About richardcedwards

I have been making photographs of people and places since I was 12 years old. Exploring new places, cultures and meeting people adds a lot of richness to life. Sharing these experiences and photographs with others is my goal with "Where in the World is Riccardo?" on wordpress.com

Prague Castle (Czech: Pražsky hrad), Prague, Czech Republic

Saint Vitus Cathedral, within Prague Castle (Czech- Pražsky hrad), is the largest and the most important temple in Prague and the site of coronations of Czech kings and queens; Prague,

Saint Vitus Cathedral, within Prague Castle (Czech: Pražsky hrad), is the largest and the most important temple in Prague and the site of coronations of Czech kings and queens; Prague, Czech Republic

 

Prague Castle (Czech: Pražsky hrad) is a castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic, dating from the 9th century.  It is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world.

“Prague Castle was most likely founded in around 880 by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty (Přemyslovci).  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 m² (83,719 square yards).  A UNESCO World Heritage site, it consists of a large-scale composition of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles, from the remains of Romanesque-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications of the 14th century.  The famous Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik was responsible for extensive renovations in the time of the First Republic (1918-1938).  Since the Velvet Revolution, Prague Castle has undergone significant and ongoing repairs and reconstructions.” – www.hrad.cz

 

Details of the Gothic front façade of Saint Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

Details of the Gothic front façade of Saint Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

In 1344, Charles IV began the construction of a Gothic cathedral, with construction following – on and off – over the following centuries with the Union for the Completion of the Cat

In 1344, Charles IV began the construction of a Gothic cathedral, with construction following – on and off – over the following centuries with the Union for the Completion of the Cathedral in the late 1800s pushing for repairs and completion; the consecration was in 1929; Saint Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

One of the administrative buildings still in use by the government, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

One of the administrative buildings still in use by the government, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Vladislav Hall, a large room used for large public events of the Bohemian monarchy and the modern Czech state, was built between 1493–1502 during the reign of Vladislav II and was the

Vladislav Hall, a large room used for large public events of the Bohemian monarchy and the modern Czech state, was built between 1493–1502 during the reign of Vladislav II and was the largest secular space in medieval Prague; it belongs to the most complex structural and architectural spaces of the late Middle Ages, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

St. George_s Basilica – dedicated to Saint George -- is the oldest surviving church building within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, and was founded by Vratislaus I of Bohemia

St. George’s Basilica – dedicated to Saint George — is the oldest surviving church building within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, and was founded by Vratislaus I of Bohemia in 920 A.D.

 

A lane of shops within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

A lane of shops within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The view downhill and across the Vltava River from Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

The view downhill and across the Vltava River from Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The view from Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas' Vineyard) which is within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic – it was really amazing to see a working vineyard in the center

The view from Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas’ Vineyard) which is within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic – it was really amazing to see a working vineyard in the center of a city!

 

Looking back up at the center of Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, from Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas' Vineyard)

Looking back up at the center of Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, from Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas’ Vineyard)

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Strahov Monastery (Czech: Strahovsky Klášter), Prague, Czech Republic

The Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library of Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, was built in 1783 and the interior was installed from 1794 to 1797 and quickly became famous t

The Strahov Library of Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, was built in 1783 and the interior was installed from 1794 to 1797 and quickly became famous throughout Europe and cultural circles

 

Strahov Monastery (Czech: Strahovsky Klášter) in Prague, Czech Republic, is a Premonstratensian monaster founded in 1140.  In the complex there is the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the rare Strahov Library with a number of medieval manuscripts, maps and globes, the Baroque Theological Hall, the Classical Philosophy Hall decorated with frescoes, and the Strahov Gallery, one of the most significant Central European collections of Gothic painting, Rudolfian art, and Baroque and Rococo paintings.

