Imperial Bling and Viennese Coffee
Day 15 of 18…It was our 3rd day in the capital city of Austria and our first order of business was breakfast at Café Landtmann, a fine Viennese coffee house located across the Rathaus (city hall). Our Austrian snowboarding instructor back in Obergurgl recommended it for a traditional Viennese café experience. We ordered the Franz Landtmann Breakfast, the most comprehensive among their classics plus 2 coffees and 2 hot chocolates. An absolutely satisfying way to start the day.
We shivered when we stepped out of the café, but the sun was out and, apparently, so was the rest of Vienna. There was a race just outside and we impulsively decided to join the crowd and cheered for the runners.
It wasn’t in our itinerary but we had to take advantage of the glorious weather that morning, don’t we? So instead of going inside the museums right away, we wandered around the Volksgarten, a public park in the Hofburg compound and just across the Rathaus.
Hofburg lies in the centre of Vienna (Innere Stadt) and was previously the imperial palace until 1918. Today, it is the residence and workplace of the Austrian president. It is also home to several important museums including the Imperial Apartments, Sisi Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Imperial Treasury, Imperial Armoury, and others. If Schönbrunn Palace was the ruling family’s summer residence in the past, Hofburg was their winter residence.
After coffee and a walk in the park, the Imperial Treasury was next.
Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury Vienna) is a stone’s throw away from the Volksgarten and is just beside Hofburgkappelle, Hofburg’s Imperial Chapel which we visited two days back.
We bought our tickets to the Schatzkammer at the counter (luckily the queue was fast) which included the audio guide. We wanted to join a guided tour but it happens only once a day at 4pm, and it was barely noon when we arrived.
The Schatzkammer Wien is considered one of the most important treasuries in the world. It has an impressive collection of priceless relics of the Holy Roman Empire and the Empire of Austria.
The most significant and probably one of the oldest in the collection is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire which dates back to circa 962. Another is the crown of Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612), which later became the crown of the Austrian Empire. With the imperial crown and orb is a scepter whose stem is made from a narwhal’s tusk. Poor narwhal.
However, a third of the time I had been chasing my way too independent 9-year old son who preferred to explore the rooms mostly by himself. And so I was not able to take as many pictures as I’d want. Hence, I could not make a proper comparison between the Schatzkammer and the Crown Jewels of London which I remember I enjoyed a lot. But for sure the Schatzkammer was worth a visit. Here are some of the interesting items inside.
We spent probably just an hour or so at the Schazkammer. I thought it was not enough time to fully appreciate the collection but the kids were getting hungry and they’ve been itching to go to the Prater already.
The Imperial Apartments and Sisi Museum are in the vicinity but we chose to visit Schönbrunn instead of these two.
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Spanish Riding School, National Library and Albertina are also in Hofburg but we did not get to see them anymore. Hopefully we could go back to visit all these. 🙂
Spending two full days exploring Hofburg would be ideal.
Stay tuned for our next blog – the Prater. xoxo
Here’s a glance at our morning at the Volksgarten. Boys, what do you expect, give them a small strip of ‘road’ and they’ll turn it into a racetrack.
Here are the other posts on our holiday in Bavaria and Austria:
- Munich: Start of our family’s tales from last winter
- Munich: Viktualienmarkt Biergarten
- Munich: BMW Museum and BMW Welt
- Munich: Theatine Church and Odeonplatz
- Munich: Christmas Markets
- Munich: Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
- Munich: City Aparthotel München
- Salzburg: Birthplace of Mozart and Silent Night
- Salzburg: Hohensalzburg Fortress
- Salzburg: Residenzplatz Christmas Market
- Salzburg: Salzburg Cathedral
- Salzburg: Silent Night 200 at Salzburg Museum
- Salzburg: Silent Night Tour by Bob’s Special Tour
- Salzburg: Silent Night at Oberndorf and Laufen
- Salzkammergut: Road Trip to Hallstatt
- Salzkammergut: Christmas Market at St Wolfgang
- Salzburg: Krampus Run at Hellbrunn Palace
- Salzburg: Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg
- Obergurgl: A Week in the Austrian Alps
- Obergurgl: Chalet Obergurgl Luxury Apartments
- Obergurgl: Hohe Mut Alm Mountain Restaurant
- Obergurgl: Snowstorm on Christmas Eve
- Obergurgl: Day After the Storm
- Obergurgl: Snowshoeing
- Hochgurgl: Tobogganing
- Hochgurgl: Hochgurgl Cable Car Ride
- Vienna: First Impressions
- Vienna: Hofburgkapelle and Imperial Armoury
- Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace