Vienna – ahh! Doesn’t the very name evoke wonderful images? Music, art, culture, architecture, history. It is one of those cities along with the likes of London, New York, Paris and Rome that one must visit.
This fascinating city, capital of Austria is situated on the Danube River. Famous people who have lived here include Mozart, Hayden, Brahms and Beethoven so no wonder it has sometimes been known as the city of music. It has also been referred to as the city of dreams as Sigmund Freud who worked on the interpretation of dreams was a resident in Austria.
Vienna is known for its Opera Houses, the majestic St Stephan’s Cathedral and the opulent Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the royal rulers – the Habsburg family. Marie Antoinette who became Queen of France when she married Louis XVI was a daughter of this family. Hundertwasserhous, the quirky building and tourist attraction which was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser (who spent his later years in New Zealand) is in Vienna. The Spanish Riding School situated in central Vienna is known for the beautiful white horses and their performances in classical dressage. Inside the school is a portrait of the Emperor Charles VI and the riders salute him as they pass by after entering the riding area.
So… there are many interesting landmarks to visit in Vienna, but where does one eat and what to eat? Wiener Schnitzel is considered a national dish of Austria and you absolutely have to eat this in Vienna. Let me tell you of a wonderful place where a friend and I and another couple had the most divine Wiener Schnitzel, and it’s right in the centre of Vienna, close to St Stephan’s Cathedral and the Spanish Riding School. It’s called Café Mozart and has existed for over 200 years. Many famous people enjoyed coffee and food here. The author, Graham Green who wrote ‘The Third Man’ dined here. The book was made into a film of the same name and was directed by Carol Reed who loved Café Mozart so much, that a scene involving the actor Orson Wells was filmed inside.
The Wiener Schnitzel served at Café Mozart is delicious and huge. I didn’t think I could eat it, but I did! The café also serves other wonderful dishes including Apfelstrudel or Apple Strudel. Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage one of these after finishing my Wiener Schnitzel, but I saw other customers enjoying it. Café Mozart was a secret that my companions fortunately knew about and shared with me and my friend.
If you’re going to Vienna, even for a short time such as on a stopover on a European river cruise make sure you have Wiener Schnitzel at Café Mozart. Then it will be your secret too.