Sisi, Steffl, Sacher – doing: trips, fitness and travel

Most recently, they came back on TV, the “Sisi” movies. Hofburg & Co. appears in far too rich 1950s colors, making you want to go back to Vienna. But with a distance of more than 600 kilometers, a normal weekend is not enough for this metropolis, but an extended one or better two days is ideal. So “save”, as the Viennese say.

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Site visit: author Konstantin Groß at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. © Gross

We are not the only ones with this idea that Friday. The ICE, which starts at 7.11 in Mannheim, is full, and so is Vienna when it arrives at the main station, which opened in 2014, at 15.30. “Almost like before Corona,” the taxi driver says happily, “Only the Russians and Chinese are still missing,” he smiles.

Check in at the Hotel am Konzerthaus, affordable for Vienna and not too out of the way. The first trip takes you along the ring road, the Champs-Elysées in Vienna. And characteristic of the architectural style of the metropolis, which is more uniform than in any other metropolis. Dating from the time of the emperor and kings, ie. from the second half of the 19th century. Hardly a modern building, and if it is, then it catches the eye because of its ugliness.

Karntner Strasse promenade

Arrival at the main promenade, Kärntner Strasse. All major brands are present. We have dinner in “Gasthaus zur Oper”. The best schnitzel in Vienna is said to be here. Is there. And at a reasonable price: 21 euros.

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Day 2. The weather report announces cloudy skies. Ideal for indoor activities, ie museum visits. Passing the Belvedere Palace through its wonderful park, it goes to the HGM, Museum of Military History. Contrary to what the name implies, he is not about military service. Rather, his slogan is: “War belongs in the museum” – how relevant is this claim these days.

The most spectacular exhibition: the car in which the Austrian heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand and his wife were murdered in Sarajevo in 1914, triggering the First World War. A touch of history hovers around you as you stand here.

This also applies to the next station: Hofburg. We look at the “Führer balcony”, on which Hitler announced the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany in 1938 – below them on the Square of the Heroes thousands of cheering Austrians who after 1945 absolutely can not remember: Was there anything?

Pleasant story: in the treasury of the Hofburg. But we are unlucky: the exhibit, the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation, is currently on loan for scientific research. But there really is still enough to see here.

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We want to make a third museum: the imperial residential area of ​​Hofburg, the Sisi Museum. But beware: there are two different queues here – one for the tickets, the other for the entrance. It makes a lady aware as we have already been standing in the wrong place for half an hour.

We would rather eat something, to the “Bundeskanzleramt”. No, of course not in the Prime Minister’s nearby official residence, but in the adjoining restaurant of the same name. Reinforced with the fried liver it is known for, it is off to the day’s final sightseeing. Not to the venerable Albertina, whom we ignore, but to a gem: the Third Man Museum. A private collection in memory of the legendary 1949 thriller set in post-war Vienna and famous thanks to the film’s melody with a quote. You simply have to experience it.

Experience St. Stephen’s Cathedral

The same goes for the evening event: the Easter vigil after two years of pandemic again in the full Stefan’s judgment. About three hours, from kl. 21.00 to almost midnight. But even those who are not religiously bound should not miss a visit to this Gothic marvel, affectionately called “Steffl” by the Viennese. If you are lucky, you will experience a sermon by Archbishop Schönborn, one of the great church princes of our time, who is still combative at the age of 77 years. He made headlines that day because he said to those who were against vaccination: “Dear God, let it rain brains!”

Day 3. Brilliant sunshine. Now it’s out. To Schönbrunn, not to the castle there, but to the oldest zoo in the world. And with this pound, he grows. With a historic nature trail, which not only provides information on boards about the animals’ previous housing, but also with original cages. Impressive zoo history.

For the last night we indulge in the legendary Hotel Sacher. Not cheap. But technology and comfort of the highest standard in a historic atmosphere. Even the photo gallery with the famous guests is a true journey through time. And of course there is the legendary Sacher cake here and in the café.

Day 4. The last appointment in the morning: the Capuchin crypt near Sacher. Here are the most famous Habsburgs buried: Empress Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph, Crown Prince Rudolf (who dies and takes his beloved Maria Vecera with him), and above all Sisi (who is only spelled with an “s” in Austria). There are always fresh flowers in front of her sarcophagus, and a videographer from Spain gathers the family in front of it. And we decide: After returning home, we watch a “Sisi” movie.

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