Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

nearly all of the celebrated old masters being represented. We took note of several with which we were particularly pleased, among them the celebrated “Ecce Homo," by Titian; “The Annunciation," by Paul Veronese; “Diana and Callisto with the Nymphs,” by Titian; “The Saviour at the House of Simon the Leper, with Mary Magdalene at his Feet;" and “St. Andrew Refusing the Emperor Theodosius admission into the Church of Milan," by Rubens. Next we proceeded to the Armor Historical Gallery in the Lower Belvidere, where there is an extensive collection of armor of every description and a Museum of countless other things, including a variety of ancient musical instruments, jewelry, Eastern costumes, etc. An hour or two was passed here agreeably.

Schönbrunn, the summer residence of the Emperor, is situated a short distance from the city. It is a magnificent palace, and the grounds around it are exceedingly beautifnl, being laid out into flower gardens and groves of shade trees, trimmed along the gravel walks to present perpendicular walls of green foliage, and adorned with sculpture and costly fountains. After being shown through the palace, which is furnished with everything to please the eye, we strolled through the grounds or rested in quiet contemplation, admiring their loveliness, and thinking of dear friends far away. In one of the rooms of the palace we saw a portrait of the unfortunate Maximilian, painted when he was a lad twelve or fourteen years of age, and a marble bust of him as an adult. How sad the reflections excited by these likenesses! Induced by Napoleon III. to assume the scepter of power in a foreign land; Emperor in name only, for a brief period; betrayed,

condemned to death, and shot; his poor, devoted wife distracted, overwhelmed with grief, a hopeless maniac! It was melancholy also to remember that it was in this palace that the young Napoleon II., Duke of Reichstadt, died. In the vaults of the Church of Capuchins we looked upon his coffin, which is of copper, bearing a raised cross. Near by are the coffin of his grandfather, Emperor Francis I., and those of Joseph I., (this is of silver,) Joseph II., Maria Theresa, and some eighty others of the royal family. The latest is that of an uncle of the present Emperor. He died only a few months before our visit.

The Cathedral of St. Stephen is the largest and most graceful perhaps in the city. Its spire, said to be one of the tallest in the world, is very beautiful. From near its top a view may be had of the Danube on the margin of the city, and of the great battlefields of Wagram, Lobau, and Esling. Our guidebook states that the crypt of this church has been the burying place of the royal family for centuries, but for the last two hundred years only the bowels of the dead have been interred here, their bodies having been deposited in the Church of the Capuchins, and their hearts in the Church of the Augustines, which is another of the handsomest churches in the city. This last is specially noted for Canova's celebrated monument to the Archduchess Christine. “It consists of a pyramid of marble thirty feet high, in the center of which is an opening representing the entrance to the vault. This is reached by two broad marble steps, which are the base of the pyramid. Ascending the steps is a figure representing Virtue bearing an urn, which contains the ashes of the deceased. By her side are two little girls carrying torches; behind them is a figure of Benevolence supporting an old man bowed down by age and grief. A little child accompanies him, the very picture of innocence and sorrow. On the other side is an admirably drawn figure of a mourning genius, and at his feet crouches a melancholy lion. Over the entrance to the vault is a medallion of the Archduchess, held up by Happiness, while a genius is presenting her with a palm, indicative of success. We have a photograph of this monument. We visited both St. Stephen's and the Church of the Augustines, as well as that of the Capuchins.

Prader strasse is a grand boulevard, both for riding and walking; and the Volksgarten is also a place of great resort, especially in the evening, when Strauss' band plays. There are also other public gardens in other parts of the city. In the People's Garden, where we passed one evening, there are two fine equestrian statues of Austrian Emperors.

Our last day's sight-seeing in Vienna, or rather in its vicinity, was planned by our United States minister, Hon. Godlove S. Orth, and admirably conducted by him, who, with his wife, met us at Mödling, not far from their country residence, twelve or fifteen miles from the city, and went with us several miles further on to Laxenburg, another summer residence of the Emperor; thence to the fortress of the Empress Maria Theresa, called the Castle of Francenburg. The Palace of Laxenburg is comparatively modest for a royal residence, and the Emperor residing there at the time of our visit, it was not open to strangers. We were, however, admitted into all parts of the little castle, which was erected by Maria Theresa, in imitation of a feudal castle, and is a complete museum of antiquities. It stands in the center of an artificial lake, which adds greatly to the beauty of the surrounding landscape, all within the grounds of the Palace. In one of the rooms there is a fac-simile of a chamber of torture, with its instruments, and in a small dungeon below, a full-sized figure of a man, representing a prisoner in a sitting posture; and as we stood gazing at him, we were startled by the sudden rising of his right arm and movement of his body as though alive. We soon saw that this was produced by a secret spring, touched by our guide unobserved by us; but the trick was well calculated to frighten one for the moment.

From Laxenburg we returned with Mr. and Mrs. Orth to Mödling, where their carriage was waiting to convey us all to their house in the mountains. Here we spent the remainder of the day, taking dinner with the family, consisting of the parents and their son and daughter, both nearly of age. They occupy a rented house, formerly occupied as a monastery, delightfully situated upon the side of a sharp hill, from which a charming view of mountain and valley is obtained. We are indebted to their kindness and courtesy for a full measure of enjoyment. On our way back to the railroad station we stopped to see the ruins of the old Castle of Lichtenstein, and reached our lodgings at Hotel Tauber early in the evening.

CHAPTER XXII.

MUNICH, AUGUST 22.

–We were so much de

lighted with Vienna that we were reluctant to leave, and it is not a matter of surprise that so many of our patriots are willing to take up their residence there as Ministers of the United States. We were eight hours in reaching Salzburg, our next stopping place on the 20th of August, the hottest day we have felt in Europe, and one of the few in which summer clothing such as we wear at home would have been acceptable. The scenery along the route a part of the way was very beautiful. Salzburg, it may be remembered, is the place where the Emperors of France and Austria had a friendly meeting in the summer of 1867. It is situated on the swift river Salza, a considerable part of the town being built against the side of a steep mountain. There is a most romantic old castle here, now used principally as a barrack. It was built in the eleventh century, and long occupied as the residence and stronghold of some of the nobility. It stands on a high bluff, or ridge of rocks, overlooking the city. This ledge was tunneled in 1767 by the Archbishop Sigismund. We were driven through this tunnel out a short distance into the country, and also through the principal parts of the town, passing Mozart's house and monument. The streets are very narrow, and the houses quaint looking. The costumes of the people are peculiar. The women wear short gowns and petticoats with red or yellow aprons and black silk bandeaux.

A carriage ride of twenty miles, much of it on the banks of the Salza, which is filled by the melting of

« ÎnapoiContinuați »