Thursday, August 25, 2005

Vienna Waits For You

The first of several vignettes from my recent trip to Vienna:

Vienna is such a lovely city, especially in late summer when for a brief spell the sun comes out for than a few hours each day. And during my visit there a couple of weeks ago, it actually got a little warm. So to cool down I recommended to the Mrs. that we hang out in the Kaisergruft. Little did she know I was taking her to the Habsburg crypt where some 146 members of the royal family are entombed--not exactly the most popular tourist attraction. Beneath a Capuchin church (no surprise), a staircase leads you to a dark and dank cellar. And then it begins. (You almost want to roam around with a torchlight.)

Besides Maria Theresia and Franz Josef, you can find the final resting places of the beloved Empress Elisabeth ("Sissi"), who was stabbed by an anarchist in 1898, and Maximilian, the ill-fated "emperor" of Mexico who was executed by revolutionaries. If ever you find yourself in the city with time to ... kill, I highly recommend the Kaisergruft. If ... you ... dare!

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