Quilt Gallery

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Last month I had the opportunity to visit Vienna for the first time. We packed a lot into our four days there, but left feeling that we had only had a small taste of all the city has to offer.

Our hotel, adjacent to St. Peter's Church, was a convenient base from which to explore. We could simply step out the door to wander in the heart of the old city center, now mostly limited to pedestrians and horse drawn carriages.

Carriage ride, anyone?

What fun we had exploring narrow cobbled streets and squares,


ducking into churches,

Dome of St. Peter's Church

St. Stephan's Cathedral at night

admiring shop windows,

examining monuments, and sampling the culinary delights in coffee shops and restaurants.

Pastries at Cafe Central

Cafe Landtmann

The city center also contains the Hofburg, once the winter palace of the Hapsburgs. Among other things, it now houses the Spanish Riding School, which we decided to save for our next visit, when we hope to bring the girls with us,

and an incredible collection of arms and armory.

Surrounding the city center is the Ringstrasse, or Ring Road, along which are arrayed monumental buildings in a variety of styles, including Parliament, the neo-gothic Rathaus (city hall),

The Rathaus

museums, parks, hotels, the university, and the neo-renaissance Vienna State Opera house. We were privileged to hear Anna Netrebko sing the title role of Anna Bolena. Not my favorite opera, but Anna Netrebko was wonderful. Given that we lost track after the sixth curtain call, others clearly agreed with us. I didn't love the sets, which seemed to be modern just for the sake of being different, but the opera house itself offered up enough eye candy to make up for it.

Marble staircase in the Vienna State Opera House (photo taken with an iPhone)

Model, based on Albrecht Durer's watercolor "Young Hare," outside the Vienna State Opera

Venturing outside the Ringstrasse, we took in the Belvedere, a 17th century Baroque palace built as summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. It now houses the Belvedere Museum and its collection of works by Gustav Klimt.

Belvedere Palace

The enormous Baroque Schonbrunn Palace and gardens is farther still from the city center. We spent an afternoon touring the mid-18th century interiors (which sadly visitors are not permitted to photograph), done up in the Rococo style for empress Maria Teresa. Compared to the elaborate interiors, the exterior seems rather sedate.

Schonbrunn Palace viewed through the Poseidon statue

 I spent another afternoon strolling in the grounds and gardens,

The Gloriette at Schonbrunn Palace

 which are clearly a popular spot for walking

The Gloriette in Schoenbrunn Palace Gardens

and simply enjoying the outdoors.

View of Schonbrunn Palace and Vienna beyond

The weather was so nice during our stay that we opted for a walk in the Vienna Woods, easily reached via the metro and bus, instead of another day inside museums.

It was early enough in spring that only a few trees had leafed out.

Lovely as the city is, it is not immune to graffiti, though perhaps Viennese graffiti is more elegant than most.

Top hat graffiti

I don't have any stitchery that can match the elegance of things we saw in Vienna, so I will simply share the piece on which I whiled away several hours of our transatlantic flight. I was so pressed for time prior to departure that I wasn't able to prepare a portable project and ended up grabbing a stack of pre-cut squares that came in this year's QuiltCon goodie bag. I don't have the patience, or enough squares, to make a bed quilt, so although it is a bit lame, I will most likely turn it into a pillow top.

Check back soon for a report on Budapest.

1 comment:

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