We had a fairly quiet day on Monday. Everyone was pretty tired. We began the day by visiting the Leopold Museum. This museum is named after Rudolf Leopold, a Viennese ophthalmologist who, on buying his first Egon Schiele (1890–1918) for a song as a young student in 1950, started to amass a huge private collection of 19th-century and modernist Austrian artworks. In 1994 he sold the lot (5266 paintings) to the Austrian government for €160 million and the Leopold Museum was born. The building is a striking white limestone gallery that showcases the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele paintings, alongside some fine Klimts and Kokoschkas.
We then wandered down the Mariahilfer Strasse and spent some time in the Neubau area ( which I had read was an area for up and coming designers but I found very ordinary). We then had a late lunch. It was an early night with baguettes and hot chocolate in our rooms.
David picked up our hire car this morning with no problem and it is not only big enough for our luggage but it also has English speaking navigation. David is a star! David drove beautifully to Salzburg via The Hopsburg Hunting Lodge and then onto Melk. Melk is a very very pretty town with a very big Abbey and a great little restaurant with fantastic Weiner and sauerkraut.
The Hopsburg Hunting Lodge was the scene of the Mayerling Incident. The Mayerling Incident was the series of events leading to the apparent murder–suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (21 August 1858 – 30 January 1889) and his lover Baroness Mary Vetsera (19 March 1871 – 30 January 1889). Rudolf was the only son of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria and Empress Elisabeth, and heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Rudolf’s mistress was the daughter of Baron Albin Vetsera, a diplomat at the Austrian court. The bodies of the 30-year-old Archduke and the 17-year-old baroness were discovered in the Imperial hunting lodge at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods, fifteen miles southwest of the capital, on the morning of 30 January 1889.
The death of the crown prince had momentous consequences for the course of history in the nineteenth century. It had a devastating effect on the already compromised marriage of the Imperial couple and interrupted the security inherent in the immediate line of Habsburg dynastic succession. As Rudolf had no son, the succession would pass to Franz Joseph’s brother, Karl Ludwig and his issue, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This destabilization endangered the growing reconciliation between the Austrian and the Hungarian factions of the empire, which became a catalyst of the developments that led to the assassination of the Archduke and his wife Sophie by Gavrilo Princip, a Yugoslav nationalist and ethnic Serb at Sarajevo in June 1914 and the subsequent drift into the First World War. Information courtesy of Wikepedia.
We are staying at the Sacher Hotel in Salzburg and we finished our day at a restaurant called St Peter Stiftskeller – Europes oldest restaurant. It was a beautiful setting and the best food we have had since arriving in Austria.
Until next time