are still present.
The 137 metre (445ft) high spire is nicknamed 'Steffl'.It is as much the most recognized symbol of Vienna as the Eiffel Tower is of Paris.
Its construction took 65 years to complete, from 1368 to 1433.
The roof is so steep that it is sufficiently cleaned by the rain alone and is never covered by snow.
Singer Gate (arrow) used to be the entrance for male visitors.
The Stephansdom (Cathedral of Saint Stephen), in Vienna, Austria, is also the seat of a Roman Catholic Archbishop,
and the site of many important events in Austria's national life.
Another street act which drew quite a crowd.
St. John the Baptist's altar.
There are 18 altars in the main part of the church, and more in the various chapels. The High Altar and the Wiener Neustไdt Altar are the most famous.
Baroque altar, 16th century and a sculpture of Master Anton Pilgrim.
The Women's Altar with Mary in the Sun.
This altar at the head of the north nave was made in 1447 on the orders of Emperor Frederick III, whose tomb is opposite it, at the head of the south nave.
The altar belonged to the city of Wiener Neustadt, and was finally sold in 1885 to the Stephansdom when the Wiener Neustadt monastery was closed.
A project to restore the altar was begun in 1985, and, primarily because of the large surface area (100 square meters) involved, took 20 years,
10 art restorers, 40,000 man-hours, and €1.3 million to complete.
The first focal point of any visitor is the distant High Altar, built over seven years from 1641 to 1647 as part of the first refurbishment of the cathedral in the baroque style. The altarpiece shows the stoning of St. Stephen, this church's patron, and surmounted with a statute of St. Mary which draws the beholder's eye to a glimpse of heaven where Christ waits for Stephan (the first martyr) to ascend from below.
Lord with toothache.
St. Joseph's altar.
The tomb of Frederick III. Constructed over a span of 45 years, starting 25 years before the emperor's death.
The impressive tomb is a glory of medieval sculptural art.
A masterwork of late gothic sculpture is this stone pulpit by Anton Pilgrim, but today N.G. van Leyden is thought more likely to be the carver.
The pulpit shows relief portraits of the four original Doctors of the Church (St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory the Great and St. Jerome).
The Chapel of the Cross, in the northeast corner, contains the burial place of Prince Eugene of Savoy,commander of the Imperial forces.
Above the altar is the crucified Christ, with human beard still growing.
The north tower, planned as a twin to the south tower, has not been completed and is only half as tall, at 68 meters (223 feet).
Construction came to a halt in 1511. It was given a temporary cap later in 1579. Construction has not yet resumed.
The Stephansdom was saved from intentional destruction at the hands of retreating German forces during World War II, when Captain Gerhard Klinkicht disregarded orders from the city commandant to "fire a hundred shells and leave it in just debris and ashes".
Klinkicht was later honored as rescuer of the Stephansdom.
Photos from here onward till end of the day were taken by Pravet on his own "journey".
Schoenbrunn Palace was orginally the location of a hunting-lodge that was destroyed by the Turks. In 1695, by order of Leopold I, the plans to rebuild a palace, with Versailles in mind, were drawn. Construction began a year later and the plans proved to be too expensive. A far more modest late Baroque palace
was finished in 1730. It became the favorite summer palace for members of the Imperial family. Each added or altered parts of the building.
By order of Empress Maria Theresa, the palace was reshaped in a way of the style of the Rococo era.
In the 19th century one name is closely connected with Schoenbrunn's, Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria. He spent most of his life here and died in 1916
in his sleeping room. Emperor Karl I abdicated his throne in 1918 in the Blue Chinese Salon. After the downfall of the monarchy, the newly founded
Austrian Republic became the owner of Schoenbrunn Palace and preserved the beautiful rooms and chambers as a museum for the visitors.
In 1996 UNESCO declared it as the World Cultural Heritage.
Gloriette, the neo-classical arcade designed and built in 1775, is the crowning glory of the hill behind the palace.
Natural History Museum was built between 1872-91 along with its mirror image, Kunsthistorisches Museum - Museum of the History of Art,
on the opposite side of the Maria-Theresia-Platz.
Maria-Theresia-Platz separates the Art Museum from the Natural History Museum. An 1888 statue of Maria Theresa shows the Empress
clasping the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 by Karl VI, which made it possible for a woman to succeed to the throne.
Her youngest daughter is the famous Marie Antoinette, wife of Loius XVI.
Monument of Kaiser Franz I, with Amalienburg at the background.
Pestsaule, Graben, built on the order of Emperor Leopold I, commemorates Vienna's deliverance from the plague in 1679.