VIENNA — Kärntner Strasse And Around

Kärntner Strasse is the most famous shopping street in central Vienna and was once lined with the finest shops in the city but it is no longer as grand as it once was but it is still a nice street to walk along. It runs from Stephansplatz to Wiener Staatsoper at Karlsplatz on the Ringstrasse. Nearby is Albertinaplatz where you will find a sculpture called Monument Against War and Fascism by Alfred Hrdlicka built in 1988. The monument commemorates Jews and other victims of war and fascism and includes a piece that came from Mauthausen concentration camp. This monument is quite disturbing but worth seeing.

The sights found here are:
Kaisergruft
Staatsopermuseum
Theatermuseum

Kapuzinerkirche

Kaisergruft
This is the Imperial Crypt which is the final resting place of the Hapsburg royal family since 1633. It is found below the Kapuzinerkirche (the Church of the Capuchin friars) and monastery founded in 1617. It is on the Neue Markt square, near the imperial Hofburg palace. The last Hapsburg to be buried here was Empress Zita, wife of Karl 1 in 1989. Probably the most elaborate of the tombs found here are those of Maria Theresia and Franz Stephan and the tomb of Charles V1 which were the work of Balthasar Moll. Most people come to see the tombs of Franz Josef 1 and Empress Elisabeth which are often covered in fresh flowers. For information about the Kaisergruft visit the website at: http://www.kaisergruft.at/ (in German only)

Staatsopermuseum
This museum is found in the Vienna Opera House which is thought to be the greatest opera house in the world. The museum contains articles and photos of the history of the opera house but unless you are an opera fan you may find it rather boring. The opera house itself however is worth visiting.
For information about this museum visit the website at: http://www.staatsoper.at/Content.Node2/en/index.php

Theatermuseum
Since 1979 this museum has been housed in the newly refurbished Lobkowitz Palace. This palace built in the late 17th century is one of Austria’s most beautiful Baroque palaces. The Eroica Hall is named in honour of Beethoven’s third symphony because he often performed here. It is well worth seeing for its lovely ceiling fresco and is often used as a wedding venue. The museum houses over a million items including sketches, stage designs, photographs, posters and promotional material. There are autographs of some of Vienna’s as well as international composers and playwrights including Beethoven, Goethe, Wagner, Strauss and Mahler. In 2001 the museum became a branch of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. It is a fantastic collection and if you are interested in the theatre or music it is a ‘must’ to visit.
For information about this museum visit the following website: http://www.wien.gv.at/english/administration/civilstatus/wedding/lobkowitz.html

Traveller's Tip

Make sure you see the costumes designed by famous artists, such as Oskar Kokoschka, Pablo Picasso and Fritz Wotruba.