A journey into the Habsburg Empire
This is a wonderful journey from Vienna to Prague and Budapest through the former Habsburg Empire! You will visit the places where the history of one of the most important ruling dynasties in Europe unfolded.
Vienna, the Imperial capital
For centuries Vienna was the main Habsburg residence. The city became the Rome of the Enlightenment era with royalty like Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph I marking the face of the city by recruiting the best architects to pronounce the absolute supremacy of the Empire through sumptuous palaces and monuments.
You will feel this Viennese imperial atmosphere during a private guided tour of the Hofburg Palace and the Imperial Crypt, where 149 Habsburg family members have their final resting place since 1633. The Schönbrunn Palace, the great summer residence of the imperial family, is an amazing example of European baroque style architecture. The colorful roof tiles of St. Stephen’s Cathedral form the two-headed eagle crest of the Habsburg Empire.
Salzburg and Bad Ischl, relax with the Emperors
Following the Habsburg’s trails, you will reach Salzburg, the small music and rococo capital of Austria. Here you can enjoy the city’s culture visiting churches and castles, while tasting the famous traditional local candy, the chocolate Mozartkugel. Just 30 kilometers from Salzburg in the beautiful Salzkammergut area, lies the famous town of Bad Ischl, host to the oldest spas in Austria and always a favorite to the Habsburgs. Indeed, the imperial family offered their own emphatic testimonials promoting thermal waters and for 60 years the Emperor Franz Joseph never failed to spend his summer holidays in Bad Ischl.
Magical Prague and the Golden Lane
Travel from Austria to Czechia and arrive in magical Prague. The city’s historic center has for centuries been populated by alchemists and magicians, particularly after Rudolf II moved his court to Prague in 1582. As a lover of the occult, Rudolf gathered around him the most prominent people of the day, including Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, in order to reveal the darkest mysteries of universal reality. It was during this time that Prague experienced its true golden age. Thanks to Rodolf’s patronage Prague became the center for the highest and most advanced knowledge of the time. Visit the Golden Lane, a very small street situated at the Pražský hrad, the Prague castle: according to legend, its name is connected with the 16th century alchemists who attempted to turn metal into gold.
Budapest, the Queen of the Danube
In 1686 the Habsburg conquered the Magyarian territories and this new rule established Budapest as the capital of Hungary. Known as the “Queen of the Danube”, the charming Hungarian capital straddles both sides of the river and comprises the two originally distinct cities of Buda and Pest, which were connected only in 1873 by the Chain Bridge. Visit the oldest part of the city, Buda, where a spectacular scenery mixes itself with an atmosphere of the past in the Royal Palace district. You will admire the incredible interior decoration of the Gothic Matthias Church, where Franz Joseph and Elizabeth (the famous Sissi) were crowned as King and Queen of Hungary. Sissi loved living in the glittering baroque palace of Gödöllő, located just few kilometers from Budapest. She played an important role in the country history and her personal objects tell stories about private life, hidden doors, and secrets of this unusual personality.