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Trip Report I finally got to go to Vienna and Prague: a trip report.

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I have wanted to visit Vienna and Prague for a very long time, and we finally got the chance last month. We had a great trip. Here’s what we did (I’ll list hotel/transit info at the end):

In Vienna:

Kunsthistoriches Museum: I have wanted to see this museum for the longest time, and it didn’t disappoint. Wow, what a great collection: Brueghel (a whole room!), Vermeer, Arcimboldo, Raphael, Corregio, etc. etc. This is a great art museum.

Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts: I love the work of Hieronymous Bosch, and there is one of his large paintings of the Last Judgment here. This was an amazing work with so much to see. I spent nearly a ½ hour standing in front of it and exploring his imagination on canvas. The gallery keeps two chairs in this room, and a man from Switzerland was sitting in one chair when I arrived in the gallery, and stayed until after I had left. He was also a Bosch fan and we talked about Bosch’s art that we had seen around Europe. He told me that the painting we were perusing in this gallery was recently restored and is only now back on display. I am so glad I didn’t miss this one. In addition to Bosch, the Academy has a small, but nice, collection.

Hofburg Palace: we wandered around here a lot, and also saw the beautiful library.

St. Michael’s Square – pretty area in front of the entrance to the Hofburg palace. There are several large fountains and an excavation from a Roman settlement.

Churches: We wandered in and out of many churches, my favorites:

St Michael’s – we also got to go down into the crypt. They give guided tours twice a day. The conditions existing in the crypt mummified some of the bodies, and you could tell what kind of clothes they were wearing.

St. Stephens – beautiful Gothic church. To wander closer to the altar and into the center, you have to purchase a tour. We didn’t do that, but did get to see a lot just wandering around the sides of the church. I also liked the walk around the church on the outside, and seeing the gargoyles.

Capuchin Church – here we went down into the vault to see the elaborate burial coffins of the Hapsburgs, which featured detailed artwork and statuary.

St. Peter’s – beautiful Baroque church; stunning interior.

Albertina Museum – there is a current exhibition featuring works by Monet and Picasso, and on the risers of their steps is Monet’s water lilies – great photo op!

Am Hof – this is a pretty square that was right near our hotel. On our last night, there was a street festival there, complete with lots of food stands and live entertainment. We couldn’t understand the band, but we enjoyed the music a lot. Everyone looked like they were having fun.

We also just really enjoyed walking around within the ring – every night we went on a long walk after dinner.

We gave up seeing some of the sites of Vienna in order to take an all day excursion to the Wachau Valley on a Danube River cruise. This was wonderful and I’m glad we did it. It was so pretty going by the picturesque small towns, castles and scenery on the Danube.

Krems/Durnstein – these are very pretty towns as seen from the river. I would have liked to explore these towns on foot.

Willendorf – we floated by this village, and learned that this is where the Venus of Willendorf statue was discovered. I had no idea.

Melk – we stopped at Melk to tour the amazing Abbey. The library and church are so ornate and beautiful. The guided tour that was very interesting – part of the abbey today is now a private school. We also ate a very nice lunch here at their restaurant. The Abbey also had pretty views of the town and the river below.

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