 

The Strahov Library has around 280,000 titles, of which 3,000 are manuscripts and 1,500 are incunabula, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

The Strahov Library has around 280,000 titles, of which 3,000 are manuscripts and 1,500 are incunabula, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

This globe from the early 1700s in the Strahov Library shows the western part of North America (Baja California, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska) as an island

This globe from the early 1700s in the Strahov Library shows the western part of North America (Baja California, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska) as an island, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Strahov Library, which was the part of the Monastery that we visited, is the second oldest church library in Bohemia with uninterrupted existence.  The library has around 280,000 titles, of which 3,000 are manuscripts and 1,500 are incunabula.  The oldest manucscript is the Strahovospel, dated in 860 A.D.    Our visit focused on the Philosophical Hall, while there is additionally the Theological Hall.

 

One of only three remaining old library “research desks” in the world, this clever “desk” had rotating shelves that allow a scholar to have multiple open books accessible instant

One of only three remaining old library “research desks” in the world, this clever “desk” had rotating shelves that allow a scholar to have multiple open books accessible instantly, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Muralist Anton Maulbertsch painted the fresco called “Spiritual Development of Mankind” on the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library ceiling from 1776 to 1778, Strahov Monastery,

Muralist Anton Maulbertsch painted the fresco called “Spiritual Development of Mankind” on the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library ceiling from 1776 to 1778, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

This section of the “Spiritual Development of Mankind” fresco in the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, contains motifs with Old Te

This section of the “Spiritual Development of Mankind” fresco in the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, contains motifs with Old Testament themes – in the center of the painting are tablets with the Ten Commandments and Moses with the Ark of the Covenant behind them

 

Details of the 18th century woodworking and gold gilding in the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

Details of the 18th century woodworking and gold gilding in the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The prize possession of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, is the Strahovospel (“The Strahov Evangeliary”) manuscript dating back to 860-865 A.D.; the b

The prize possession of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, is the Strahovospel (“The Strahov Evangeliary”) manuscript dating back to 860-865 A.D.; the binding (9th to 16th centuries) is decorated with statuary and gems

 

Two pages of the Strahovospel (“The Strahov Evangeliary”) manuscript dating back to 860-865 A.D., Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic; “illuminations of the

Two pages of the Strahovospel (“The Strahov Evangeliary”) manuscript dating back to 860-865 A.D., Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic; “illuminations of the Evangeliats represent Trier School of Ottoman book painting”

 

A hand painted page from the Missale of Louka, 1483, Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

A hand painted page from the Missale of Louka, 1483, Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local: Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic, is located just below Prague Castle and has an outstanding view of the city and the Vltava River and Old Town, beyond, from

Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic, is located just below Prague Castle and has an outstanding view of the city and the Vltava River and Old Town, beyond, from the terrace where we dined al fresco

 

From our hotel in Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic, our friends and we walked across the Charles Bridge to the neighborhood below Prague Castle (which is referred to as the Hradčany district) where we enjoyed an excellent dinner at Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně on the terrace (4th floor) of the Golden Well Hotel.  From the terrace the view certainly lived up to the billing of Prague as the “city of a hundred spires.”  The hotel, which dates back to 1528, is situated just below the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle.  The restaurant was extensively renovated in 2008 and has been rated for several years as the best restaurant in the Czech Republic (by Tripadvisor.com) and is highly rated by the Michelin Guide.  The chef, Pavel Sapík, comes from a family from Southern Moravia, where his family had worked as inn-keepers and butchers since the 17th century.

 

From the terrace, the view certainly lived up to the billing of Prague as the “city of a hundred spires”, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

From the terrace, the view certainly lived up to the billing of Prague as the “city of a hundred spires”, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A first course of white asparagus soup, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

A first course of white asparagus soup, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A first course of shrimp in an Oriental broth, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

A first course of shrimp in an Asian broth, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A first course of scallops with asparagus, strawberries, and caviar, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

A first course of scallops with asparagus, strawberries, and caviar, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A first course of foie gras two ways with fruit sorbet and macaroons, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

A first course of foie gras two ways with fruit sorbet and macaroons, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

An entrée of lamb loin with fava beans, snow peas, pea puree, white mushrooms and demi-glace, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

An entrée of lamb loin with fava beans, snow peas, pea puree, white mushrooms and demi-glace, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

