The same applies to Vienna as regards other “monumental cities” such as Venice, Florence, Budapest, and Prague. It is a city so rich in churches, museums, monuments, art, and culture that it would take weeks to visit everything properly. So, unless you have a lot of time and resources available, once in the city you need to make a selection of things to do. More than anything, however, we must tune in to the thousand-year history of the Austria capital, learning to appreciate its complexity, that mixture of ancient and modern where there is room for everything: from the majesty of the palaces symbolizing the Habsburg power, the modern and contemporary art of the Museums Quarter, the “green” atmosphere of the Prater, the largest public park in the city. Such a successful mix that Vienna has for years been at the forefront of almost all the world rankings that measure the quality of life. Quality of life that remains stuck to the millions of visitors who every year pours into the city to deepen the “Central European spirit” that has made it famous throughout the world despite all kinds of ups and downs. Here are the two places you must not miss.
This is the most beautiful avenue in the world. This is the unanimous opinion of the Viennese, also shared by many tourists. Ringstrasse measures about 5 kilometers, starts and ends in a Danube canal and has a characteristic horseshoe shape. The building was commissioned by King Francis Joseph I of Habsburg. In fact, it was realized the uselessness of the medieval walls that, on the one hand, constituted a barrier between the Hofburg (the royal palace) and the neighborhoods of the city bourgeoisie; on the other, however, they had not prevented the entry of the Napoleonic troops into the city. For this reason, it was decided to break down the fortified walls and to replace them with a wide one tree-lined avenue where all the main city buildings began to rise. From the former Stock Exchange Palace to the Votivkirche (church built by Francesco Giuseppe as a vow to survive an attack by a Hungarian independence), without forgetting the University, the Parliament, the Town Hall (Rathaus), the museums of Natural History (Naturhistorisches Museum), History of Art (Kunsthistorisches Museum) and the National Theater of the Opera (Burgtheater). A gigantic work of urban transformation that went on throughout the second half of the 19th century according to the canons of historicist architecture that involved revisiting and updating the main styles from the past the classical style becomes neoclassical, the gothic becomes neo-Gothic, the Renaissance neo-Renaissance, etc.
- Stephen’s Cathedral
The Cathedral of Santo Stefano is a perfect compendium of the millenarian history of the city. The traces of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque witness the evolution of architectural styles and, on the other hand, allows us to reconstruct the vicissitudes, wars and dynasties that have crossed the heart of Europe. To say, the bell tower of the North Tower, the mythical Pummerin, is said to have been built by melting the metal of the hundred and more cannon balls that the Turks threw against the medieval walls of Vienna. One of the largest and most beautiful bell towers in Europe has emerged. However, this is not the only record.