Vianna is a charming city with its rich imperial history which offers many sights for its visitors. It is possible to witness different styles of architecture which was popular in various eras. Vienna is a beautiful city where traditional and modern in entwined into each other. There is also a suitable place to experience the extravagant baroque lifestyle.
Emperor Franz Joseph I had a significant influence on the architectural development of Vienna. He was actually one of the most beloved rulers of Austrian-Hungary Empire who reigned the kingdom for 68 years. Franz Joseph also had good taste in architecture, when you walk around the city, you can encounter the traces of his wise intellectual standpoint. What impressed me most was the quote in Hofburg Gate, “Iustitia Regnorum Fundamentum (Justice is the foundation of Kingdoms)”, must be very inspiring for the Australian citizens for pass along this gate every day.
During my visit to Vienna, the landmarks that attracted my attention were Ringstrasse, Hofburg Palace Complex, St. Stephen’s Church (Stephansdom), Schonbrunn Palace, Museum Quarter (Museumkwartier), City Park (Stadtpark) and the Music Hall.
Vienna Ring Road (Ringstraße)
As a medieval city, Vienna was surrounded by defensive city walls protecting it from all the possible attacks. In the 17th century the population of the town expanded enormously, new walls were constructed while the old walls were preserved.
Napoleon attacked the city in 1799 and blown up one of the heading bastions, at that point, it was understood that defensive technology is advanced, and medieval walls would not protect the city from the modern explosives. Then, Emperor Franz Joseph decided to replace the city walls with modern buildings, gardens and an enormous parade boulevard.
In the 19th century, the city walls were demolished and Ringstraße is constructed and opened on 1 May 1865. Today, Ringstrasse is one of the most attractive boulevards of Vienna, and there is a tramline that goes around the city centre.
There is a special touristic tram which runs around the Ringstraße, which helps to get an overview of the city. Having this tour is a convenient way to start your Vienna journey because it is possible to see most of the city attractions and famous buildings when passing over the ring.
Another way to tour around Vienna ring is by foot however tram has some advantages. It is a nostalgic alternative which is well equipped with audio guides with a large variety of languages. Click here to read more about Vienna Ring Tram. Vienna ring tram is available every day from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. The price of the ticket is 9 € for each person.
Hofburg Palace Complex
Hofburg Palace Complex was once the home of Habsburg Monarchy who ruled the Austria-Hungarian Empire for centuries. Hofburg is a consist of buildings from numerous styles. The Palace complex is a collection of buildings from various styles developed through centuries however the initial plan of the plan was never finished.
Hofburg Palace Complex spread over a vast area there are more than 2500 rooms which are used for museums and formal rooms. Hofburg is also the home of the current Austrian President. The palace has a beautiful garden where there are many monuments including Mozarts.
As a visitor, there are a wide variety of attractions that you can choose based on your interest which some of them are Imperial Apartments, Art History Museum, Imperial Treasury, Silver Collection, National Library. Click here for the complete list of all the attractions.
I visited the Neue Burg collections, and there was a gorgeous collection of Ephesus Statues, Medieval Swords and Knight outfit and Musical Instruments. Interior of the building was also exquisite, which gave me a good experience of the rich Viennese palace life.
Opening times of Neue Burg collection are from Wednesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Click here to read more about it. There is also a free national library which is open to the public and highly recommended to visit if you are passing by Hofburg.
St. Stephens Cathedral
In the middle of the old town, there sits a beautiful cathedral called St. Stephen’s (Stephansdom). This area was a sacred even before St. Stephans church that there was a large Romanesque basilica which was founded in 1137 however it was destroyed by a massive fire.
The construction of St. Stephans Cathedral started in the early 14th century, and the expansions continued until 1511. Today, it is one of the most famous landmarks of Vienna, many tourist and worshipper visit the cathedral every day. The cathedral is a must-see attraction for any visitor.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is 34.2 meters wide and 107.2 meters long. The temple is very attractive in many aspects, the towers, the stones, dark Gothic walls. St Stephan’s is one of the greatest churches that I have ever seen. It is such a beauty that needs to be experienced both day and night. In the beginning, the plan was actually to construct two towers however the other tower was never completed. However not all the days were sunny for Saint Stephen’s Cathedral that it was damaged from sieges and wars during history.
For the tall tower, it that 343 steps to climb to the top and there are in total of 13 bells within the church. The roof of the cathedral is tiled with diamond patterns which were added during modern times in 1952. I think that ornating the roof was a good idea that adds a new aesthetic dimension to its view. Diamond patterned tile gives an original sight to the cathedral.
St. Stephen’s is opened from Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and 10:30 to 16:30 pm on Sundays. The ticket for St. Stephan Cathedrals Treasury is for adults € 5,50 and € 2,00 for children.