Lost in history...

Vienna Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 15 › view all entries
Stephansdom

Took another night train to Vienna.  I took the metro to Stephansplatz and stepped up to a brilliant blue sky behind the zig-zag roof of Stephansdom.  It was Sunday morning and Mass was taking place, so I couldn't go in.  So I walked up the pedestrian zone to Graben.  This is a memorial to those that died during the plague.  Back then the plague wasn't understood and bodies were tossed in mass graves to get rid of the disease. 

Continuing up the road, I got to Peterskirche - also closed for church services.  For some reason there was a horse carriage outside the church.  Not far away was the Hofburg Palace.  I got a couple of museum passes for the Schatzkammer (treasury), the Kaiserappartements, and the Silberkammer.

Graben
 

I went through the Kaiserappartements and I loved the Bergyl-Zimmers.  These were rooms painted with scenes from a rainforest or tropical locale.  It was like being outside.  Trees, grass, water, birds, sky - it had it all.  What a work of art.  I love it.  If I ever have a house with 40 rooms, one of them will definitely be painted like that!

But what I came to Vienna to see was the Naturhistorishes Museum - or natural history museum.  I was so excited when I walked in and saw rooms and rooms of rocks and minerals!  And meteorites!  And gemstones and jewelry.  Okay, I wasn't too interested in the jewelry - I prefer the raw stone.  And then rooms of fossils!  I bet I spent 3 hours in this half of the first floor!  I'm a huge fan of the Clan of the Cave Bear books, so it was fun to see the cave lion and megacerous skeletons.

Carriage by Peterskirche
  These animals are mentioned in the books, but have no North American equivalent.  And the bug fossils were huge!  Look at my reflection - the bugs are 1 ft long!  How would you like to swat those bugs!  They could eat you!

I breezed through the rest of the museum - I saw what I came for!  I went back to the Hofburg Palace to finish the other museums I had tickets for.  First stop - the Treasury. The treasury didn't have any English anywhere and I was too cheap to spend 2 Euro for an audio guide.  I probably should have.  I just pretended I understood the German captions, which to some extent I did.  There was a robe with gold thread, a few crowns and jewels, candlesticks, and a few things inlaid with jewels that I didn't know their purpose.

Hofburg Palace
  Next came the Silberkammer - basically a bunch of dishes and pots and pans and stuff.  But everything was really nice.  I couldn't imagine eating off of a little plate with a mini painting on it.  The stuff was nice - but I still like the rock museum best. 

The museum closed on me and I got kicked out around 6 pm.  And it was raining.  I went over to Peterskirche and sat in on the service.  I stood near the back - actually I think I sat on the floor.  Some other people were doing it, so I did too.  The inside of this church is beautiful.  About 5 minutes after the service ended, all the lights went out.  So I didn't quite get a photo of the altar. 

Final stop is Haus der Musik.  Also being a musican, I was excited for this museum.

Natural History Museum
  It took you through the lives of some famous (German and Austrian mainly) composers.  You could direct an orchestra with an electric baton and they play with you - at your tempo.  I had done a little directing, so I figured this would be a piece of cake.  Well, it wasn't and the orchestra kept stopping and laughing at me.  (Actually that was kind of funny).  I think the timing of the stick was a little off.  They had the downbeat on the upstroke.  Well, whatever, it was still fun.  It was a fun museum - I saved it for last because it was open a little later. 

I made my way back to my hostel (in the rain) - and decided that I'd had enough of Vienna.  Maybe it was just the rain, but it was time to move on.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Stephansdom
Stephansdom
Graben
Graben
Carriage by Peterskirche
Carriage by Peterskirche
Hofburg Palace
Hofburg Palace
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
Rock salt in a room full of minera…
Rock salt in a room full of miner…
Meteorites!
Meteorites!
Big bug fossils!  (Look at my refl…
Big bug fossils! (Look at my ref…
Something jeweled up in the Schatz…
Something jeweled up in the Schat…
Royal accessories
Royal accessories
The copper room
The "copper room"
Fancy plates
Fancy plates
Hofburg Palace at night
Hofburg Palace at night
Peterskirche ceiling
Peterskirche ceiling
Vienna
photo by: EmyG