Vienna Excursion 2012 – Day 4

On Thursday morning we awoke to a little surprise, snow!  After having had several days of sunshine, Vienna decided it was time to throw something a little more interesting our way. We marched out into the light snowfall and on to the Mozart house. The Mozart House is located a street or two away from St. Stephen’s Cathedral and is actually an apartment in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, along with his wife and children, lived for several years. The entire building has been converted into a museum, but the main exhibition is located in Mozart’s apartment.

There are some original pieces, such as some furniture, letters and sheet music, but the majority of the museum consists of information about Mozart’s compositions and life. The walls are covered with information, there are display cases in every room, and everywhere you turn there is something to be read. The audio guided tour addressed everything from Mozart’s childhood to his death and every little detail about what happened in between. We had no problem spending several hours there, despite the relatively small size of the museum. This was my third visit to the Mozart House and still I managed to be one of the last ones finished.

After our Mozart overload we headed off for lunch at a restaurant that only serves dishes containing potatoes, apples or both.  Even their decoration was centered on the two ingredients. With such limitations one might think there weren’t very many choices, but that was certainly not the case. Everything was delicious and innovative. It was clear that this restaurant was a lunchtime hot spot, as after a little while the place was completely full.

In the afternoon the majority of us went on the tour of the Opera House or Staatsoper.  The Opera House is one of the most significant places in Vienna. Many famous singers, composers and musicians have graced audiences with their music in that building. Every year the Opera Ball is held there, which is the most important event on the social calendar, so much so that it is televised. Vienna is the city of music and the Opera House is a center for that music. It has been open for hundreds of years and is one of the most, if not the most, famous opera houses in the world. The tour was quite short, but we were taken through the main staircase, reception halls and the main house. The building is decorated with flamboyant baroque architecture and ornate artwork, except for several more modern, but equally rich rooms, due to destruction during World War II. The Staatsoper is a “must see” on any tourist’s list when going to Vienna, but what makes it even better is to actually see a production there, which we unfortunately were unable to do.

Later in the evening we all met up at Café Demel, which is one of the most famous of Vienna’s coffee houses. Demel is famous for creating delicious and original treats for the Empress Elizabeth. They continue this tradition and we were lucky enough to enjoy some of their scrumptious delicacies.

After our indulgent trip to Café Demel we attended a production of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera at the Volkstheater. The building itself is very beautiful, being richly decorated in the Baroque style, but the production was very commanding of the audience’s attention. The actors, musicians, lighting and set were fabulous. I found myself fully captivated by what was taking place on stage. It was one of my most successful and enjoyable trips to the theater, and I have had many.

After watching an incredible performance, what better to do than grab a drink at a rooftop bar? This is exactly what we did. Around the corner from the Volkstheater is a hotel with a new bar, Dachboden, on its roof, providing its visitors with a fabulous view of Vienna. Dachboden is very popular and was quite full, but it was still the perfect way to end the evening, looking out on one of the most culturally rich, glamorous cities in the world.