An entrée of duck breast with gnocchi and vegetables, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

An entrée of duck breast with gnocchi and vegetables, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

After dinner, the view of the city from Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic, included the full moon – a fitting conclusion to a wonderful evening

After dinner, the view of the city from Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic, included the full moon – a fitting conclusion to a wonderful evening

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Prague (Czech: Praha), Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic, a magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten cen

Prague (Praha in Czech), Czech Republic, a magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries; this view of the 1402 pedestrian Charles Bridge was taken just after sunrise from our hotel room

 

Prague (Czech: Praha), capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River.  Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show.  Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic saints.  Prague, with a population of about 1.2 million, is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries.  The city is famous for its unique medieval architecture, and the historical center of Prague is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

 

Prague, Czech Republic, with a population of about 1.2 million, is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuri

Prague, Czech Republic, with a population of about 1.2 million, is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries

 

Prague, Czech Republic, thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century - many of the city's most important attractions date back to th

Prague, Czech Republic, thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century – many of the city’s most important attractions date back to that age; Prague Castle, on top of the hill (with its church and spires) remains one of the top attractions in the city

 

“This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries.  Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague’s medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her.  Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveler’s thirst for adventure.

“It is regarded by many as one of Europe’s most charming, colorful and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Vienna and Krakow. Millions of tourists visit the city every year.

“Prague was founded in the later 9th century, and soon became the seat of Bohemian kings, some of whom ruled as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.  The city thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century — many of the city’s most important attractions date back to that age.  The city also went under Habsburg rule and became the capital of a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In 1918, after World War I, the city became the capital of Czechoslovakia.  After 1989 many foreigners, especially young people, moved to Prague.  In 1992, its historic centre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries and Prague became capital city of the new Czech Republic.” – http://www.wikitravel.org

 

We arrived in Prague, Czech Republic, from Vienna, Austria, by high speed rail and our first sight of the city was this beautiful main hall of the Art-Nouveau train station, Praha hlavni

We arrived in Prague, Czech Republic, from Vienna, Austria, by high speed rail and our first sight of the city was this beautiful main hall of the Art-Nouveau train station, Praha hlavní nádraží, that first operated in 1871 and is named Franz Josef Station after Franz Joseph I of Austria

 

One of Europe_s biggest and most beautiful urban spaces, Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) has been Prague_s principal public square since the

One of Europe’s biggest and most beautiful urban spaces, Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) has been Prague’s principal public square since the 10th century, and was its main marketplace until the beginning of the 20th century

 

Kinsky Palace is one of the older buildings in Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic; note that all of Old Town in Czech is St

Kinsky Palace is one of the older buildings in Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic; note that all of Old Town in Czech is Staré Město pražské (Staré Město for short)

 

Týn Church and its spires and the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

Týn Church and its spires and the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

 

The Church of Mother of God before Týn, often translated as Church of Our Lady before Týn (Týn Church), is a gothic church and a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague, Czech R

The Church of Mother of God before Týn, often translated as Church of Our Lady before Týn (Týn Church), is a Gothic church and a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague, Czech Republic

 

Architectural and decorative details on one of the buildings in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

Architectural and decorative details on one of the buildings in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

 

The oldest surviving residential-commercial building in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) dates from around 1400, Prague, Czech Republic

The oldest surviving residential/commercial building in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) dates from around 1400, Prague, Czech Republic; the famous astronomical clock (covered in scaffolding for renovations during our visit) dates to 1410 (making it the third oldest astronomical clock in the world) and the Old Town Hall gothic tower was constructed in 1364

 

The art glass at Moser (in Prague, Czech Republic, since 1857) is regarded as some of the best in Poland and Europe; their main retail store is in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské n

The art glass at Moser (in Prague, Czech Republic, since 1857) is regarded as some of the best in Poland and Europe; their main retail store is in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short)

 

Beautiful architectural and ornamental details on an old building in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

Beautiful architectural and ornamental details on an old building in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

 

