Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon

Trip Start Jun 19, 2013
Trip End Jul 31, 2013

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Flag of Austria  ,
Sunday, July 14, 2013

I left in the early morning for mass at St. Augustine's Church. I thought I would visit a different church every Sunday, but I loved St. Augustine's, so I decided to head back. Although it is the coronation church, and part of the Imperial Palace, it is still much less "touristy" than St. Stephen's. I got a great seat and really enjoyed the service. A guest choir from England sang, and once again, the music was wonderful.  

I am SO happy with my museum membership. I headed back to the Museum of Art to finish the second half of my tour. I saw so many beautiful masterworks, including a great collection by Rembrandt, and many paintings from the Imperial Family's collection. I can't remember what king it was, but one of them, in the 1600's was a very avid art collector, and apparently had an extensive collection of paintings of midgets, giants, and hairy people. Too bad none of them were on display. The things some people buy when they have money...

I also learned that there was a huge line of arranged marriages to ensure a strong connection between the Spanish and Austrian kingdoms, until one of the future Spanish kings was mentally retarded and had some other issues. He was supposed to marry one of the princesses from Austria (also his first cousin), but eventually the Habsurgs ended the future marriage between their daughter and the Spanish prince, ending the connection between the dynasties.

On that note, I completed my tour of the art museum, and headed to the Imperial Treasury. It was another stop covered by my museum membership, and was just a couple minute walk from the art museum. There were coronation robes, crowns, jewels, swords, baptismal clothing, goblets, and so on. Unlike the art museum having valuable items out on display that people were touching without being detected, if someone used a flash in the treasury, it would trigger a sensor and an alarm would sound. an automated voice in German and English would come on and say that flashes are not allowed, and you can be removed from the treasury for doing so. It happened a couple times, then security guards come out of nowhere and run over to track down whoever was using their flash. It was really intense.

The treasury had so many beautiful things. Towards the end of the exhibit, there was a display of reliquaries allegedly containing wood from Christ's manger, a fragment of John the Evangelist's robe, a tooth from John the Baptist, part of the loincloth of Christ, and part of the tablecloth from the Last Supper. I'm not sure if I believe these are actual pieces or not (the reliquaries date from 1100-1500), but either way it was pretty cool to see. John the Baptist's molar looked really nasty. It's on a string dangling (picture below). Eek.

My last museum stop of the day was to the Austrian Theatre Museum (also covered by my membership). It was SO creepy. The only people there besides me were a security guard and a lady in the souvenir shop. A lot of the rooms were filled with puppets and marionettes that used motion sensors, so when I walked into rooms, dozens of puppets from the 1800s started moving to creepy carnival music. I could not get out of there fast enough. Everything was in German, so I'm not really sure what I saw. Eww, and there were a lot of photos of naked women. The place creeped me out. I had a really hard time finding my way out (it was like a maze) and was starting to panic, because every time I tried to get through a room and leave, more puppets started moving. At least I didn't waste my money trying to see it.

I did some shopping (mostly window shopping) and walked through the city before heading home to do homework. I made some couscous with diced tomatoes, basil, and onions for dinner and started my studies.
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