Cultural Tour of Vienna; 28 September-2 October
The History, Art & Palaces of Vienna
Our 2015 European excursion will be a guided tour of Vienna. We will fly via a direct scheduled Jet2 flight from Manchester to Vienna, where we will be met by our guide who will accompany us on all transfers and excursions.
Day 1 On arrival in Vienna we will be met by our guide and transfer, in our private executive coach, to the 4* Renaissance Hotel for a four night stay. A set three course welcome dinner is included in our hotel on the first evening; the remaining three nights are on a bed and breakfast basis.
Day 2 This morning we depart with our guide and coach for a city tour of Vienna taking 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, the largest Baroque cathedral north of the Alps, and St Stephen’s Cathedral, dating back to 1147 and for a long time uncontested as the tallest building in Europe. We finish with an audio tour of Schonbrunn Palace, commissioned in 1696 by Leopold I, completed in 1730, and adapted in the mid-18th century for Maria Theresa and where in the Hall of Mirrors, Mozart, aged six, gave his first recital.
Day 3 Today we explore the UNESCO listed Danube Valley with its rich history and magical scenery. Our first stop is the 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 a superb sculpted pulpit, choir and confessionals. After time for lunch in Meik, a pretty town with Renaissance buildings dating back to to 831, we embark on a 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 The morning is spent at The Albertina. This grand Viennese place has recently been made the home of a permanent exhibition tracing the progression from Impressionism to Modernism. The artists range from the French masters Monet, Degas and Cezanne to Picasso and the abstract expressionists Mark Rothko and Sam Francis. At the Kunsthistorisches Museum, in the afternoon, we will explore the 16th century Kunst-und-Wunderkammer (art and treasure chambers) of Archduke Ferdinand and of Emperor Rudolf II which, together with the the Baroque collections of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, forms the nucleus of the Museum’s magnificent collections. The evening offers an optional excursion to the Strauss and Mozart concert at the Kursalon in Vienna, from the very place where Johann Struass used to direct his orchestra.
Day 5 Prince Eugene of Savoy’s Upper Belvedere Palace, completed in 1723, was where Austria’s post-war independence treaty was signed in 1955. Today it displays examples of the late 19th century Jugendstil Movement, the result of which was the foundation of the Secession by a group of artists in 1897, of which the central figure was Gustav Klimt. After some free time we transfer to Vienna Airport for our Jet2 flight back to Manchester.
The cost is £759 per person. A non-refundable deposit of £100 per person is payable immediately. A full brochure and booking form can be downloaded here.
Below are photos of our tour of Vienna