Europe Travel

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Introducing Vienna

Vienna is the capital of the central European country of Austria. The city has a long history that dates back nearly 1,000 years. The first time that Vienna was mentioned as a city was in a chronicle dating from 1137. 









About two decades afterward the city became the home of the Austrian dukedom. About a century later, in 1278 with the defeat of Czech king Ottokar II, the Hapsburgs maintained their control of the city, a situation that was to be maintained for the next 640, until the end of WWI. After the fall of the Hapsburg’s rule, the city went through several changes perhaps the most notorious being brought into the German Third Reich by Austrian Adolf Hitler. 

Vienna is well-known for its musical history. The classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, although not born in the city, moved there in 1781, as did the famous composer Franz Joseph Haydn and the German-born Ludwig van Beethoven. Other noted composers and conductors either came from Vienna or made the city their home. Such notables include Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler and Herbert von Karajan. Even today, there are many musical groups and events which take place in the city. Home to the Theatre an der Wein, a famous opera house, the Herbert von Karajan Centrum Vienna, the Vienna Boys Choir and the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchestra, there are many places to experience music in the city. But there is more than classical music which lives there. Annually, the city hosts a jazz festival with international artists. For instance, the Jazz Fest Wien 2011 included Liza Minnelli, British music star Seal, and singer Cesoria Evora from Cape Verde. There are various jazz clubs as well such as the Blue Tomato and Club Ost. There are also many electronic music-related artists and clubs such as the Elektro GÓ§nner and Europa and Lager. Established electronic producers and DJ’s include Patrick Palsinger, Peter Kruger and Richard Dorfmeister. Electronic music festivals include Waves Vienna and the Day & Night Festival.

Besides musical events, there are many other activities to do in Vienna. In the first district of the city, near the State Opera House is the Haus of Musik, which allows visitors to hear a presentation about the history of music as well as try out various instruments. G-town which opened in 2001, is an urban entertainment center. It boasts a myriad of various buildings including an event hall for over 4,000 people, a daycare center, a dormitory for students, a 12-screen cinema, over 600 apartments, the Vienna National Archive, and 70 bars, stores, restaurants, cafes and a vinotheque. 

Many historical sites can be seen in Vienna such as Figarohaus, where Mozart lived over a period of about ten years. Other historical sites in Vienna including Judenplatz, the Holocaust memorial which is a sculpture consisting of The Nameless Library. The names of Holocaust victims can be seen at the memorial along with the names of the Nazi death camps. There is also a Jewish museum which details the extensive history of Jewish people in the city. Famous Viennese residents of Jewish heritage include Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, and Hedy Lamarr, an inventor and famous Hollywood actress. Josephinum, or the Institute for the History of Medicine, in Vienna was established by Emperor Joseph II. It houses a wax collection of anatomical body parts commissioned by Joseph II and later used by doctors to study the human body. Vienna is also home to the Kriminalmuseum which provides information to visitors on how killers, past and present, go about their deeds. Information is supplied by Vienna police archives. Details about murder from the Middle Ages to the present day is on display. There is also an exhibit dedicated to the city’s criminal underworld.



5 comments:

The city has one of the most comprehensive public transport systems in the world. Despite residents' constant, and sometimes justified, grumbling about unreliability, public transport is often the best option for getting anywhere for visitors and residents alike.

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