Havelské Tržišteē (Havel_s Market) in Old Town (Staré Město pražské) Prague, Czech Republic, dates back to 1232

Havelské Tržišteē (Havel’s Market) in Old Town (Staré Město pražské) Prague, Czech Republic, dates back to 1232

 

Trdelnik is one of the most common pastries to find on Prague_s streets; the pastry was originally known as kurtsoskalacs and hailed from Szekely Land, Transylvania — home of the Sze

Trdelnik is one of the most common pastries to find on Prague’s streets; the pastry was originally known as kurtsoskalacs and hailed from Szekely Land, Transylvania — home of the Szekely Hungarians

 

Musicians playing for the walkers on the pedestrian Charles Bridge in the early evening, Prague, Czech Republic

Musicians playing for the walkers on the pedestrian Charles Bridge in the early evening, Prague, Czech Republic

 

An early evening view of the central east bank of the Vltava River in Prague, Czech Republic, from the pedestrian Charles Bridge

An early evening view of the central east bank of the Vltava River in Prague, Czech Republic, from the pedestrian Charles Bridge

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Stift Melk (Melk Abbey), Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, one of the biggest and most beautiful European Baroque ensembles, was constructed between 1702 - 1736; its splendid architecture is famous worldwide and a UNESCO World Cultur

Melk Abbey (photograph is of a scale model of the abbey), one of the biggest and most beautiful European Baroque ensembles, was constructed between 1702 and 1736; its splendid architecture is famous worldwide and is one of UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage Sites, Melk, Austria

 

Melk Abbey is a Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk, Lower Austria, Austria, on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube River, adjoining the Wachau Valley.

“Melk Abbey is one of the biggest and most beautiful European Baroque ensembles. I ts splendid architecture is famous worldwide and part of UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage [Sites].  The Baroque building situated on a rock overlooking the Danube, in the Wachau region, ranks as one of Austria’s most visited art-historical sites.  Since 1089, Benedictine monks have continually been living and working in Melk Abbey.  Following the rules laid down by St. Benedict, they try to translate into action the words ORA et LABORA et LEGE (pray and work and learn) by working in pastoral care and education (Melk Abbey Secondary School) as well as organizing cultural events.

ORA et LABORA et LEGE – PRAY, WORK, LEARN

“In a way, this is the Benedictines’ motto: the whole human being is challenged to contribute everything possible to the community which is searching God.  Body, soul and spirit merge to have a meaning of life which isn’t limited to this world, but leaves room for everything that goes beyond it.  Because of this Saint Benedict tells his monks to glorify God in all things, not only through their prayer, but also through their work and their daily willingness to learn.  “Never stop beginning”:  this is the ultimate goal to come clean with oneself, with others and with God and to lead a fulfilled life.” — www.stiftmelk.at/englisch/

 

The entrance from the gardens to Melk Abbey, situated above the Danube River in the Wachau Valley, Melk, Austria

The entrance from the gardens to Melk Abbey, situated above the Danube River in the Wachau Valley, Melk, Austria

 

An inner courtyard (Prelate_s Courtyard) of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

An inner courtyard (Prelate’s Courtyard) of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

 

The present Baroque abbey was constructed between 1702 and 1736.  The abbey survived through the reign of Emperor Joseph II (when many other Austrian abbeys were dissolved) and the Napoleonic Wars and confiscation by the state following the Anschluss in 1938; the school was returned to the abbey after WW II.  It now serves approximately 900 students of both sexes.

