After breakfast, we began a partial bus-and-walking tour of Vienna, Austria. There’s just so much to see. It seems strange to have an ultra-new building with the old buildings, but they seem to fit together rather well. For the entire six years we lived in Germany, I hounded Fred about taking me/us to Vienna. Never happened! So this trip finally put us in that beautiful city.
I’m not a terribly good historian, but I have heard of the Hapsburg Dynasty. Austria was the home for that dynasty. The ship’s info sheet stated: The rise and fall of the House of Hapsburg began along the Danube’s banks in 1276. With Austria firmly in their grasp, the family gained new territories by marriage until their serial nuptials put most of Europe under their power. As their wealth and territory grew, few royal families remained to help them acquire more kingdoms. Their solution to this problem may have also been their undoing. While the dynasty actually had its beginning in 1020, it wasn’t until 1273 when it moved to Austria.
The info sheet also said: The Hapsburgs sought to retain their massive power through intermarriage between cousins or uncle and niece. “The best spouse for a Hapsburg is another Hapsburg,” went the proverb. The last of the Spanish line, Charles 2, was disabled from birth, perhaps from a genetic disorder typical in children born from siblings, and died. It’s likely that the Austrian Hapsburg line ended for the same reasons.
While there are still living relatives of the Hapsburgs, for all intents and purposes, the dynasty died out in 1918, at the close of World War 1.
We walked through Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, which has a really dark interior. I was unable to get any good pictures there.
But the outside is remarkable. There is even a bronze model of the cathedral outside, that is to scale.
We then walked through some of their Christmas Market. It was still rather early in the season for the Christmas Market to be up and running, but there were a few booths set up already, and we enjoyed seeing them.
At 12:45 we met under the clock on the square and headed back to the bus and into the ship for lunch, which we had with Richard, Judy and Lucy.
At 2:00 p.m. we took a tour of the Schönbrunn Palace. It’s very opulent, but beautiful.
On our way into the Palace, there was a man on the sidewalk, covered in gold. He was standing on a box, and was singing some Mozart – advertising a concert. I just thought it was cute. I gave him a short curtsy, and he replied with a small bow.
We had an early dinner (6:00 p.m.) with Richard, Judy and Lucy. At 7:00 p.m. some of the group left for a Mozart and Strauss Concert, that was free to all who wanted to attend, since we had to change ships again. Fred and I decided to stay onboard and pack. Then we read some, and then were in bed and asleep by 9:30 p.m.
~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~