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Vienna - Five Must See Sights

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine

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Vienna - Five Must See Sights

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
Vienna is Austria's capital and largest city - more than 25 percent of Austrians live in the Vienna metropolitan area. Historically significant as the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, modern day Vienna is consistently ranked by different sources as among the best places in the world to live. If you are going to Vienna, here are five must-see sites:

Schonbrunn Palace. Built primarily as a summer residence of the ruling Habsburgs, this monumental palace of 1,441 rooms became the property of the state in 1918. It is the most popular tourist attraction in the city. Also on the grounds are a French garden with a maze, an English garden, a zoo (Tiergarten), and a greenhouse (Orangerie).

Hofburg Palace. This grand palace was the Habsburgs' principal winter residence. Today it is the residence of the Austrian president and home to the Spanish Riding School, Museum of Ethnography, a collection of musical instruments and weaponry, and the National Library. The palace faces the Heldenplatz or Heroes Square, which is the site of equestrian statues of Archduke Karl, who defeated Napoleon's army, and Prince Eugene of Savoy, who defeated the Turks.

Spanish Riding School. Founded in 1752, this is the only remaining riding school in the world that still practices classic dressage - the execution by a trained horse of precision movements in response to barely perceptible signals from its rider. These maneuvers on Spanish Lipizzaner horses are open to the public.

Vienna State Opera House. Opera lovers cannot experience a more stirring occasion than watching a classic opera at the world-renowned, Italian Renaissance-inspired State Opera House. It is also the home of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Ring Boulevard. This 2.5-mile long boulevard, initiated by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1857, encircles the Vienna city center. The beautiful, wide Ring Boulevard is the address for many popular attractions, including the Hofburg Palace, Opera House, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Austrian Parliament.

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