Today was my last full day in Vienna. So after mid morning breakfast, I headed to The Belvedere a baroque palace complex built by Prince Eugene of Savoy using money he received as a reward for victories during the Spanish Succession.
Apparently it was quite the reward as there are actually two palaces — Lower and Upper Belvedere. Both palaces today hold yet more priceless artwork, perhaps the most famous being Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss.
After The Belvedere, I head to Naschmarkt which is apparently Vienna’s most popular market. Even on a Wednesday afternoon it was quite busy, so was kicking myself a bit as I hadn’t come on Saturday for the flea market. During the week the stalls sell mostly fruits, vegetables and other edible items. There are also a good number of restaurants.
Moving on from Naschmarkt, I spent the rest of the afternoon at Kunsthistorisches Museum. Much to my disappointment, two key pieces in their collection (Summer by Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo & Virgin and Child with Pear by German artist Albrecht Durer) were on loan to other museums. Nonetheless the collection in view was quite remarkable and had I not been on my feet for much of the day, I probably would have been more appreciative of its splendour. Worthy of mention is the Egyptian Collection. I hadn’t really planned on spending any time in this section but I am glad I did as the collection was quite impressive.
With the museums now closed, I headed back towards Karntner Strasse Street for dinner. I really would have like to have gone back to the hotel for a bit of a rest but stayed out as the main event for the day was yet to come. You see, I had managed to score a ticket to L’elisir d’amore being performed at the State Opera. This was quite the challenge as the production was sold out. But my persistence in checking their website paid off and I managed to get a decent seat at a reasonable price. So thankfully no need for a ticket scout. More importantly, the production was beautifully performed.
So here I am now, counting down the hours before I go home. I’ll miss Vienna with all its grandeur and my room at the K+K Palais Hotel but after 5 nights, I am ready to sleep in my own bed again.