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A WEEKEND IN VIENNA

I live with my family in Graz, Austria, and we decided to spend one weekend to visit the capital city of our country, Vienna.

I used my iPhone navigation app  to know the main touristic places we should visit within such a short period of time, how to get there and the public transportations we should take to go to those places.

Vienna that is located in the state with the same name, on the eastern region of the country, close to borders of tthe Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, on the banks of Danube River, was the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city, which center was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, was founded by the Celtic people in 500 B.C. and in 15 B.C. the Romans fortified the city and gave her the name of “Vindobona”.

Vienna was the birthplace of the composer Arnold Schönberg, the philosopher Karl Popper, Maria Theresia, daughter of Emperor Charles VI, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary, Marie Antoinette, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and the last absolutistic Queen of France, the race car driver Niki Lauda and Alfred Adler, a medical doctor and psychotherapist that worked together with Sigmund Freud.

Saturday we went to Heldenplatz (Heroes’ Square) to take an Austrian coffee at one of the many esplanades that exist in the square and the we crossed the square to go to the Hofburg Palace, the former residence (from the 15th century to the earliest 20th century) of kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and of the Emperor of Austria, and that is now the official residence of the Austrian Federal President.

At the palace we went to assist to a performance at the Spanish Riding School and we visited the Imperial Treasury, the Austrian National Library, the largest one in the country, and the Museum of Natural History of Vienna.

The Spanish Riding School that was built in the 18th century is one the most important riding schools in the world for classical dressage.

The Imperial Treasury, which entrance is at the Swiss Courtyard that belongs to the oldest part of the palace, rebuilt in a Renaissance style in the 16th century, exhibits an important collection of secular and ecclesiastical pieces of the history of Europe, some of them dated more than 1,000 years, distributed along 21 rooms; the treasury was collected by the Imperial House of Habsburg.

Within the secular collection, the most important, we could admire the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the Imperial Crown, the Holy Lance and the Imperial Sword, the Austrian Crown Jewels, the vestments of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary and the Military Order of Maria Theresa, the regalia of the Archduchy of Austria, the Burgundian Treasury and the treasury of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

The ecclesiastic collection includes, among other pieces, numerous devotional images and altars, mainly of the Baroque style.

We finished our day at the amusement park Wurstelprater Prater, located in the public park Prater; at the amusement park we took a ride at the Wiener Riesenrad, the Ferris wheel that is an icon of the city.

As we had take the decision to return to Graz Sunday after lunch, in that day we only visited the Schönbrunn Palace, classified by UNESCO as a world Heritage Site; the palace was built in the 17th century, in a Rococo and Baroque styles, to be the summer residence of the royal family of Austria.

We could see their famous gardens, the sculptures, the Sun Fountain, the Neptune Fountain, the Gloriette, a building located in a garden and erected on a place higher than the surroundings, and the Roman Ruins.

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