A trip to Austria should include the following high spots:
Innsbruck – A visit to the Swarovski store is a must. It has just been renovated….
The Golden Roof hotel, boasts rooms decorated with Swarovski Crystal, and has a glittering 15th century gold and copper roof. The Hapsburg Palace is well worth a visit.
No visit to Innsbruck is complete without a trip 30 minutes outside the city to Wattens and the Swarovski Crystal Museum (Kristallwalten) and showroom to feast your eyes on the museum pieces designed by renowned artists and the exquisite crystal pieces on display. If you are an SCS member, it’s Free to visit.
Salzburg, translates to the ‘Salt Castle,’ referring to the imposing 12th century Salzburg Castle. The city is bound by two steep hills where Salzburg’s salt deposits and precious stones are found. It is an extremely beautiful tourist spot and famous as the location of the film, Sound of Music. Some of the scenes were shot in the Mirabelle Gardens. Tourist attractions include The Domplatz Cathedral, Residenzplatz (a large, stately square in the historic city center with a very pretty baroque fountain), the Festival Hall and the charming cobbled street, Getreidegasse, where Mozart was born. Mozartkugel are delicious chocolates made in Salzburg.
On the way to Vienna from Salzburg is the splendid 1,000-year-old Melk Abbey. It stands high on a hill, above the Danube. It is now run by the Benedictine monks. If you are driving to Vienna, the scenery along the banks of the Danube is spectacular — lush vineyards, fairy tale castles and quaint villages. Vienna, the capital of Austria, was once the center of Europe politically, economically and culturally. Despite having an air of decadent grandeur, it is well-preserved with palaces and cathedrals, parks and walkways. It is the home of Strauss, Brahms, Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart. Some sights to see include the Parliament Building, the Hofburg Palace (the winter residence of the Imperial Royal Family), and City Hall. St Stephen’s Catheral, built in the 12th century, is Austria’s most well-known gothic structure, and has a wealth of art treasures. The fabulous Schonbrunn Palace (summer residence of Maria Theresa, whose daughter Marie Antoinette, married Louis XVI of France) is surrounded by lovely gardens. Some of the rooms are lined with Swarovski Crystal Chandeliers. Its Hall of Mirrors is fascinating and the ceiling frescoes are stunning. Mozart played here once. The grand State Opera House has a world-wide reputation for the performances held there – the settings and stage arrangements on different levels are ingenious and the acoustics is believed to be the best in the world. Special mention must be made of the Spanish Riding School; the world famous Lipizzaner Stallion horses originally came from Spain. Founded in 1572, it is the oldest in the world, where the classic dressage is still practiced.
Do not miss a visit to the New Swarovski Vienna store in the heart of the Austrian capital on Kaerntner Strasse 24, offering works of art created by internationally renowned artists and product presentations scanning over three stories high. An illuminated, ever-changing exterior façade highlights the beauty of the crystal pieces inside, while glazed clear cubes extend into the street space, forming stages for installations by Belgian artist Arne Quinze and the wide range of Swarovski products. Here, you will find the “Eclectic Panthers” display, showcasing a crystalline piece in a variety of ways. 45 of these panther figures can be found in the heart of Vienna, with various colors, effects and materials. Also featured is a Crystal Lake and a Crystal Waterfall.
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