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Thursday, 25 April 2013

A-Z Challenge - V is for Vienna

Join me on his A-Z journey  into  A SENSE OF PLACE where I reminiscence on places that are connected with my family history or are part of my own personal memories.

V is for VIENNA- City of Dreams

With my love of history and music, how could I fail to be captivated by this city - its palaces, architecture, statues, imperial legacies and culture - not forgetting its café  and delicious "Kaffee and Kuchen""? 

You cannot help think that Austria may have got rid of its monarchy  but its imperial past has been a great boon for today's tourism industry with frequent reminders of the long reigning  Franz Josef (1830-1916), Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire  and his beautiful but sad and estranged wife  Elizabeth (Sissi).

Statue of Franz Josef

In 1889 their son  Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide in the hunting  lodge at Mayerling  in a tragedy shrouded in mystery and speculation.   Nephew Archduke Franz Ferdinand became heir to the throne,  to be assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914. sparking in the web of European alliances the outbreak of the First World War which changed the political map of Europe for ever.

One of the many sights of Imperial Vienna

Statue of Mozart

One of the many costumed city guides - catching on his information? 

And the highlight of my visit - standing  on the stage of the Vienna Opera House - not as a performer I hasten to add,  but as  part of a fascinating tour of this impressive building. 


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