Art, architecture, history, travel

On to Vienna/Wien 1974 part 14

Wien, Peterskirche, Seitenaltar

Wien, Peterskirche, Seitenaltar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Germans at Princeton -- Weitzer - Lt. Reichena...

Germans at Princeton — Weitzer – Lt. Reichenau – Dr. Bemer – Carl Diem (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

7/11 Thursday Vienna

I really enjoyed the train ride to Wien.  It was my first time on a train. I’m glad I got the top of the couchette.  I’m sorry I missed the Brenner Pass but I forgot about it so I didn’t stay up. (Lowest of the Alpine passes, 1,370 m/4,495 ft; it leads from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy, to the Austrian Tirol, and is 19 km/12 mi long).  Connecting Innsbruck, Austria, with Bolzano, Italy, it is one of the chief passes through the Central Alps. We arrived at the Westbanhof where we had lunch. Unfortunately I left this journal there and had to go back the next day.  We are staying in the dormitory  Studentenheim of the agriculture university (Hochschule fuer Bodenkultur) in district XIX.

I’m having fun using my German, but haven’t had much opportunity.  I’m glad to hear some of the people who didn’t want to come to Wien, say that they enjoy it.  I was surprised by the preciseness of the Austrian.  Our RAP and guide argued with someone about the correct time for 2 minutes.  One said the time was a minute later than the other.  I’ve noticed the use of British English more than I have in the other countries.  Arnold the guide always uses lift and gives the time in fragments of the hour e. g. quarter past ten.  Our RAP seems to be well qualified with a Ph.D. in modern history, but I haven’t seen much of him.  I hope he stays with us more.  I’m glad

We’re finally getting some of the foods of the country’s.  Tonight we had Sauerbraten.  Arnold says we will have wiener Schnitzel for lunch.  The RAP seems very concerned about the food; he asks everyone if they enjoy it.  I really wanted to come to Wien.  I’m glad I finally made it.  Whenever we read about someone famous in German he always ends up moving to Wien.  I want to get an opinion of Austria other than Frau’s. (My high school German teacher was from Austria)  She doesn’t think much of von Schussnigg.  She has great respect for the Austrian Estates, but generally I think she likes it.   I’m having a little trouble with the dialect.(I now know it was the Austrian /bairisch dialect)

7/12 Friday Vienna

Peter’s Church (Peterskirche) is completely different for the Duomo of Florence.  For one thing St. Peter’s of Wien is smaller than the  Duomo.  The Duomo was gothic; Peterskirche is baroque.  The original gothic church burned down.


Duomo, Florence


Peterskirche, Wien

It has round arches.  It has a vertical marble pattern rather than a horizontal zebra look.  The colors blend better than in the Duomo. It is more aesthetic, no zebra look.  Peterskirche has an oval dome not a round one and wasn’t built with two shells.  There are frescoes on the dome.  The chapels aren’t  as conspicuous as in the Duomo.  Peterskirche was rebuilt on the ashes of the old church in 1701-1733 to repay God for ending the pestilence.  The Dome fresco depicts the coronation of the Virgin.  The altar depicts the healing of the lame and also shows Peter and Paul.  After Peterskirche we went to St. Stefan.  The view from St. Stefan is similar to that in Rome and Florence.  It gives a good panoramic view of the city.  Unfortunately, it was very cloudy and raining when we were there so we couldn’t see far.

We could barely see the Ferris wheel at the Prater.  On a clear day the view is supposed to be fantastic.  After the church, I looked for a book to teach English to Germans, but couldn’t find one.  Then I went to St Augustines (Augustinerkirche),  After asking around for directions in German.   The hearts  of all the Hapsburgs are kept in  urns in the basement of St. Augustine’s.

After lunch we went to the Staatsoper for a tour; it was fun, we were lucky there are no operas in July so we got to go backstage and see them clean the chandelier.  Then I went out shopping and then back to the train station to get my journal.  What an exciting adventure!  No one knew English, I really got to use my German.  After explaining about five minutes; the manager finally remembered the group and got my journal out of his desk.  To get home I asked for directions, auf deutsch and met a nice man.  He told me how the trolleys ran and explained the numbers, and showed on a map and took me half way home on the trolley.  At the next trolley stop I met another couple who helped me to the bus stop.  They got off before I did, but I think they told the whole trolley when I should get off, because when we got to the bus stop everyone told me to get off.  That night we had Sauerbraten.  I played cards with the girls and won a beer.


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