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travel talk:
Very Vienna

Once you understand the simple fact that it's a city designed to be walked, you can then come to grips with Vienna. That's why Vienna is such a wonderful place to visit. The whole of the old town in central Vienna is a walking mall and Central Vienna is where, for the most part, you'll find the most fascinating places.

In Vienna there's a never ending supply of the past, especially in the world of music. People go to see where Beethoven, the Strauss family, and Brahms worked and lived, where writers and artists drank and ate.For more than any other place in Europe, it's where the great artists changed forever the way we look at life. Vienna is a walker's paradise because every building holds a richness of history which will stagger your senses. Guided tours abound, almost by the block.

Vienna is still a city of manners and correct attire and it has an overwhelming sense of its style and place in history. It's the kind of city where you feel under-dressed without a sports coat and where heads turn if you speak in a loud voice.

While the rest of Europe is becoming more casual, Vienna has maintained an unspoken code of conduct every visitor recognizes immediately. It's not stodgy, just correct. To the Viennese, the rights and wrongs of social graces are self evident and to the Viennese they define you as an individual. It's not a place for jeans. Save those for London or Athens or for the Austrian countryside.

A visit to the Central Cemetery (Zentralfriedhof) is a must-see. In sections 32A&C and 14C you find the Grove of Honour and the ghosts which still haunt this city's cultural life, including the final resting places of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, the Strauss family, Gluck, Schoenberg, and Hugo Wolf.

At another cemetery, across town at the Cemetery of St. Mark, laid out in the 18th Century style, is where they buried Mozart in an unmarked grave in the Masonic tradition of the time. No-one knows exactly where he was buried and chances are pretty good his remains are no longer around, since it was customary to remove remains from the cemetery every seven years in order to reuse the site. In 1807 an attempt was made to find Mozart's final resting spot, without success. The St Mark cemetery is no longer in use. Like many things in Vienna, it stands as a memorial to the past.


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