Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
While Schönbrunn was the summer to the Habsburg monarchy, the Hofburg in central Vienna was its office and headquarters. It was also their winter residence.
The Vienna Hofburg was built in the 13th century and expanded several times afterwards. Since 1946 it is the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria.
Since 1279 the Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government.The Hofburg has been expanded over the centuries to include various residences, with the Amalienburg and the Albertina, the imperial chapel (Hofkapelle or Burgkapelle), the imperial library (Hofbibliothek), the treasury (Schatzkammer), the Burgtheater, the Spanish Riding School (Hofreitschule), the imperial mews (Stallburg and Hofstallungen).
Only part of the Hofburg is a castle museum. The complex houses other museums, a library, the presidency of Austria, the Hofburg Congress Centre, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other institutions.
Included in our Sisi Deluxe Ticket, named after Empress Elisabeth, was a tour of the Imperial Silver Collection, the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments. Not included were the Riding School and the Imperial Treasury.
The Silver Collection is the ensemble of tablewear. It’s a huge collection of china, centerpieces, dishes, plates …
You can take photos there.
You can’t take photos of the Sisi exhibition or of the Imperial Apartments. The Sisi Museum part focuses on the life and myth of Empress Elisabeth and her husband Francis Joseph I.
The Imperial Apartments focus on the mythical couple and on their heirs, Charles I & IV and Zita.
The tour is interesting and takes two to four hours. It’s interesting and as in Schönbrunn the audioguide doesn’t talk too much.
2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe
- POTSDAM 2021 | Schloss Sanssouci.
- 1945 Potsdam Conference’s Cecilienhof Palace.
- Potsdam 2021.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Berlin.
- BERLIN 2021 | Pergamon, ‘Das Panorama’.
- BERLIN 2021 | Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace.
- BERLIN 2021 | The Bundestag in the Reichstag.
- Berlin 2021.
- By train from Berlin to Gdansk via Szczecin.
- Stopover in Szczecin.
- REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
- REVIEW | Holiday Inn Gdansk.
- GDAŃSK | Museum of the Second World War.
- GDAŃSK | European Solidarity Centre or Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.
- A walk through Gdańsk.
- Gdańsk 2021.
- POLAND | PKP Intercity Gdansk to Wroclaw via Warsaw.
- Wrocław Museum of Architecture.
- The Dwarfs of Wrocław.
- Poland 2021.
- By train from Wroclaw to Karlovy Vary.
- Karlovy Vary.
- REVIEW | Hotel Imperial Karlovy Vary.
- Czechia’s Great Spa Town of Europe Františkovy Lázně.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen Historical Underground Tunnels.
- CZECHIA | Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen.
- CZECHIA 2021 | Cheb and its castle.
- Hotel room for one.
- By train from Karlovy Vary to Prague via Pilsen.
- Czechia 2021.
- RegioJet from Prague to Bratislava.
- Bratislava Castle.
- REVIEW | Crowne Plaza Bratislava.
- Bratislava on a rainy Monday.
- ZSSK Fast Train Tatran from Bratislava to Strba.
- The Tatra rack and electric Railway from Strba via Strbske Pleso to Poprad tatry.
- SLOVAKIA | AquaCity Poprad.
- REVIEW | Hotel Seasons AquaCity Poprad.
- Slovakia 2021.
- Poprad – Bratislava – Vienna with ZSSK’s intercity train.
- VIENNA | Restaurant Steirereck.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Wien.
- VIENNA | Luxury Sisi’s in Schönbrunn Palace.