My friend and I had spent a couple of days sightseeing in Vienna and had even taken a boat cruise down the River Danube to the villages of Melk and Krems.
Today I was going solo as she had some family visiting time planned. So I decided to follow one of the walking tours shown on the tourist map.
I started at the Friedensbrucke metro stop with a short walk along the River Danube. This is a lovely area with several “artsy” sections and many cafes along the way. As it was almost lunch time, I decided to get a Viennese version of a street vendor hot dog! It was absolutely delicious!
Once lunch was done, I worked my way through the narrow streets to one of the main attractions, Stephansdom, Vienna’s towering Gothic cathedral. The Viennese affectionately refer to the bell tower as Steffi. However, at 136.7 metres (448 ft) high, it is far from diminutive or little! The cathedral is one of the tallest churches in the world.
In a perfect example of how old and new can co-exist harmoniously, across from Stephandsom is the modern Haas-Haus. It is fun to try and capture the reflection of the cathedral in the windows.
Continuing onto Stephenplatz, in the exact geographic center of Vienna, which is a very busy square surrounded by exclusive shops and cafés.
Just off the square, near where the horse drawn carriages park, is a beautiful little church called Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church). There were several posters advertising concerts that were to be performed there. I thought perhaps I would go to one of them. As I walked into the church I discovered that there was already a wonderful free concert in progress. It was a university music student who was performing his masters thesis. It was so enjoyable to take a little break in such beautiful surroundings while listening to such stirring music. He received a standing ovation and performed two encores.
Leaving the church and following Graben street to the end and onto Kohlmarkt street and then onto Michaelerplatz. In Michaelerplatz you will see the Raiffeisenbank building. Designed by Adolf Loos and built in 1911, the simple clean lines of this design was very controversial for its time. Because of the lack of ornamentation on the façade, it was referred to as the ‘house without eyebrows’. The controversy even delayed the completion of the building. Finally Loos promised to decorate several facade windows with flower pots as shown below.
Also on Michaelerplatz is the entrance to the Hofburg Palace. The Hofburg Palace is now the location of several museums and state offices; including the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum and the famous Spanish Riding School, which unfortunately had already closed for the summer when I visited.
Onto Heldenplatz and the Burgring section of the Ringstraße boulevard where the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorische Museum are located.
Turn left onto Burgring and into the Burggarten where the Mozart memorial can be found.
The final stop on the walk was to meet my friend at the Café Landtmann on the corner of Lowelstraße 22 and the Ringstraße boulevard. Established in 1873, this café is a popular meeting place for actors, politicians, officials, and journalists.
The Viennese Waltz walk is a lovely way to dance through this beautiful European city.