Meanwhile, back in Vienna…
It would take weeks to explore all the attractions of the Hofburg Complex. On my initial visit, I sampled four of the Complex’s museums. I started w/the linked Imperial Silver Collection, the Sisi Museum, and the Imperial Apartments, then finished the day at the Imperial Treasury.
The Imperial Silver Collection gives you an idea of what it was like to dine w/the Hapsburgs. It contains, among other things, thousands of table centerpieces, serving implements, and pieces of tableware and porcelain. It’s some indication of the immense wealth of the Hapsburgs that even their formal dinnerware is enough to fill a museum.
The Sisi Museum shares a gift shop with the Imperial Silver Collection. “Sisi” was the Empress Elisabeth, who is still, more than 100 years after her assassination by an anarchist, a legendary and romanticized figure in Austria and Hungary. Her place In Austro-Hungarian history is rather similar to that of Princess Diana in British history.
She was a free spirit who detested court life and was hugely popular with the “common” people, especially the empire’s Hungarian subjects, who idolized her. She traveled widely, from England to the French Riviera to Corfu, spending months away from Vienna. She went to Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, and Malta, learning languages as she went.
Elisabeth appreciated the arts, and her favorite cousin was King Ludwig II of Bavaria, patron of Richard Wagner and builder of Neuschwanstein.
From there, it was on to the Imperial Apartments. The Imperial Apartments were the winter residence of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. The furniture mostly late 19th Century, and the dominant colour is red, with red damask wall coverings and curtains.
This is one of the many reasons I love Europe: What some people call “Room Porn.” I’m fascinated by Period rooms, for both their beauty and their fantasy elements. Visiting–revelling in–the Imperial Apartments was the highlight of my day.
Photography was not allowed, but I found these picture online:
My final stop of a v long day was the Imperial Treasury. I’ll let the objects there speak for themselves.
This is the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire.
Ceremonial Robe of the Order of St. Stephen.
This is the Crown of the Austrian Empire.