 

An insignia in the hall of mirrors, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

An insignia in the hall of mirrors, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

 

The marble hall with a ceiling fresco by Paul Troger (1731), Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The marble hall with a ceiling fresco by Paul Troger (1731), Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

 

Paintings, “The Path to the Future” depicting the path of faith that looks for God in everyday life, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Paintings, “The Path to the Future” depicting the path of faith that looks for God in everyday life, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

 

A view of Melk from the Melk Abbey, Wachau Valley, Austria

A view of Melk from the Melk Abbey, Wachau Valley, Austria

 

A view of Melk and the Danube River from the terrace of the Melk Abbey, Wachau Valley, Austria

A view of Melk and the Danube River from the terrace of the Melk Abbey, Wachau Valley, Austria

 

The library (no photography was permitted inside), Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The library (no photography was permitted inside), Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

 

“The library is the second most important space in any Benedictine monastery, the first being, of course, the church.  he most important Baroque masters were commissioned with the artworks: Antonio Beduzzi for interior design, Johann Michael Rottmayr and Paul Troger for the frescos and altarpieces, Guiseppe Galli-Bibiena for the pulpit and high altar, and Lorenzo Mattielli and Peter Widerin for sculptures.  It is no surprise that the beauty of the church is breathtaking, as is the view from the semi-circular exterior terrace looking out over the Wachau Valley.” — www.austria.info/us/activities/culture-traditions/architectural-highlights-in-austria/melk-abbey-a-baroque-jewel

 

The interior of the Abbey Chapel, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The interior of the Abbey Chapel, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

 

A colonnaded passageway in Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

A colonnaded passageway in Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

 

The Danube River and the Wachalu Valley as seen from the Colomon Courtyard (named for an Irish king_s son martyred in Stockerau, near Vienna, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1012), Mel

The Danube River and the Wachalu Valley as seen from the Colomon Courtyard (named for an Irish king’s son martyred in Stockerau, near Vienna, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1012), Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Drink local, Eat local: The Wachau and Jamek Estate Winery, Vienna, Austria

We sailed on a river boat along the Danube River in the Wachau wine-growing region, Austria; this small town along the river has a beautiful church built under towering medieval ruins

We sailed on a river boat along the Danube River in the Wachau wine-growing region, Austria; this small town along the river has a beautiful church built under towering medieval ruins

 

From Vienna we spent one day exploring the region along the Danube River to the west. We drove to Dürstein in the Wachau wine-growing region — only 12 miles (19.3 km) long — and took a river cruise on one of the scheduled public boats to the west to Spitz, which marks the end of the Wachau.  We had arranged for a driver to pick us up there and take us back to the east to explore a little and then arrive at the Jamek estate in Joching for a wine tasting and luncheon on their beautiful terrace, overlooking the Jamek vineyards.  It is one of the leading estates in the Wachau region that now has 232 wineries in Austria’s smallest wine region.  Wines have been produced in the area since the Romans, and the monasteries at the beginning of the 10th century constructed many of the terraces used to plant the vineyards, making the Wachau an historic cultural landscape.

 

Each small town along the Danube had a church that dominated the skyline, Wachau wine-growing region, Austria

Each small town along the Danube had a church that dominated the skyline, Wachau wine-growing region, Austria

 

We ended our river cruise in the town of Spitz, Wachau wine-growing region, Austria

We ended our river cruise in the town of Spitz, Wachau wine-growing region, Austria

 

“The Wachua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and region of natural beauty, and lies in the Danube valley between the towns of Melk and Krems.  The wine grape varieties Grüner Veltliner and Riesling prevail on 1,344 hectares, partly on very steep-inclined terraces.  The best vineyard sites produce some of the best white wine in the world with decades of aging potential…  The Wachau is one of Austria’s most exciting and fascinating wine regions.  Over millions of years, the Danube has gorged its winding waterway through the consolidated gneiss and amphibolite.  The crystalline rock soils on steep terraces produce outstanding Rieslings.  During the Ice Age vegetation cover was poor and, prevailing winds carried drifting sand that settled in the lee of the east-facing crystalline hillsides, resulting in layers of loess.  This is where great, opulent and expressive Grüner Veltliner is cultivated.  The extremely diverse geological terrain, coupled with the construction of terraces in the best aspects, and the cultivation of vines on these steep inclines by the Bavarian monasteries during the Middle Ages, has resulted in a spectacular and unique Wachau landscape.” – www.austrianwine.com

 

Before setting off for the Jamek Estate Winery, we climbed a gentle walk up to the church in Spitz, Wachau wine-growing region, Austria

