On Tuesday, ConVal’s exchange students traveled to the Imperial City of Vienna. The students got to explore the inner city’s pedestrian zone with its boutique shops and the Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) at its center. The 12th-century cathedral took more than 440 years to complete and is considered a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, featuring stunning stained glass windows and a 450-foot south tower with intricate sandstone carvings.
They also visited Hofburg Palace, the once principal residence of the Habsburg monarchs, the Spanish Riding School with its 400-year tradition of raising and training the white Lippizaner horses, as well as the Nationalbibliothek (National Library) with its high-ceilinged State Hall and over 200,000 rare and historical texts among its total collection of 12 million books, manuscripts, and other cultural artifacts.
Students were also fascinated by the Albertina Museum in the heart of Vienna. The museum’s collection includes over one million works of art from the late Gothic period to contemporary art, among them drawings, etchings, and prints by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Albrecht Dürer, Raphael, and Rembrandt. The museum also has a strong collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Egon Schiele, and Andy Warhol. On the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s largest and most popular outdoor market, students got to see a wide variety of traditional Viennese foods and drinks.
As Frau Hodgdon reported: “It was a mega long day in Vienna, leaving school at 7:30 this morning and returning at 10:15 pm. But boy, did we see a lot! The kids were certainly troopers today – we walked about 10 miles in all kinds of weather today and they are exhausted!” She especially appreciated the tour guiding skills of Fritz Baier, the exchange program contact at the Akademisches Gymnasium in Salzburg: “The whole time, Fritz regaled us with stories about Vienna – we are lucky to have such a walking fountain of knowledge with us!”