The story of the third day in Vienna goes on. After spending the morning at the Hofburg Imperial Palace, I took a walk in the centre of Vienna in the afternoon, exploring a part of the city untouched on the first day. But first I made a little stop.
Café Sacher: an unmissable stop in the centre of Vienna
After so much walking among rooms and historic buildings, we really needed a note of sweetness. What can Vienna offer but its well-known Sacher Cake? So here we are in front of the house par excellence of the Sachertorte, the Café Sacher.
This delicious cake was invented in Vienna by Franz Sacher, a court chef who prepared this dessert for the Foreign Minister Klemens von Metternich. Since then, the original recipe of the Sachertorte is jealously guarded by the confectionery of the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. Approximately 270,000 cakes are produced every year; each slice is served at a temperature of 16-18 degrees and accompanied by unsweetened whipped cream.
There is only one small negative note: outside the Café Sacher, you will always find a queue at any time of day, but the wait is not so long. This little discomfort will be forgotten as soon as you taste the cake 😀
Exploring the centre of Vienna
After stopping at the Café Sacher, I decided to detach myself from my travel fellows, who wanted to visit the Albertina Museum. The Albertina is named after Albert of Saxony Teschen, Empress Maria Theresa’s son, and houses one of the largest collections of prints in the world, with over 60,000 exhibits on display. Temporary exhibitions are also set up.
Actually I didn’t want to spend closed in a museum for the entire afternoon, so I preferred to explore the centre of Vienna, without having a well-established itinerary in mind.
St. Michael’s church was the first stop on my tour of the centre of Vienna. It is located in Michaelerplatz, opposite the entrance to the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Inside, the church has a Gothic-style structure with pointed arches, but with not coeval decorations in the Baroque style. A peculiarity of this church is the crypt (I didn’t visit it), where the particular environmental conditions prevent the bodies buried there from decomposing. Moreover, in this church Mozart’s Requiem was played for the first time shortly after his death.
After leaving the church, I resumed my aimless tour of the centre of Vienna. I walked through the alleys around the Graben street, then later headed west.Along the way I bumped into many beautiful buildings, many of which deserved to be photographed. If you go to Vienna and you are photography enthusiast, you will find a lot of inspiration.
By chance I found myself in front of Palais Ferstel, where you find a very elegant gallery.
My aimless tour through the centre of Vienna led me to the University, then in front of the Burgtheater. It is a beautiful building in neoclassical style, but also an institution of the theatre culture in the German language … it deserves a visit!
Just in front of the Burgtheater is the Rathaus, Vienna‘s town hall. Here are the offices of the mayor of Vienna, the city council and the regional government. It is an imposing building in neo-Gothic style, built in the nineteenth century. It was very nice to see because all the balconies were decorated with lots of red flowers. I would have liked to take a picture of the entire facade, but a big screen for the Vienna Film Festival or something similar was set up right in the square outside.
While I was in front of the Rathaus, I saw from the corner of my eye a church with two very tall spiers, at a few tens of metres on the right. It was the Votivkirche. Intrigued by it, I decided to go and have a look. As I approached, I realized that the church was undergoing some restoration works on the outside. I was a little discouraged, because I thought I would have found it closed or at least found scaffolding inside the church. Luckily it wasn’t so, because once entered, I discovered a beautiful church in neo-Gothic style, with colourful windows. It was built in the 19th century by the will of Franz Joseph I, after his brother Ferdinand Maximilian had survived an attack.
After leaving the Votivkirche, I resumed my tour of the centre of Vienna towards the Hofburg Imperial Palace. When I got to the Rathaus, I had a look at Google Maps and saw that the Parliament stood nearby, so I decided to go there. The Parliament looks like a neoclassical building, with a fountain with the goddess Athena placed in front of the main staircase. Unfortunately, even here I could not take an overall picture, because there was a building site right in front of the Parliament.
After leaving Parliament, I returned to the Albertina to reunite with my friends. We went together to the Augustinerkirche (St. Augustine’s church). This church, which is part of the large Hofburg complex, was the scene of several baptisms and weddings of the Habsburg house, first of all the marriage of Franz Joseph with Elizabeth. In the Augustinerkirche there is also the Herzgruft (Hearts Crypt) in the Loreto Chapel, where 54 hearts of members of the Habsburg family are kept (you can not always visit it); another interesting thing to see is the funeral monument to Maria Christina of Austria, sculpted by Antonio Canova.
With the visit to the Augustinerkirche my tour of the centre of Vienna ends as well as the third trip day. On the fourth trip day, we had a break from Vienna to take a day trip to Bratislava. My Vienna tour was resumed the following day from the Belvedere Palace, but I will talk about this in the next post.
To read the other posts about Vienna, click here.
Here is a video of my tour in the centre of Vienna, taken from my YouTube channel: