Emperor Leopold I gave
Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach the order to design a new palace.
His first draft was a very utopian one, dealing with different antique
and contemporary ideals. His second draft showed a smaller and more
realistic building. Construction began
after three years the first festivities were held in the newly built
middle part of the palace.
Not many parts of the
first palace survived the next century because every emperor added or
altered a bit on the inner and outer parts of the building. By order of
Maria Theresa of Austria, the architect
Nicolò Pacassi reshaped Schönbrunn Palace in a way of the style of
era. At the end of the so-called Theresianian epoch Schönbrunn Palace
was a vigorous centre of Austria's empire and the imperial family.
19th century one name is closely connected with Schönbrunn's,
Franz Josef I of Austria. He spent the majority of his life here and
1916 in his
sleeping room. Through the course of his reign, Schönbrunn Palace was
seen as a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) and remodelled in
accordance with its history.
The palace complex includes sets of faux Roman
ruins and an
orangerie, staple luxuries of European palaces of its type.
Following the downfall of the monarchy in
newly founded Austrian Republic became the owner of Schönbrunn Palace
and preserved, as a museum, the beautiful rooms and chambers.
After WWII and during the Allied Occupation of Austria
Schonbrunn Palace, which was empty at the time, was requisitioned to
provide offices for both the British Delegation to the
Allied Commission for Austria and for the Headquarters for the small
British Military Garrison present in Vienna.
Later it was used for important events such as the
John F. Kennedy and
Nikita Khrushchev in
UNESCO catalogued Schönbrunn
Palace on the
World Cultural Heritage List in
together with its gardens, as a remarkable
ensemble and example of synthesis of the arts (Gesamtkunstwerk)..
is located in the wide Palace gardens, the entrance fee allows entrance
to the maze, as well as to a set of other outdoor puzzles, including a
math game and a series of fountains.
|St Stephens Cathedral
||St. Stephen's Cathedral was first built as a parish
church of the
Diocese of Passau in 1147 and rebuilt and enlarged over the
centuries, with major new work concluding in 1511, although repair and
restoration have continued from the beginning to the present day.
It was previously thought that the church had been built
in an open field outside the city walls; but excavations for a
long-awaited heating system during 2000 revealed graves that were
carbon-dated to the fourth century, 2.5
below the surface. The 430 skeletons were then moved to the catacombs.
Thousands of others must have been buried in the ancient cemetery of
this neighbourhood, starting in Roman times; and this, instead of the
Ruprechtskirche, may be the oldest church site in Vienna.
The first recorded church here was founded in 1137, by
Leopold IV in a contract with Reginmar,
Bishop of Passau. The church was dedicated to
St. Stephen, the patron of the bishop's cathedral in Passau, and is
oriented toward the sunrise on his
December) in the year its construction began. The first
church building was built in the
Romanesque style starting in 1137 and
consecrated ten years later. It was extended westward from 1230 to
1245. The present west wall and Roman towers date from 1237.
After a great fire in the city in 1258, a larger
replacement structure, also Romanesque and reusing the Roman towers, was
an anniversary highlighted each year by a rare ringing of the
Pummerin bell for three minutes in the evening.
In 1304, Emperor
Albert I ordered construction of a
Gothic three-naved choir, further east of the church and wide enough
to meet the tips of the old
transepts. Work continued under his son Duke
Albert II; this latest work was consecrated in 1340, on the 77th
anniversary of the previous consecration. The motif of the north nave
Mary; the middle nave was for St. Stephen and All the
Apostles were honoured in the south nave. This part of the present
cathedral, east of the present stubby
transepts, is called the Albertine Choir.
Albert II's son Duke
Rudolf IV (who is called "the founder") laid the cornerstone in the
vicinity of the present south tower for a Gothic extension of Albert's
choir westward to encapsulate the existing second church. That old
church was then removed from the embrace of the new one in 1430 as work
around it progressed.
In 1433 the south tower was finished. Vaulting of the
in 1446 and the nave was completed in 1474. In 1450 the foundation was
laid for the north tower, but work on it was abandoned in 1511.
Although it was merely a parish church, in 1365 Rudolf
IV presumptuously established a
canons here, such as a
cathedral would have. It was a long-held desire of Vienna, with its
rising importance, to become its own
Despite long-standing resistance by the bishops of Passau who did not
want to lose control of the area, in 1469 Emperor
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor prevailed upon
Pope Paul II to grant Vienna its own
bishop (appointed then and thereafter by the emperor) and so the
Stephansdom became a cathedral. (During the reign of Emperor
see was elevated to an archbishopric in 1722 by
Pope Innocent XIII.)
St. Stephen's Cathedral was saved from intentional
destruction at the hands of retreating
German forces during
World War II, when Captain
Gerhard Klinkicht disregarded orders from the city commandant,
Sepp Dietrich, to "fire a hundred shells and leave it in just debris
One of the fires set by civilian plunderers of nearby
Russian troops entered the city was carried by the wind to the
cathedral, severely damaging it on
1945 as the roof collapsed. Fortunately, protective brick shells had
been built around the pulpit, Frederick III's tomb, and other treasures,
so that damage to the most valuable artworks was minimized.
Unfortunately, the beautifully carved
Rollinger choir stalls from 1487 were burned. Rebuilding began
immediately, with a limited reopening on
1948 and a full reopening on
is a complex of royal buildings on the
Herreninsel, an island in the middle of the
largest lake, 60 km south east of
The Neues Schloss (New
Palace) is the most famous of these buildings and it is the biggest of
Ludwig II of Bavaria's palaces. It is in a sense a monument to his
Louis XIV. In the great hall of mirrors of the palace the ceiling is
painted with 25 tableaux showing Louis XIV at his best. Very often texts
call the Neues Palais Herrenchiemsee, forgetting the other smaller
buildings on the island.
The Neues Palais was designed by
Franz Seitz, and
Georg Dollman and built between
was to have been a full scale replica of the
Palace of Versailles but only the central portion was built before
the king died. 50 of the 70 rooms of the palace are still unfinished.
It was never meant to be a perfectly exact replica of
Versailles. At several places it surpasses it. The great hall of mirrors
for instance is bigger than its equivalent in Versailles, and the dining
room has a huge chandelier of
Meissen porcelain, the biggest in the world. The building also
benefits from nearly two centuries of technological progress. The
original Versailles palace did not have a single toilet. The only
running water was outside in the fountains. King Ludwig's "copy" has
more modern facilities, with a toilet and a large heated bathtub.
Neuschwanstein, lit. New
IPA pronunciation: /nɔɪˈʃvaːnʃtain/)
the castle was built by
Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, as a retreat and as an homage to
Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. It is the most
photographed building in Germany,
although photography of the interior is not permitted,
and is one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations.
The conception of the castle was outlined by
Ludwig II in a letter to
Richard Wagner, dated
is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin at Hohenschwangau near
the Pollat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights'
castles...the location is the most beautiful one could find, holy and
unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought
salvation and true blessing to the world." The foundation stone of the
building was laid
Neuschwanstein was designed by
Christian Jank, a theatrical set designer, rather than an architect,
which says much regarding Ludwig's intentions and explains much of the
fantastical nature of the resulting building. The architectural
expertise, vital to such a perilously-sited building, was provided first
by the Munich court architect, Eduard Riedel, and latterly by Georg
Dollman and Leo Von Klenze.
The castle was originally called "New
Hohenschwangau Castle" until the king's death, when it was re-named
Neuschwanstein, the castle of the Swan Knight,
Lohengrin, of Wagner's
opera of the same name. In origin, the castle has been the
Schwanstein, the seat of the knights of Schwangau, whose emblem had been
The castle comprises a gatehouse, a Bower, the
Knight's House with a square tower, and a Palas, or citadel, with two
towers to the Western end. The effect of the whole is highly theatrical,
both externally and within. The king's influence is apparent throughout
and he took a keen personal interest in the design and decoration. An
example can be seen in his comments, or commands, regarding a mural
depicting Lohengrin in the Palas; "His Majesty wishes that .. the ship
be placed further from the shore, that Lohengrin's neck be less tilted,
that the chain from the ship to the swan be of gold and not of roses,
and finally that the style of the castle shall be kept medieval." The castle includes a room made to look
like a cavern, as well as a secret flushing toilet in the master
bedroom. The toilet flushes with water collected from an aqueduct.
The suite of rooms within the Palas contains the
Throne Room followed by Ludwig's suite, followed by the Singers' Hall
and by the Grotto. Throughout, the design pays homage to the operas of
Richard Wagner, a reflection of Ludwig's love for Wagner's work, and
perhaps for Wagner himself. However, many of the interior rooms remain
undecorated; only 14 rooms were finished before Ludwig's death.
Neuschwanstein was partly unfinished when, in
King was declared insane by a State Commission under Dr von Gudden and
arrested at the castle. The King could hardly control himself as he
asked von Gudden "how can you declare me insane? You have not yet
Taken to Schloss Berg, he was found on
in shallow water in
Lake Starnberg, drowned, along with von Gudden, the psychiatrist who
certified him. The exact circumstances of his death remain unexplained.
The castle is owned by the state of Bavaria, unlike
Hohenschwangau which is owned by
Franz, Duke of Bavaria. It inspired the building of another
Schloss Ringberg. Neuschwanstein is a contemporary of the slightly
Pena Palace in
sometimes referred to as 'the Portuguese Neuschwanstein' (ca.
|The Imperial Church
||The Hofkirche (Imperial Church) in
Innsbruck with its memorial for Emperor Maximilian I is the most
prominent tomb memorial for an emperor in Europe. Furthermore it
provides evidence of European court art for which the best artists such
as Albrecht Dürer, Peter Vischer the older and Alexander Colin were
Emperor Maximilian's basic idea was to construct a political memorial
for the Roman-German imperial rule, which was based on the tradition of
the House of Hapsburg, and was supposed to develop into a European
imperial rule through Maximilian's political targets.
The completion of the memorial in its present form took more than 80
years. It was during the time of Ferdinand II that the 1584 casting of
the kneeling emperor, the four virtues and the iron grille were finished
and installed in the tomb.
The extensive memorial consists of a cenotaph with the figure of the
kneeling emperor and 24 reliefs depicting his deeds on the sarcophagus
in the middle of the nave and 28 of the planned 40 larger than life
statues of his ancestors between the pillars of the nave and the
beginning of the chancel.
The Renaissance organ on the right hand side of the choir wall by Jörg
Ebert from Ravensburg counts as one of the five most famous organs in
the world and is in addition the largest nearly undamaged organ from the
Renaissance in Austria.
considdered to be the most beautiful baroque church of Switzerland and
it dates back to the year 1666. The 2 onion-covered towers were added
more than 200 myears later and Jesuitenkirche is for sure one of the
most significant tourist-sights in Luzern, also for the fact that it is
conveniently located close to the old city and tto Kapellbruecke. You
may enter that church freely and without restrictions during the day and
may take a closer look to the rich stucco-works and the altars with fine
||On the border between
towers over the Swiss village of
and the Italian village
Breuil-Cervinia in the
Val Tournanche. The mountain derives its name from the
German words matt, meaning valley or meadow,
and horn, which means peak.
The Matterhorn has four faces, facing the four compass
points, the north face overlooking the
Zmutt Valley, the south face
Breuil-Cervinia, the east and west faces looking towards the
Gornergrat and the
Dent d'Hérens, respectively, with the north and south faces meeting
to form a short east-west summit ridge. The faces are steep, and only
small patches of snow and ice cling to them; regular
avalanches send the snow down to accumulate on the
glaciers at the base of each face. The Hörnli ridge of the northeast
(in the center of the view from Zermatt) is the usual
A miniature imitation of the Matterhorn featuring a
bobsled ride is one of the attractions at
Matterhorn Bobsleds opened in
1959 and is
a 1/100 scale replica (147 feet in height) of the actual mountain in the
Swiss Alps, although not exact.
The individual pieces of the chocolate bar
Toblerone are claimed by its maker Kraft, to be formed in the
likeness of the Matterhorn.
In the film
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), the Grinch resides on a
mountain that several film critics noticed was modelled on the
In a 9th-season episode of
The Simpsons entitled "King
of the Hill",
Homer volunteers to climb
Springfield's tallest mountain, the Murderhorn.
Little Einsteins team must journey to the mountain in the episode
The Mouse and The Moon. They ski down the Matterhorn, and encounter
a series of bumps. They use these bumps, and
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart) to teach the concept of
staccato. Little Mouse climbs to the tip of the Matterhorn and gives
Moon a present of shining stars.
In the HBO television series
Entourage, 'Matterhorn' is the title of the studio movie project
based on the Disneyland attraction that lead character Vincent Chase
turns down. Ari Gold states the plot as "Die Hard at Disneyland".
The Matterhorn is depicted on the front covers of
Construction Time Again (by
Depeche Mode) and
Felt Mountain (Goldfrapp's
debut album). And a deadly climb of the Matterhorn is the subject of a