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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Vienna - Day 4

My last day to explore Vienna and since last night my sore throat has gotten progressively worse. It was only a matter of time that I’d come down with something after so many people have sneezed, coughed, urinated and spat in my general direction. Europe should be very worried about Bird Flu - with their populations hygeine habits, they’ll wipe themselves out. If I ever hear about how cultured europeans are, I’ll spit on you - after all that’s what cultured people do.

I decide to head out to test out how I feel and seek out a chemist to numb my throat.

I try a new thing, I head down towards Gumpendorler Strasse and take the bus directly to the city - it actually terminates at the Hofburg, which is what I want to see. On the other side of the road from the Hofburg is this building

This is the Natural History Museum on Maria-Theresian Platz and opposite is the identical looking Kunsthistoriches Museum

The Natural History Museum has a cute elephant in front!

The two massive buildings are separated by gardens, the centrepiece of which is this monument to Maria Theresia.

It's considered to be one of the most important monuments in Vienna. Maria Theresia became empress in 1740. One of her 16 children was Marie Antoinette.

The Kunst musuem is, yes, you know what i’m going to say, under renovation - so half is shrouded by scaffolding.


Unfortunately the sun is in the wrong place to get any decent photos - but it gives you an idea.

Just pass these twin museums in the distance is the start ofMQ (Museum Quarter) where you’ll find The Leopold and 6 other museums/galleries.

As I previously mentioned, across the road is the Hofburg complex - to get inside you have pass through a large multi-arched gateway called the Burgtor

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Once through the gateway you are met by this...


Yes, by the cranes, it’s under renovation - to the right is the Neu Burg (New Palace - this was never finished because the monarchy was abolished - actually a matching one was to be constructed opposite this!) now home to Hofburg Congress Center, Austrian National Library, Ephesos Museum, Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments, Collection of Arms and Armour and the Museum of Ethnology

Oh, and yes, there's another queue of carriages here - try not to stand downwind from them!

If you look towards the top of the queue you might be able to make out 3 curved archways - they lead to a large central courtyard.

This courtyard leads the the Michaelplatz entrance of the Hofburg - the buildings within the courtyard are now home to the Imperial Apartments, Silver Collection, Sisi Museum and the Spanish Riding School.



There's another exit from this courtyard through the Michaeltract

which leads onto Michaelplatz and St Michael's Church

Below you can see the facade at Michaelplatz

You can certainly visit many places from here

but I chose to head over and have a closer look at St Michaels.

Another gem of a church - it’s the home of sculptures.



Another quick look at the map and I'm not that far from the Minorite Church (Minoritenkirche) so I point myself in that direction


It certainly has a most unusual look - this was caused during the Turkish/Austrian war when the top of it's tower was damaged. This church services the Italian community and is formally known as the Italian National Church of Mary of the Snows.



This is quite an important work of art - it's a life sized copy of "The Last Supper" in a mosaic made by Giacomo Raffaelli. It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1809.


It's around noon that I decide to pack it in - I'm starting to get a bit of a cough, at least I found an english speaking chemist and have gotten something to sooth my throat. I'm still not too sure about my planned trip to Hallstatt and head back to the B&B to do some research and see if going to Salzburg might be a better option.

I head off for an early dinner at Ikibana and settle on a chicken yakitori bento box with some refreshing green tea - once again I have the restaurant to myself and the meal is excellent, in fact all the food here has been brilliant.


The happy food has yet to work on my general ill health and after chatting with Paalo I'll wait until tomorrow before making a final decision.

If you'd like to see more photos from today just click for the appropriate set
Vienna Set
Hofburg Set
Minorite Church Set


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