This cathedral looks straight out of Ali Baba, right? No, we didn't take a detour; this is KarlsKirche (Church of St. Charles), a "classic Gothic example" in Vienna! Gothic architects borrowed Muslim influences from the Ottoman Empire, with which the House of Hapsburg was battling at about the same time the church was designed. As with many other European cathedrals, one look at the inside gives an insight about why there was a religious reformation. Church dignitaries lived with the same opulence as the cathedrals they built.
Call me crazy and punch me in the arm, but doesn't the inside of this cathedral look like they tie-dyed it???
Schonnbrunn Palace. Opulence. We came across several palaces in our travels--mostly we enjoyed the free gardens. Once you've seen Versailles, everything else is just a watered down variation on a theme. If you think on it too hard, you realize that the cost of European opulence didn't figure in positively for 99.9% of the citizenry. Kings schmings...
Palace gardens. I restrained myself from sweeping through singing something (not Sound of Music yet--wait for it, wait for it) romantic.
Palace garden fountain. Free, cool, private. Most of the folks headed for the palace. We had the gardens to ourselves.
A magnificent arch above the palace. We huffed up there in the heat. A zoo hosted some pandas just to the right of this. So so grandiose. Defnitely an upside of opulence!
Now my caveat here is that I know minimal German (3 years in high school and about that many semesters at BYU)--just enough to hang myself with. When I saw this sign I picked out "You have it in the hand" and "Stop...something something...street". I'm guessing some Viennese dogs are being singled out. If anyone can translate this????
mmmm..."Our Garden". Wait! Those are umlauts over the "A"! Plural??
And last but not least...Strauss. Viennese daytrips next! Graz and Budapest!!! (Note to the astute reader: I did something today I've never done. I showed Paco how to edit my blogpost and let him mess around a little with putting some pictures next to other related pictures. Can you pick out what text he added?)