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Schönbrunn Palace, the former imperial summer residence, is one of the most popular sights. The sumptuous palace with the beautifully tended formal gardens, the Gloriette monument, the Palm House and the zoo attract hordes of visitors each year. The huge Hofburg (Imperial Palace) was the base of the Habsburgs for over six centuries.
The splendid baroque Belvedere Palace today houses the Österreichische Galerie (Austrian Gallery) displaying the largest collection of works by Klimt and Kokoschka, as well as famous paintings by Schiele. Vienna’s prime landmarks are the gothic Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), the Giant Ferris Wheel in the Prater, Vienna’s old recreational park, and the Spanish Riding School with their world-famous Lipizzaner horses.
Vienna has more museums and galleries of international reputation than you can shake a stick at. Take, for example, the Museum of Fine Arts with the world’s largest collection of Bruegel paintings, MuseumsQuartier with the Leopold Museum, the Museum Moderner Kunst (Museum of Modern Art), Architekturzentrum (Architectural Center) and the Kunsthalle, all ranking among the city's most important cultural venues.
Vienna owes much of its international fame to the many celebrated composer who lived and worked here including Strauß, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world’s best, the Staatsoper one of the world’s leading opera houses, the Vienna Boys’ Choir one the world’s most famous.
In Vienna, the old coffee house culture and rustic wine taverns stand alongside top restaurants and shops, time-honored events alternate with internationally-acclaimed extravaganzas (Life Ball) to create a unique and very special ambiance. Another special feature of Vienna are its many greenspace and recreational areas such as the Wienerwald, the Prater and the Danube Island.
Via Vienna in Austria
Image: Mark W Weston