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May 25, 2012

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Vienna Opera House
August 23, 2010

Vienna Opera House
The Vienna Opera House is situated in Vienna's first district at the Ring Boulevard. It's history dates back to the mid-19th century, when it was built by August von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll from 1861 to 1869. At this time the Opera House was called the Vienna Court Opera. Since 1920 it's named Vienna State Opera.

At the end of World War II the Vienna State Opera suffered immense. After the end of the war the façade was restored as well as the interior. The reopening of the opera house was celebrated on the 5th of November 1955. Today, the Vienna State Opera produces 50 to 60 operas per year and is considered to be the number one Opera House of Central Europe.

Throughout the years, many famous conductors worked at the Vienna Opera House, amongst them Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Herbert von Karajan. The Vienna Opera House was also the workplace of many famous artists like Luciano Pavarotti, Mara Callas, José Carreras and many others. Under the direction of Ioan Holender the opera house became well-known for its children's productions.

The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. The Vienna Opera House is not only known for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, but also for the Opera Ball, which takes place annually on the last Thursday in Fasching. On July 1, 1998, as Austria undertook its first presidency of the European Union, Fidelio was broadcasted live from the Vienna State Opera to the 15 capitals of the EU.

Immediately before each performance unsold cheap standing place tickets can be bought.  

How to get there by public transportation:

Subway: line U, U2, U4 (get off at "Karsplatz")

Tram: line 1, 2, D, 62, 65 (get off at "Oper")

Hofburg Palace (Part III)
August 18, 2010

The Hofburg not only houses the Spanish Riding School with it's world famous Lipizzans and several Habsburg-related museums, but also the National Library and the Museum of Ethnography.

The National Library is the former court library and an architectural masterpiece of the Viennese baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and his son Emanuel. It is the largest baroque library in Europe, was erected in the first half of the eighteenth century as an independent wing of the Imperial Palace. More than 200,000 volumes are exhibited here, among them the comprehensive library of Prince Eugene of Savoy.

In addition to this, the Imperial Palace houses the Museum of Ethnography, which is one of the most significant ethnological museums in the world. The Museum of Ethnography was established in 1876. Its collections comprise nearly a quarter million ethnographical and archaeological objects, amongst them collections from Oceania and North America gathered by James Cook during his travels at the end of the 18th century.  In addition to this, it houses a group of Mexican featherwork and other rare objects from the Americas, Africa and Indonesia, which in 1596 formed the collection of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol at Ambras Castle. The museum's most famous piece is a feathered headdress believed to have belonged to Moctezuma, the last Aztec emperor. This museum is also known for its Brazilian collection assembled in 1817 - 36 by Johann Natterer, as well as its outstanding collection of bronzes from the west African kingdom of Benin.

 

How to get there by public transportation:

Subway: line U3 (get off at "Herrengasse")

Bus: Lines 2A or 3A (get off at "Hofburg")

Tram: Lines 1, 2, D (get off at "Burgring")

Hofburg Palace (Part II)
August 15, 2010



The Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government since 1279 for various empires and republics. The Imperial Palace, which until 1918 was inhabited by the imperial family, was originally a castle built in the thirteenth century, which was extended to a splendid residence in accordance with the increasing power of the Habsburgs and the expansion of their realm.

In the oldest part of the Imperial Palace (13th century) treasures from the possessions of the Habsburgs are shown. You can not only see the Emperor's Crown of the Holy Roman Empire (circa 962) and the Austrian Emperor's Crown (1602), but also the Burgundian Treasure from the fifteenth century and the Treasure of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

The Chapel of the Imperial Palace also forms part of the oldest parts of the Hofburg. The Vienna's Boy Choir and members of the orchestra and choir of the Vienna State Opera are known as Court Music Orchestra and, as such, perform High Mass in the Chapel of the Imperial Palace on Sundays and religious holidays.

The Spanish Riding School is situated as well at the Hofburg. The School takes the "Spanish" part of its name from the horses which originated from the Iberian Peninsula during the 16th century and which were considered especially noble. It takes the Lipizzans several years of trainingship until they reach the perfections of the "high School of Classical Horsemanship". You experience the Lipizzans doing there astonishing performances at several occasions, as at a performance or the morning exercises.

 

How to get there by public transportation:

Subway: line U3 (get off at "Herrengasse")

Bus: Lines 2A, 3A (get off at "Hofburg")

Tram: Lines 1, 2, D (get off at "Burgring")


Hofburg Palace (Part I)
August 12, 2010

Hofburg, HeldenplatzHofburg Palace is situated in Vienna's first district. Hofburg Palace was originally a medieval castle. The Hofburg was extended to a magnificent residence when the Habsburg's power increased. That's why today, it consist of almost any architectural style, from gothic to art nouveau.

Hofburg Palace housed some of the most powerful people in Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Hofburg Palace was the Habsburg's official principal winter residence, as the Schönbrunn Palace was their preferred summer residence. Hofburg Palace currently houses the office of the President of Austria as well as an important congress center and numerous art collections.

The Hofburg is a must for anybody wanting to explore the world of the Habsburgs. Emperor Franz Joseph and his Elisabeth lived here with their children and the entire royal household. Today, the former private apartments of the imperial family in the Imperial Palace are open to the public. The Sisi Museum offers you fascinating insights into the official and private worlds of Empress Elisabeth.

The Imperial Silver Collection exhibits Habsburg's dining service and silverware. Among other things, one can admire the famous "Milan Centerpiece," which is almost 30 meters long.

 

How to get there by public transportation:

Subway: line U3 (get off at "Herrengasse")

Bus: Lines 2A or 3A (get off at "Hofburg")

Tram: Lines 1, 2, D (get off at "Burgring")