Spotlight on Vienna.

In the 1995 Richard Linklater film “Before Sunrise,” Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy flirt and philosophize as they wander the cobblestone streets of afterhours Vienna. The film essentially features the city of Vienna as a third main character.

We suggest you watch “Before Sunrise,” fall in love with Vienna, then allow R. Crusoe to start planning your visit there.

Here’s something you need to know about Vienna: Though it is often called one of Europe’s most classical cities, much goes on here that keeps the town fresh and edgy.

It’s no wonder Vienna is laden with treasures. For centuries, this was the power center of the Habsburg Dynasty, which constructed some of Europe’s most beautiful buildings and filled them with exceptional art and object collections.

If you love art, the possibilities around town will likely make your head spin. In the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) Treasury, for instance, you see not only the thousand-year-old German crown of the Holy Roman Empire, but also the Austrian imperial crown and other royal artifacts. Within the Hofburg, there’s also the Imperial Silver Collection, the Sisi Museum (all about Empress Elizabeth’s life), the over-the-top Imperial Apartments, and the Ancient Instruments Collection.

Inspect royal gear in the Imperial Treasury. Vienna.

If your taste in art runs to later eras, consider visits to the Belvedere (Austrian art), the Albertina (graphic arts), the Museum of Applied Art (20th-century Austrian art and design), the Secession Building with Gustav Klimt’s “Beethoven Frieze,” and the immense Museumsquartier, where Baroque buildings, contemporary architecture, and art of all sorts come together.

Vienna has long been the Grande Dame of classical music. Mozart hailed from the city, as did Schubert, and both Johann Strauss Sr. and Jr. Beethoven received his musical education here. Haydn came to town to join St. Stephen’s boys’ choir, and he stayed to study the violin and piano and then compose. Brahms, born near Hamburg, took over management of the Vienna Singers’ Academy, and Schönberg explored atonal music associated with the second Viennese School.

Vienna’s music venues are world-famous. Allow us to arrange tickets for you at the Musikverein, the Staatsoper, the Volksoper, the Vienna Conservatory, and/or the Weiner Konzerthaus.

LEt’s not ignore Vienna’s great architecture, starting with the 19th-century Ringstrasse built by Emperor Franz Joseph I. Art Deco (in Vienna it’s called Jugendstil) buildings and train stations still stand, homage to a fascinating chapter of Austrian art history.

Vienna streets offer a magical fusion of periods and styles, with opulent Baroque palaces that evoke the grandeur and glory of the Habsburgs alongside Otto Wagner’s Art Nouveau and Modernist masterpieces.

Contemporary architectural hotspots? The landing stage of the Twin City Liner on the Danube Canal (by Fasch & Fuchs). The Jean Nouvel-designed Sofitel Stephansdom-Stilwerk hotel. University of Economics and Business Vienna has a new campus, opened in 2013, that includes structures by Zaha Hadid, NO.MAD Arquitectos Madrid, Barcelona’s Estudio Carme Pinós S. L., and Sir Peter Cook and CRABstudio London, among others.

A new train station at the site of the former Südbahnhof as well as the adjacent Sonnwendviertel district are architecturally exciting, too.

For information about a visit to Vienna, contact Mariana Tosic at or call 888-490-8008.

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Clifton Smith, M.D. on 08-30-18

Please send info on Vienna trips

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