Vienna, Austria: The City of Dreams Part 1

Considered to be one of the prosperous and most livable city within the European Union and the German-speaking world, Vienna is a unique historical and cultural metropolis. Historically, it is the home of the Habsburg rule, which ruled a significant area in Europe, and the protector of the Christianity in its time during the continued threats of invasions of the Ottomans and Moros from Africa. It is a symbol of power of the Great Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was a primary force for the beginning of the First World War. Aside from being major geo-political influence in Europe and the world, Vienna is home of great scientists and artists to name Sigmund Freud. This is the reason why Vienna is called the City of Dreams due to city buildings’ architecture and the connotation of dreams with Freud’s psychoanalysis, which uses dream analysis to know an individual’s personality.

Interestingly, Vienna has drawn so much interest from tourists. Personally, Vienna, Austria is one of my desired city to visit. So when I got the chance to fulfill it, I made certain I had sufficient time to do. Below are the places I visited in the Austrian capital.

This is the first part. Click here for Part 2.

1.       Engerthstraße

This is a wide avenue parallel along the Danube River. It is named after Wilhelm Engerth, a mechanical engineer, who was employed in the Austrian-Hungarian railway.

2.       Venediger-Au-Park

This park was settled in the 15th century by woodworkers and gamekeepers. It was heavily destroyed during the Second World War and considered one of the largest park restoration after the war.

3.       Votivkirche

The Votive Church is inaugurated following the unsuccessful attempt of the assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph, who ruled over both Austria and Hungary. The attack by the Hungarian nationalist took place on the same place where the church is located. In the aftermath of the attack, Hungary stood as co-equal with Austria in dual nation in a single empire.

4.       Sigmund-Freud-Park

This is the park in front of the Votive Church, which was named after Sigmund Freud, the Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, who was controversial for his psychoanalytic theories on the personalities deeply rooted on psychic desires that primarily affects an individual’s behavior.

5.       Universität Wien

This is the oldest university in the German-speaking world, which produced the 15 Nobel Prize winners and notable figures in history and academe.

6.       Rathaus

The city hall of Vienna is the seat of power of the mayor of the Austrian capital and the city council. The neo-Gothic architecture is similar to the Brussels Town Hall.

7.       Burgtheater

The Imperial Court Theather is one of the most important German theaters in the world. It was built after the only female ruler of the Habsburg House, which ruled over West and Central Europe, and some parts of modern-day Italy.

8.       Schottenstift

This is the Scottish Abbey, which is a Roman Catholic monastery founded in the 11th century and started by the Irish monks who came from Germany. Interestingly, the monastery tower was destroyed by a lightning bolt, which paved way the reconstruction of the monastery.

9.       Freyung

This a triagular public square, where the Scottish monastery is situated. It is called free since the monastery was given the right for protection of the fugitives.

10.    Kunstforum Wien

This is an exhibition hall commissioned by the Bank Austria, marking the 100th year anniversary of the bank establishment.

11.    Katolische Kirche St. Michael

This is considered the oldest church in the Austrian capital, featuring Romanesque architecture. Interestingly, excavations in the church revealed that the site was the residence of soldier’s wives in ancient times.

12.    Michaelerplatz

This square got its named from the St. Michael Parish situated on it. The church was consecrated for court servants and citizens living nearby.

13.    Hofburg Wien

This was the former imperial winter residence of the kings of the Holy Roman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This has become a symbol of power of the Habsburg House, which ruled much of Europe in its time. It is currently the home of the federal president of Austria.

14.    Kaiser Franz I. Denkmal

The monument is constructed in memorial of the Emperor Franz. The four surrounding monumental colossal statues symbolizing faith, strength, peace and justice.

15.    Neue Burg

This is a large semicircular wing of the Hofburg Palace. The construction was delayed during the First World War. Today, this is one of the most visited tourist attraction in Vienna due to its magnificence and beauty of its decorations.

16.    Prinz Eugen von Savoyen

This monument of Prince Eugene of Savoy, who is considered the most important generals of the Habsburg Empire and was responsible of the expansion of the Austrian Empire. He was the commander in the military raids against the Ottoman Empire, which helped secured the place of Austria in Southeast Europe.

17.    Äußeres Burgtor

This is the old castle gate, which is part of the fortification built around Vienna. It has protected Vienna against the invasion of the Ottomans in the 16th century. However, it was destroyed by the soldiers of Napoleon of France. From that time on, the castle gate has lost its military value.

18.    Naturhistorisches Museum Wien

Vienna Museum of Natural History has one of the largest collection of artifacts, which was collected over 250 years ago. The main interest is on the origin of the Solar System, and evolution of animals, plants and humans.

19.    Maria-Theresien-Platz

This is a large public square in between the Museums of Natural History and the Art history. At the center of the square is a large statue of the Empress Maria Theresa, who was only female ruler of the Habsburg House.

20.    Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

This is the largest art museum in Austria. The façade of the building was built of sandstone and the inside the building is decorated with marble, gold leaf and paintings.

21.    Burggarten

The castle garden is a public park. This is located near the Hofburg Castle, the Palm House and Albertina.

22.    Palmenhaus

This is a neoclassical greenhouse constructed in the 18th history. The rear wall of the building was part of the former Vienna city walls. It was temporarily closed due to safety reason in the middle of the nineties.

23.    Albertina

This is one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with thousands of drawings and one million of graphic works. It is one of the remaining sections of the fortifications of Vienna. It was heavily damaged during the Second World War.

24.    Albrechtsbrunnen

This is known as Danubius and fountain located near the Albertina. This shows the symbolical relationship between the city of Vienna and the river of Danube. The fountain was built using the state fund, which was collected from proceeds of selling building lots as part of the expansion of the city of Vienna.

It was a dream come true for me to visit Vienna. It was place I really wanted to go. I wanted to come back again in the near future. Vienna is a safe and romantic place to be, so it would be better if I am with anyone, friends and family the next time around. 


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