Warmer Weather Brings Unforgettable Festivals
Luxury Travel Blog | Travcoa
Discovering the City's Michelin-Starred Restaurants
Known for their appreciation of culture and refinement, it comes as no surprise that along with classical music, Baroque architecture and great literature, the Viennese also enjoy a love of fine dining. And while you’ll find a range of gastronomical delights from sausage sold at würstelstände (street food vendors) to the sweet pastries enjoyed at the afternoon jause (coffee break), the pinnacle of dining in this Austrian city is sure to be found within the sumptuous menus of the many Michelin-starred restaurants.
The Vienna Boys' Choir
A luxury tour of Austria would not be complete without attending Hofsburg Chapel, where the Vienna Boys’ Choir has sung solemn mass for the past five centuries. The chapel sits on the grounds of what was once the imperial Hofsburg Palace, home to the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and to the choir, which is comprised of one hundred boys ages 10 to 14 years old, that has performed there every Sunday since their charter was issued by Maximilian I in 1498.
A fixture in Austrian culture, the Vienna Boys’ Choir boasts an illustrious membership that has included Schubert and Haydn. Its rigorous training methods have produced a superlative group of vocalists, violinists and pianists. The most impressive roster of musical giants who have worked with the company through the years also includes Mozart, Gluck and Bruckner. In a city celebrated for musical prowess, the group of children dressed in their trademark sailor suits has become synonymous with Vienna’s musical legacy. This choir of trebles and altos has long been one of the best-known choirs in all the world.
Vienna’s Renowned Spanish Riding School
For three years aspiring riders train. Straddled atop well-bred horses tethered to a long rope, they circle endlessly around the ring. Without stirrups or any direct control over the animal, all their time is spent learning a balanced and independent ‘seat’. After years of perfecting their stance, they are permitted to exert some authority over their mount while under the watchful eye of an experienced trainer. Such intensive instruction continues for up to four more years when, finally, junior trainers are allowed to work with young stallions from ‘unbroken’ to haute école. Only then are they declared ‘riders’ of the Spanish Riding School, and horse and rider are deemed ready to perform classical dressage.
The Spanish Riding School in Vienna was established in 1572 during the Hapsburg rule, making it the oldest of its kind in the world. Originally a wooden riding arena, Emperor Charles VI commissioned the ornate white riding hall that is used today in 1729. The gracious interior features 46 columns, elaborate chandeliers and a coffered ceiling.