Final leg of our Eastern European trip. And a little teaser.
Vienna was the home of the Hapsburgs, who ruled a large part of Europe for several centuries, beginning in the 14th. We visited their downtown palace, including the treasury. The wealth was pretty amazing, but of course it is not as impressive in photos, even when they were allowed, which was not often. I'll just include a photo of the outside of the palace, and one photo of a typical table centerpiece, along with a container cut from the largest emerald in the world.
I'll have to admit to being largely ignorant of the Hapsburgs before this trip. You may have heard of Sisi, one of the queens who was (apparently) quite famous. But, I was most impressed with Franz Joseph, who was always open to visits from his subjects. It is said he would meet with perhaps 100 people on the typical morning. And these were people of all walks of life, from all over his empire. Perhaps that was the key to his success?
Of course, you have to see a beautiful church in each city. This is St Stephen's, and a podium inside which was carved from solid sandstone.
After a previous country place was destroyed, the Hapburgs decided to build a small place in the countryside outside Vienna, known as Schonbrunner. Here is a picture of the Glorieta from the main building and a picture of the main building across the gardens from the Glorieta.
Oh, and I received this picture from Stanislav, a friend in Ukraine. I believe this is from his travels to Crimea, and he indicates it is from Genua, described in Wikipedia as a "fictional city". I'm anxious to hear more. Anyone care to enlighten me?