Wander in Wien Vienna “The City of Dreams”
Wien Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria. It is the 7th largest city by population in the European Union. A Medieval and Baroque city with a 2.6 millions residents in the metropolitan area.
Austria has nine states and Wien Austria is the primary city with a 2nd largest number of German-speaking inhabitants after Berlin, Germany. The city is host to several major international organizations such as United Nations and OPEC.
You’ll probably curious about the city’s name. It’s “Wien” in German and “Vienna” in English.
Wien Vienna, Austria
Mainly called the “City of Music” due to its large influence on music and its musical legacy. Wien Vienna is also referred to “The City of Dreams” thanks to Sigmund Freud the first psycho-analyst.
Vienna found at the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of its neighbouring countries Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. In 2001 the city centre designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, from 2017 last year it was move to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
In terms of religion, 49.2% of Viennese people are Roman Catholic, 25.7% with no religion, 7.8% are Muslims, 6% are Orthodox, 4.7% are Protestant, (mostly Lutheran), 0.5% Jewish and 6.3% other religions. (based on 2001 census)
Our Feat Commence
Our journey started with a road trip from Munich City to Wien Vienna. As I showed in my earlier post. Our first day started extremely late since we arrived at night-time in Wien Vienna.
For our second day, we have planned for a whole day tour in the city center and it’s “entourage” (vicinity). It’s our first time to visit this country so it was very exciting for us.
At night (first day) I ask the receptionist of our hotel, doing my Ms. Questionnaire mode. About the places we should or must visit, the food and those important things that we need to know like (Is it better to visit the center with a car or with public transportation etc.,) I have also planned for our second-day tour for our listed places to visit.
The moment I received the city map from the receptionist, automatically astounded by the number of Museums that the city possesses. more than 40 visible museums (Wow! that’s a lot!)
Places to Explore
On my list for the 3 days stay in this superb city, there are tons of captivating places to discover. Aside from its many Museums, there’s the Vienna’s City Hall or Rathaus, the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Karlskirche, Vienna State Opera, Mozarthaus, Austrian National Library, St. Peter’s Church, Schönbrunn Palace, and many more.
For our second day I have chosen to visit the closest/convenient places for us. Since our Hotel located northwest side from the city center. The first plan was to get the nearest tram from the hotel to Schottentor and from there we can visit all the attractions from Votivkirche, Rathaus, Parliament and Burgtheater.
And after that, we can explore a little more til Stephansplatz, St. Peter’s Church, down to the Michaelerplatz. I’m not sure if we hounded on our original plan but I don’t want to divulge any spoiler so I let you discover our 2nd day in Wien Vienna.
The Real Adventure Starts here
Starting off with our quest, we took the tram from our hotel which is just 2 minutes walk (advantage part). Hopping into the tram was easy it’s the same with other European cities trams are very convenient.
As for the tram ticket, we ask the driver (in English) and he responded that there’s a machine like a vending machine where you can buy your ticket on the spot. Paid for some pennies, oh I mean euro coins we hop off at the Schottentor Station.
We walk for about 5 minutes then finally, found the park just next to Rathausplatz. It’s filled with different Christmas decorations including Christmas lights, trees, and balls. There was this entertainment section for kids and adults as well as train tour.
Entering the Rathausplatz, the first thing I’ve noticed is, of course, this huge building right after the stands/booths of Christmas market. It looks stunning with its neo-gothic architectural design. Actually, it even reminds me of the City Hall of Brussels!
Wien Vienna City hall or Rathaus designed by Friedrich von Schmidt, where the office of the Mayor of the city, the chamber of the city council and Vienna’s Landtag diet located.
I have read that this massive Municipal built by using 30 million bricks. Currently, it is hosting different events like as we’ve seen Christmas Market and as well as hosting Balls & Events.
Apparently, we cannot access inside of the municipal as it is the office building of the Mayor. without any prior appointment, people aren’t allowed to enter the place. So we contented to be amazed by the booths of various types of artisanal products and foods.
Rathaus Christmas Market
Watching those people walking and chatting around, the milieu of this area was really special. I have seen some unique products, handmade ones or even dried fruits that made as decorations.
It intrigued me that well, it was my first time to see those kinds of decoration. Amazed by these wonderful products, we even bought some of this special chocolate/marzipan made from “marron” or chestnuts called Meraner/Marzipan Nusse and some cube form caramel.
