Vienna in the Spring

On April 23rd and 24th I was in Vienna to give a talk at the University of Vienna. Matthias Scheutz was my host there. Many of you may know Matthias as he is an assistant professor in computer science at Notre Dame and Colleen Scheutz is an assistant professor in romance languages.

I'll divide this tour of Vienna into two parts. The first part is a walk from near Freud's office through the University of Vienna's main building, through the Scots' gate and ending up at the Emperor's palace. Here's one of the ubiquitous Viennese streetcars. You've got to keep your eye out, because they move very fast.

Here is a view of the Votive Church seen from the center of Freud Park, a small one block park popular with University students. To the north is the church , to the west of the park is the Vienna University main building, and to the south is the Scots Gate. And will you look at that blue sky. It was the first sunny day I'd seen in almost a month.

And just like that, there's the University. The University of Vienna is very large and spread out over a large part of the inner city. There are about 90,000 students. This is the old main building and it is still being used. In fact, I gave my talk in a classroom in this building.

In the inner courtyard of the University main building there are about 50 busts of famous scientists who taught there. University of Vienna is one of the oldest in the world, founded in the 1300's.

Here's one of the busts that caught my eye. A famous equation and its father.

Of course, there's the obligatory Viennese psychologist of whom you may have heard.

South of Freud Park is the Scots Gate. This was originally a gate in the fortified wall surrounding the old city of Vienna. A few portions of the old wall survive. Here is a portion of the wall by the Scots Gate with steps leading up to the top of the wall.

Here's a view looking back at the University main building from the top of the wall.

And nearby is the Scots Church. Contrary to the popular rumor, Scots Church is not named after Scott Maxwell. Early in the history of Vienna, a colony of Scotsmen established a monastery here.

On the other hand, there is a connection between the Scots Church and Notre Dame. Matthias Scheutz went to secondary school at the monastery. Here's a picture of him in front of a statue of the kind of Scots Monk he might have become.

About half a block away is a small palace whose interior courtyards have been turned into a shopping area. While it is a malling of sorts, you've got to admit it has class.

About another block and a half more-or-less south is the main entrance to the Emperor's palace. It just goes on and on, but in this entryway the carriages would pull up and drop off their royal passengers.

Facing the palace on the other side of the square is Michael's Church.

Here is a detail from over the entrance to Michael's Church. This type of statuary is ubiquitous in the old portion of Vienna.

Here is a detail of the dome over the entrance to the Emperor's palace.

Walking through the carriage drive entrance to the palace we see the inner courtyard of the Emperor's apartments.

A second view from inside the inner courtyard. Right now the granite paving stones are being refurbished, so the courtyard is a noisy construction site.

I'm going to leave the walk there for now. There is much more to come in the second part of the Vienna Visit.

Vienna Visit Part 2