Vienna in the Spring Part 3

Here is a view of the Danube Canal. The Danube river is farther north from here, but a canal runs along the north part of the old fortified city of Vienna. All of the old Viennese ring is composed of buildings 5 or 6 stories tall except for the churches and the one modern tower shown here. The building of the tower caused such an uproar that it is unlikely that another will be built any time soon. In the distance are the hills to the west which contain the Vienna Woods of which tales are told.

Walking toward the center of the ring from the canal we find the oldest church extant in Vienna. It's relatively small and dates from the 14th century.

And here is the center of the old city of Vienna. Saint Stephan's cathedral: Der Dom. It is difficult to get a picture of how enormous and impressive it is. I'll try to give a sense of its extent with a few pictures. The view above is from the north east side of the cathedral.

Here is a shot of the enormous spire which towers over the rest of the old portion of Vienna.

Here is the roof of the main vaulted ceiling. It is tiled in an interesting pattern of roofing tiles. This type of patterned tiling can be seen in rural Germany as well.

Here is the interior of the cathedral. I've brightened it up with Photoshop so that the details can be seen. In person it is more dark, moody and beautiful than appears here.

Across the square from Der Dom is the Haas Haus. Quite a contrast don't you think? This building caused a furor when it was built due to its modern and sleek lines. Every other building on the square is in the Baroque or Gothic style. Valerie says she goes for Baroque.

To give you an idea of the contrast, here's another one of the buildings facing the Stephans Platz. As it turns out, Notre Dame professor Matthais Scheutz took organ lessons here when he was growing up.

In Stephans Platz we came across this diminuative opera singer. Singing along and stringing along was his specialty.

His friends were just laying about enjoying the warm Vienna afternoon sunshine.

We enjoyed a more serious, but still lighthearted evening of music at the Musikverein, one of the three famous classical venues in Vienna. Here the symphony plays and the annual New Year's Day concert is broadcast internationally. The hall is mostly gilded and has some red accents and oil paintings on the ceiling. Just that understated touch of elegance. Seriously, it was breathtaking.

The concert we saw was performed by the Wiener Mozart Orchester. No, this has nothing to do with brautwurst. The program was essentially "Mozart's Greatest Hits" performed in period costume. It was very energetic and a lot of fun. The encore was, of course, Strauss's Blue Danube.

On the way home that night, we came across a Strauss festival performed by the Symphony in front of the Rathaus. The square was jam-packed with Viennese enjoying the music of their favorite son. There's a giant video screen to the left of the Symphony projecting an image of the conductor.

The next evening we walked by the Rathaus and the stage, speakers and people were gone. Here is the Rathaus at sunset.

We'll leave Vienna with a few pictures from the sunset of our last day. Here's the Art History Museum.

This is the statue in front of the Parliament Building.

And finally a picture of the Votive Church at dusk.

Next up is Prague, city of history, mystery and backpackers galore.