Though the weather was bleak, we were up and ready to go bright and early. We packed up and dropped our bags with the concierge since we were Hilton hopping later in the day. Our stop was the Hofburg Palace.
We are clearly masters of Viennese public transportation, because after that first little miscue when we arrived (and that was totally the fault of the online mapping program) we didn’t have any problem getting around the town.
The subway system is color coded. the Hilton Vienna Plaza is on the purple line which is a straight shot to the Hofburg Palace via the Volkstheater stop. Unfortunately, finding the door to the palace is not as easy. Our first attempt landed us in the public library, which apparently occupies the main section of the original palace. We wandered around snapping exterior shots until we stumbled across the entrance tucked away in a courtyard on the side of the building.
Seriously, Vienna, you could use more signage.
We’d purchased the Sisi Museum tickets, which included the Silver Collection, the Imperial Residences, and the Schoenbrunn Palace. The first thing we saw was the silver exhibit which included the royal dishes, silverware, glasses, and the most candelabras I have ever seen in my entire life.
Suddenly I’ve realized I don’t own a single candelabra and though I don’t have enough room in my bag to take one back, I’ll be shopping for that on Amazon tonight and chances are I’ll have one before I get home. Thanks Amazon!
The Hofburg was the residence of the Habsburgs for over 600 years which meant it was also the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Apparently, each member of the family had their own apartments or suites in one of the numerous palace wings. Today most of the space is used for a range of museums as well as offices, government ministries and the presidential residence. We visited the apartments of Franz Joseph and Elisabeth (Sisi). Photographs were prohibited, and since I am a little rule bound, I didn’t try to take any, but I borrowed a few from the internet so you can see the Baroque interior that was just dripping with gilt and you’ll see why I’ve decided to make a few changes to the condo when I get home…
What was most striking about the Sisi museum were the quotes from Elisabeth haging throughout. Apparently she was quite depressed even though she had amazing hair and billions of candelabras. Though after reading a bit more about her son’s murder-suicide and her relationship with her mother-in-law, it all made sense.
Also, she had a workout room with some really interesting equipment which kinda explained the minuscule size of her dresses.
As we left we found another Christmas market and some really interesting statues. They reminded me of Prague because they were very disturbing. But we didn’t have time to linger we were off to see the crypts!