Before setting off for the Jamek Estate Winery, we climbed a gentle walk up to the church in Spitz, Wachau wine-growing region, Austria

 

The estate house at the Jamek Estate Winery, Joching, Austria, dating back over 100 years

The estate house at the Jamek Estate Winery, Joching, Austria, dating back over 100 years

 

“Embedded in the romantic landscape of the Wachau region [in Joching] and right next to the Danube [River], the classic Jamek estate is surrounded by vineyards and a few apricot trees.  A beautiful place, just perfect for enjoying. A competent team of committed people fulfills every culinary desire.  This is how the Jamek estate became an institution which enjoys great popularity in Austria and abroad – and for many years now…  Built under the name “Hotel Wachau” in 1912, this estate represents the epitome of successful hospitality.  Four generations, whose greatest desire has always been to please visitors to the Wachau region by offering the highest possible quality…  Delicious wines and fine food have a long tradition in the Jamek estate.  The family is committed to producing legendary wines such as the Riesling from the famous single vineyard Klaus.  Traditional practices are combined with modern methods in the winery.  Modern technology is a prerequisite for careful vinification, but the traditional ageing in wooden barrels makes the wines attractive…  Our main grape variety is Riesling, which is seconded by Grüner Veltliner.  We also cultivate some Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Chardonnay, and Gelber Muskateller, and naturally some red varieties as well: Zweigelt and Spätburgunder (Pinor Noir).  The three quality categories of the Wachau region: 1) Steinfeder: Light and fragrant – maximum of 11% alcohol, 2) Federspiel: Medium bodies Kabinett wines — maximum of 12.5% alcohol, and 3) Smaragd: The most full-bodied wines – at least 12.5% alcohol.” – Jamek estate brochure

 

Vineyards of Jamek Estate Winery, Joching, Austria

Vineyards of Jamek Estate Winery, Joching, Austria

 

New growth on the vineyards in spring at the Jamek Estate Winery, Joching, Austria

New growth on the vineyards in spring at the Jamek Estate Winery, Joching, Austria

 

The Jamek Estate Winery labels feature the estate house, Joching, Austria

The Jamek Estate Winery labels feature the estate house, Joching, Austria

 

Wine tasting of Jamek Estate Winery Grüner Veltliner and Riesling wines, Joching, Austria

Wine tasting of Jamek Estate Winery Grüner Veltliner and Riesling wines, Joching, Austria

 

A standout dish at our luncheon at the Jamek Estate Winery, Joching, Austria, was scallops with fresh spring green asparagus with a side of potatoes

A standout dish at our luncheon at the Jamek Estate Winery, Joching, Austria, was scallops with fresh spring green asparagus with a side of potatoes

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Hofburg Imperial Palace and Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury), Vienna, Austria

The entrance to the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria, from Josefsplatz; one of the biggest palace complexes in the world, its oldest parts date to the 13th century, with construc

The entrance to the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria, from Josefsplatz; one of the biggest palace complexes in the world, its oldest parts date to the 13th century, with construction having continued into the 20th century

 

Vienna’s Hofburg Imperial Palace is one of the biggest palace complexes in the world.  The name translates as “Castle of the Court”, which denotes its origins when initially constructed during the Middle Ages.  The oldest parts date to the 13th century, with construction having continued right into the 20th century.  Since 1279 the Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government.  The Imperial Palace was the residence and seat of government of the Habsburg emperors until 1918.  Today, it is home to numerous museums with outstanding collections, the Spanish Riding School, a congress center, the seat of the Austrian Federal President (the official residence and workplace) as well as the historic Heldenplatz.

