The Austrian capital Vienna has a rich history full of intellectual legacy and culture. It is known for its Imperial palaces and musical legends like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. There are plenty of historic sights worth visiting in Vienna just a stone throw from the Hotel Imperial. Joanna Andrews takes you on a journey to some of the city's most fascinating landmarks.
Vienna’s famous Ringstraße is four kilometres long and circles the city centre. It was initiated by Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1857. The ring road surrounds the inner town. Most of the buildings were built around the same time but their styles vary significantly. There is a great mix of architectural styles. There are echoes of Italian Renaissance or Greek classism.
The Hofburg Palace was orignially a medieval castle, but today only the castle chapel 'Burgkapelle' demonstrates its medieval past. You can now find almost any architectural style from gothic to art nouveau. Vienna’s Imperial Palace forms the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It is also home to the National Library, Imperial Treasury, Museum of Ethnography and the famous Spanish Riding School.
Schönbrunn Palace was the former summer residence of the imperial family. It is one of Europe's most impressive Baroque palace complexes, and was built to rival France’s Versaille with its surrounding buildings and the huge gardens. It is one of the most significant cultural monuments in Austria, and is one of the UNESCO’s world cultural heritage sights.
The two magnificent palaces on the Belvedere grounds were constructed for Prince Eugene of Savoy. They lie in the middle of a spectacular park. The Palaces' architecture and interior design are typical for Rococo style. The palaces are home to museums featuring Austrian paintings.
Karlskirche dates back to the 1700’s. It is the biggest cathedral in Baraoque style north of the Alps. It was built to honour the vows of Emperor Karl VI. In 1970 the area in front of Karlskirche was redesigned by Henry Moore, one of the most famous sculptures of the 20th century.