The Burgtheater was right in front of me when I took this photo. Normally, we should go there as I’ve planned but instead, we headed to Votivkirche and walk for 5-7 minutes till we reach the church.
Remembering the time when I got the city map of Wien Vienna, I’m attracted to this Church just beside the tram station. I’ve really wanted to visit it not knowing the real reason, perhaps it’s faith! As you all know, every time we travel we always make sure to visit one or two churches.
Votivkirche is an old neo-gothic 99 meter high church, its exterior designed was akin to Rathaus. The interior was impressive as its exterior, the stained glass are very enticing with different colors and designs.
Its pulpit stands with six marble pillars, the transept with four chapels. The Rosary, Bishop, Baptistery, and the Chapel of the Cross, they form side aisles in the transept are as high and wide as the aisles.
The main altar designed by the artist Joseph Glasser inspired from ciborium style churches in Rome. The altar was really beautiful to its finest elaborated ciborium design and gilded retable (structure above or below altar).
This a great experience, discovering a new and unique style of church and as well as the stained glass which are comparable to the ones in Prague.
Austrian Parliament Building
After a long walk from the church, we had to stop by in a small stall. A man selling grilled chestnuts and grilled potatoes and we grab some potatoes for our mini lunch. (Well, it’s more for him cause he didn’t eat that much at the buffet in the hotel)
Eating while walking, we saw this enormous building with greek mythology statues around it. I thought maybe it was a museums related to Greeks but as I’ve check the map it was actually the Parliament Building.
It is known as the place where two houses of the Austrian Parliament conduct their sessions.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The most popular place in the city. St. Stephen’s Cathedral or Stephansdom (in German) is a Romanesque, Gothic-style Roman Catholic Parish Church, and Cathedral.
It stands 136.7 meters (448 ft) with 22 Bells, 2 main spires, North 68.3 meters (224 ft) and South 136.44 meters (447.6 ft) also known for its unique roof tiles multi-coloured mosaic.
Considered as the most important religious building in Vienna. It is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the city and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, OP.
Its tiled roof has a total of 230,000 glazed, multi-coloured tiled. The Cathedral’s largest bell is the largest in Austria weighing 20,130 kilograms. It has played an important part in the culture and history of Vienna: it held Antonio Vivaldi’s funeral in 1741 and was also where Mozart got married and where two of his children baptized
Normally the admission fee is free but if you like to some restricted areas then you should pay the entrance fee for each place. Or you can also avail a complete ticket to get access to all those places.
As we entered, we stumbled into this barrier that separates the free entrance part and the payable one. Of course we went to the free section, but yeah it was a limited view apart from the view of the interior design of the church, the altar on the left side and the stained glass.
You can also buy the Vienna Pass for one day for 53 euros and above. Getting to Stephansdom is easy Metro/Subway of U1, U3 Stephansplatz and for HOP ON HOP OFF its Schwedenplatz / DDSG Blue Danube stop.
St. Peter’s Catholic Church
St. Peter’s Catholic Church or Peterskirche is an 18th-century church featuring ornate baroque art & architecture & daily organ recitals. It stands 56.8 meters (186 ft) consisting one dome with a diameter of 30 meters and height of 54 meters.
Finding this church wasn’t that easy at first. I thought that it was just in Stephansdom but unfortunately it took us more than 10 minutes to find it (haha) it was so funny cause we made a tour then, in the end, we finally found it.
As we found this church we entered the wrong door and found ourselves in a private exposition where you have to pay for your entrance. Luckily, I just ask the guy about the entrance of the church and he let us go.
Personally, St. Peter’s Church is the most beautiful church so far in Wien Vienna. My heart stopped when we entered this place. You will be breathless with the designs inside especially the Dome part.
The Dome, as you can see it’s alluring! there’s so much work in it that it’s all transparent. I can see how much hard work the artists put into this work. Detail of the dome’s frescoes indeed outstanding.
I still can’t believe that we have visited this magical church. I won’t ever forget that pleasant feeling. To appreciate an exceptional Baroque Roman Catholic church. It is surely a one fo kind experience of my life.
Follow us on our next destination, still wandering in Vienna “The City of Dreams”!