Vienna, City of Food, Museums, Horses and Catacombs

Warning, food may yet again be featured in this post, along with symbols of civilisation of various descriptions. Why else would you come to Vienna?

We’ll start the day with Kaiserschmarren, a sort of scrambled pancake. And coffee of course. Then the first of the museums, the Hofjagd und Rüstkammer museum, basically the Hapsburg armoury. Exquisitely made armour at that for the elite, and strangely enough, their kids also, little kids at that. At the rates kids grow, the armours would not have fitted them long. Ironically the armoury also included early muskets and rifles, which spelled the end of knights in armour in the 1600s.

Now to a tour of the Spanish Riding School. This was founded back in 1572 by Archduke Karl II, another Hapsburg ruler. He had travelled widely in his youth in Italy and Spain, and brought back a whole bunch of horses from Spain. As traveling horses overland continuously was not practical, a stud was established in Lipica in 1580, hence Lipizzaners. This stud was moved to Piber in 1920 after the first world war. There was also a frantic rescue operation of these horses during World War II, watch the film.

But being summer most of the horses were on holidays, apart from a handful. I guess the tourists do want to see something alive resembling a handsome stallion like horse. I know I did.

Time for a revitalizing sausage from a stand. I had a decidedly non-Viennese, but still tasty, Curry wurst. But the beer was still Austrian.

Next back to the Hapsburgs and some of the shiny things they accumulated in centuries of ruling this area of Europe. No doubt the armoury may have assisted in this. The crown jewels, crosses, a carved 2,860 carat emerald ointment container, and numerous bits of coronation wear. Just what any emperor would need, while alive anyway.

Just up the road and a couple of blocks over is the Capuchin Crypt, home to the mortal remains of the Hapsburgs since 1633. As of 2023 149 Habsburgs have been laid to rest there, most in metal sarcophagi, with the latest in 2011. The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is a religious order of Franciscan friars, and act as guardians.

Time to eat again. Apparently, a proper Wiener schnitzel is only made from veal. Anything else is just a Schnitzel made from whatever it is made from. Who am I to argue.

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