THE ARTS SOCIETY SHALFORD
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30 August 2018TOUR - The Art History and Palaces of Vienna and the Danube Valley

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TOUR - The Art History and Palaces of Vienna and the Danube Valley
Thursday 30 August 2018

5 days from £934 - Departs 30th August

If you are interested in this tour, please contact Liz Coult on 01483 417269 or email:   liz@coults.co.uk for a booking form.

 

Day 1                We meet at our designated pick up points and transfer by coach to Gatwick Airport for our direct scheduled Easyjet flight to Vienna. On arrival in Vienna we are met by our guide and transfer in our private executive coach to the 4* Park Royal Palace Hotel at Vienna for a four night stay. A set three course dinner without drinks is included in our hotel on the first and last evenings, and the remaining two nights are on a bed and breakfast basis.

 

Day 2                Our morning guided city tour of Vienna takes in the imperial and architectural beauty of the city, a reminder of the great wealth of the Hapsburgs and the splendour of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During our guided tour we visit Karlskirche, dedicated to St Karl Borromeo. Designed by Johann Fischer von Erlach, a famous Austrian Baroque architect, the building of Karlskirche commenced in 1715 and is the largest Baroque cathedral north of the Alps. Our guided tour also includes a visit to St Stephen’s Cathedral, dating back to 1147 and for a long time uncontested as the tallest building in Europe. After free time for lunch in Vienna we visit Schönbrunn Palace, commissioned in 1696 by Leopold I, completed in 1730, and adapted in the mid 18th century for Maria Theresa. Our audio-guided tour will include her bedroom, hung with Brussels tapestries, her breakfast room decorated with needlework worked by her and her daughters, and the Hall of Mirrors, where Mozart, aged 6, gave his first recital. The gardens were laid out with fountains and statues, and later, on the Gloriette Hill, a colonnaded arcade was added, from which one has an extensive view over the city.

 

Day 3                Today we explore the UNESCO listed Danube Valley with its rich history and magical scenery. Our first stop is for a guided tour of Baroque Melk Abbey, which towers above the Danube on a promontory. Begun as a palace stronghold in the 10th century and given to Benedictine monks in the 12th century, the interior is lavishly gilded, has ceiling frescoes and superb sculpted pulpit, choir and confessionals. We have time for lunch in Melk, a pretty town with Renaissance buildings, before embarking on an included cruise along the scenic Danube to Krems, the area centre of the wine industry, with its mixture of historical buildings and a Renaissance town hall.

 

Day 4                We have a guided tour of the Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg Palace this morning, the residence of the Hapsburgs for over 600 years. The Palace was considered the centre of the Hapsburg Empire and during our audio tour we visit the authentically furnished Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection. This afternoon we enjoy a guided tour at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. In the mid-19th century Franz Joseph commissioned magnificent buildings to be erected along the new circular boulevard, the Ringstrasse, amongst which was the Kunsthistorisches Museum, built to house the Imperial Collections. In this huge and sumptuously decorated building are to be found paintings, mainly the Old Masters from the 15th to the 18th centuries, antiquities, including those of early civilisations, sculptures and decorative arts, coins and medals, and numerous other artefacts.

 

Day 5                We visit Upper Belvedere Palace this morning, and our guided tour on arrival introduces us to a fine collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, including the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection. We transfer to the airport for our direct scheduled Easyjet flight to Gatwick, and onwards coach travel back to our original pick up points.