 

The equestrian statue of Emperor Joseph II, Empress Maria Theresa_s eldest son and successor, on Josefsplatz, Vienna, Austria, in front of the National Library which is part of the Hof

The equestrian statue of Emperor Joseph II, Empress Maria Theresa’s eldest son and successor, on Josefsplatz, Vienna, Austria, in front of the National Library which is part of the Hofburg Imperial Palace

 

Statues on the roof of the National Library that is part of the Hofburg Imperial Palace on Josefsplatz, Vienna, Austria

Statues on the roof of the National Library that is part of the Hofburg Imperial Palace on Josefsplatz, Vienna, Austria

 

The interior of the Augustinerkirche (Augustina Catholic Church) which was part of the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria

The interior of the Augustinerkirche (Augustina Catholic Church) which was part of the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria

 

Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (The Imperial Treasury) at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, contains a valuable collection of secular and ecclesiastical treasures covering over a tho

Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (The Imperial Treasury) at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, contains a valuable collection of secular and ecclesiastical treasures covering over a thousand years of European history; pictured is the Imperial Crown of the Austrian Empire

 

The most important treasury in the world is home to two imperial crowns as well as the Burgundian treasure and the treasure of the Order of the Golden Fleece.  The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation is the highlight of the collection: Created in the second half of the 10th century, it was used to crown the empire’s emperors.  The octagonal crown was highly symbolic and is decorated with numerous biblical references.  The second important crown in the Imperial Treasury is the Austrian imperial crown.  It was made in 1602 as a private crown for Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612).  From 1804, it acted as the crown of the newly created Austrian Empire. However, it was never used to crown an Austrian emperor.

 

The Austrian Crown Jewels is the term denoting the regalia and vestments worn by the Holy Roman Emperor, and later by the Emperor of Austria, during the coronation ceremony and other sta

The Austrian Crown Jewels is the term denoting the regalia and vestments worn by the Holy Roman Emperor, and later by the Emperor of Austria, during the coronation ceremony and other state functions, Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury), Vienna, Austria; pictured is the Imperial Orb (the Imperial Crown is in the photo above)

 

Mantle of the Austrian Emperor, Vienna, 1830, made of velvet, guimped embroidery in gold, paillettes, gold braid, ermine, and silk; Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury), Vie

Mantle of the Austrian Emperor, Vienna, 1830, made of velvet, guimped embroidery in gold, paillettes, gold braid, ermine, and silk; Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury), Vienna, Austria

 

Ewer and basin used for Imperial baptisms, by a Spanish master, 1571, gold, partly enamelled; Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury), Vienna, Austria

Ewer and basin used for Imperial baptisms, by a Spanish master, 1571, gold, partly enamelled; Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury), Vienna, Austria

 

Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, Western German (?), cross- circa 1020, arch- 1024 – 1039, gold, cloisonné enamel, precious stones, pearls; Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imp

Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, Western German (?), cross: circa 1020, arch: 1024 – 1039, gold, cloisonné enamel, precious stones, pearls; Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury), Vienna, Austria

 

Potence (Chain of Arms or Chain of Office- Treasury) of the Herald of the Order of the Golden Fleece that was founded in Burgundy in 1430, Netherlandish, porobably 1517, gold, enamel;,Ka

Potence (Chain of Arms or Chain of Office: Treasury) of the Herald of the Order of the Golden Fleece that was founded in Burgundy in 1430, Netherlandish, probably 1517, gold, enamel; Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury), Vienna, Austria

 

The Swiss Gate (Schweizertor) dating to 1552 is the original main gate of the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria and opens to the passage to the Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Impe

The Swiss Gate (Schweizertor) dating to 1552 is the original main gate of the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria and opens to the passage to the Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien (Imperial Treasury) and the Hofburg Chapel

 

An interior courtyard of the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria, leading to the Hofburg Chapel where the Vienna Boy_s Choir sings on Sunday mornings (we attended a service where

An interior courtyard of the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria, leading to the Hofburg Chapel where the Vienna Boy’s Choir sings on Sunday mornings (we attended a service where they sang Mozart’s Requiem)

 

Hofburg Imperial Palace’s Neue Burg section, St. Michael's Wing

Hofburg Imperial Palace’s Neue Burg section, St. Michael’s Wing (the wing is named in reference to St. Michael’s Church on the opposite side), facing the square (Heldenplatz or Hero’s Square), Vienna, Austria

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.