Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Austrian Excursions

During my 6 months in Vienna, I took a lot of day trips out of the city to see some of the smaller, more quaint towns. Klosterneuburg is north of Vienna on the Danube River and the towns main attraction is the Roman Catholic Monastery. The 900 year old abbey stands on a hill overlooking the Danube and town.
The interior of the abbey church.
Part of the ceiling.

Down a flight of stairs, in the abbey, leads you into the 12th Century St. Leopold’s Chapel where Leopold III is buried.
Leopold III
The famous Verdun Alter is one of the best preserved artworks from the middle ages. It is in three parts that comprises 45 gilded copper plates. According to the biblical text, the depictions are split into three rows of the eras of Adam and Noah, of Abraham, David, the Babylonian captivity and finally of Jesus' life, placed in the central part.

Baden, a spa town located 16 miles south of Vienna. There are thirteen warm baths, which gave name to the town, with temperatures ranging between 72 - 97 degrees and the main ingredient is sulfate lime. Baden also is surrounded by 120 vineyards and about 70 wine pubs. Unfortunately, I did not get to partake in the baths or wine pubs. Next time!

Hauptplatz is the main square
Ludwig van Beethoven had several residences in Baden, this is one of them.
Doblhoff Park centrally located in the town.
Also in Baden, is Europe’s largest casino.
They have a very nice covered market selling a variety of food and crafts. A great place to sit and have coffee or a light snack.
The only reason I wanted to visit Laxenburg was to visit the well-known castle, Schloss Laxenburg. Besides the Schonbrunn, it was the Habsburg other favorite summer destination. There are less than 3,000 people who live in the town but overall it was a very impressive and pristine community.
To get to the castle you walk through the beautiful castle grounds which offers a lot of leisure activities, mostly for warmer months. Their is a huge play-ground area for kids, horseback riding, summer concerts or you can rent a boat for the pond that surrounds the castle.
Looking across the pond to the Franzenburg Castle
The entrance gate
Just one of the many reasons I fell in love with Austria. Such a beautiful country with so many things to see / do. 

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