What to see in Vienna, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including St. Stephen's Cathedral, Hofburg, Schönbrunn Palace and Grinzing.
Capital and federal state of Austria, located in the north-eastern part of the country, Vienna is crossed in the peripheral area by the Danube, while in the central part it is touched by a small artificial canal, the Donaukanal.
When in the area where Vienna stands today, around 100 A.D. the Romans founded a military camp which they called Vindobona, the place was already an important Celtic trading station. The Roman settlement developed to become, in the third and fourth centuries, a real city.
Vindobona was subsequently conquered by various peoples who wanted to enter Europe, until the year 976 when the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Otto I, donated Vienna to the Babenberg dynasty and the city took on its current name Wien.
In 1278 Vienna passed into the hands of the Habsburgs, who remained in power until 1918. For a certain period of time, from 1485 to 1493, Vienna was under the domination of Matthias Corvinus, king of the Hungarians, and was twice besieged by the Turkish army, in 1529 and 1683.
During the 16th century, with the Protestant reform and the subsequent counter-reformation, Vienna was at the center of religious wars and, in the 17th century, it was devastated by a terrible plague epidemic.
Despite these tragic events, the city from the eighteenth century experienced a period of great flowering and urban awakening, the Karlskirche, the palaces of the Belvedere, the residences of the nobles around the Hofburg were built.
In 1740, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria moved the imperial residence to the Schönbrunn palace, which she had built on the outskirts of Vienna, and helped make the city a top-level musical artistic center.
In the early nineteenth century the city was occupied for two short periods by the Napoleonic army, which caused changes in Europe. After these events, the Congress was held in Vienna which sanctioned the new division of post-Napoleonic Europe.
From the nineteenth to the twentieth century, the sovereign Francesco Giuseppe demolished the walls already partially destroyed by Napoleon and had the Ringstrasse, the avenue that surrounds the ring city, still the main artery of the city built in their place.
In recent years, the prestigious Opera House was inaugurated in Vienna, with the representation of Mozart's Don Giovanni. In the early years of the twentieth century the city ended in Hitler's expansionist aims and shared its fate, was liberated in 1945 and for ten years it remained under the control of the winning powers, who retired in 1955.Recommended readings
- Vienna (Austria): what to see in the capital
- Austria: what to do in the country of the waltz
- Austria: useful travel information
- Salzburg (Austria): what to see in the city of Mozart
Today Vienna is a city very visited by international tourism, it is a brilliant cultural center, it can count on an extraordinary artistic heritage and many green areas, the main places to visit can also be seen during a holiday of a few days with a well organized itinerary.
The Cathedral of Santo Stefano, built in the Gothic style, is one of the symbols of the city.
The origins of the current structure date back to a Romanesque church built in 1147.
Further constructions were carried out in the thirteenth century, and between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when the church took on its current Gothic form, subsequent additions were made by the Habsburgs.
Hofburg is the imperial palace, a structure formed by a complex of buildings, whose original core dates back to a fortress built around 1275, which developed over the centuries in various architectural styles, as each ruler added new buildings.
Schönbrunn Palace is a beautiful imperial residence outside the city, surrounded by a large park.
In the second half of the sixteenth century, the area where the palace stands today was a hunting reserve for Emperor Maximilian II.
The building that was on the estate was destroyed by the Turks in 1683, in 1687 Leopold I had a new residence built on the model of Versailles and, although the original idea was downsized, the central part was built between 1696 and 1700, but after the death of Giuseppe I the works stopped, it was his daughter Maria Teresa D'Austria who made a new project come true, completing the works.
Belvedere Castle is a complex built by Prince Eugene of Savoy, divided into two palaces, the Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere, separated by a baroque garden full of water features.
Inside the buildings is the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, one of the most important art museums in Vienna, where the works of the master of the Secession Gustav Klimt are kept.
The Donauturm is a 252 meter high tower from which you can enjoy an excellent panorama over Vienna.
Grinzing is a village famous for the Heurigen, types of new wines, and for the rustic taverns, where in summer you can eat outdoors in the company of excellent wine and live music, by players who improvise also reasons requested by the public, a ideal place for happy evenings.