We are ending our third week in Vienna, which is super hard to believe. On one hand it seems we’ve been here for two years, while on the other it feels as if it’s gone by in two days. While obviously neither are true, I think I’ve spent my time here well. Plus we still have one more week in this amazing city, though it fills me with sadness that I have to leave at all.
But before we leave for free travel again this weekend, here’s a recap of my third week in Vienna.
This being a study abroad trip, we spend most mornings in class. I really really enjoy class because we learn all about the city of Vienna and Austria’s history, which as I’ve mentioned before is so interesting (and long). And of course we study art as well, which I what I love and want to study so it’s icing on the cake. There’s also something about learning in a room full of people you’ve been travelling with and therefore have grown to love.
Central Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the world and the second largest in Europe. And it is huuuuuge. More people are actually buried in the cemetery than live in Vienna. It’s a very cool cemetery in that it’s a cemetery for all religions, no one was excluded for their beliefs. Many famous people from Vienna or that are important to Vienna’s history are buried here, though many weren’t originally and we’re moved here. Amoung many, I saw the graves of Beethoven, the Strausses, Brahms, Schubert, and Mozart’s memorial (no one actually knows where Mozart is buried, he’s in a mass grave somewhere unfortunately). It was a very interesting trip, there is so much history behind the cemetery walls.
Vienna has something called Gedechtniscultur (Culture of Rememberance). Anything and everything from street signs to plaques along a sidewalk are used as ways yo honour Holocaust victims and remind people so that it will never happen again. Right down the street from our apartments is a glass case in the sidewalk. It is filled with 462 keys to shops and apartments along the street, each one labeled with a name tag of the Jewish person who owned it and disappeared during Kristallnacht. It is not uncommon to see small golden bricks replacing a cobblestone on the sidewalk, engraved with a Jewish person’s name, the date of birth, date and place of deportation, and date of death. It was a somber walk, but it was one everyone needed to take.
Belvedere castle was completed in 1730. This visit was fascinating because our guide explained very well how Austrian history ties in with the progression of art, and how they influence each other. The Belvedere has many works of art from the Baroque period to Gustav Klimt. I was very happy by the end of the tour, because I got to see works by Klimt (including The Kiss), Schiele, and even a Munch.
Yeah it was a great week.