Countries Austria Vienna Cultural Tours

Vienna: Bruegel in the Imperial City

Visit the major monograph exhibition on Pieter Bruegel the Elder on this tour
with
Thomas Abbott
Thomas Abbott is an independent art and architectural historian. He graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied his Masters at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. He is a specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th century. He has a been a resident of Berlin since 1987 and has successfully led cultural tours for many years across Europe.
What's included...
  • Return flights on British Airways (economy) to Vienna
  • 3-nights in the sumptuous 5-star deluxe Imperial Hotel
  • 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners (dinner with wine, water and coffee)
  • All church, museum & gallery entry tickets
  • The services of your lecturer and tour manager
  • A tour-guide headset system to make hearing the lecturer easier
  • Transport by luxury coach, as the itinerary requires
  • All tips and taxes
Hotel
Imperial Hotel
Getting about
Participants should be reasonably fit. There is a significant amount of walking, standing and use of stairs.
Highlights
2019 is the 450th anniversary of the death of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c 1525/30 – 1569). The world’s first ever major monograph exhibition on the artist widely regarded as the 16th century’s greatest Netherlandish painter takes place in Vienna where you will see many of Bruegel's paintings in the same place for the first time.
Vienna is world-famous for its beautiful Christmas markets that sell ornate Christmas decorations, sweets, treats and delicacies. They are the place to get into the Christmas spirit and find some special stocking fillers for Christmas day.
The collections of the Prince von und zu Liechtenstein contain major works of European art spanning five centuries and are among the most important private collections in the world. 

In the Liechtenstein Garden Palace masterpieces from the early Renaissance to the High Baroque era are displayed.
The Karslkirche is considered the most outstanding baroque church in Vienna. The church is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, one of the great counter-reformation reformers of the sixteenth century. The high altarpiece portraying the ascension of the saint was conceptualized by the elder Fischer and executed by Ferdinand Maxmilian Brokoff. The altar paintings in the side chapels are by various artists, including Daniel Gran, Sebastiano Ricci, Martino Altomonte and Jakob van Schuppen.
The sumptuous surroundings of the Luxury Collection Hotel Imperial Vienna were originally created in 1863 as the Viennese residence of the Prince of Württemberg and were transformed into the Hotel Imperial for the universal exhibition in 1873. The hotel gained renown around the world as a by-word for discretion and impeccable service. The Hotel is located on Vienna's famous Ringstraße.
Vienna, Austria’s capital, lies in the country’s east on the Danube River. Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. The city is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence. In the MuseumsQuartier district, historic and contemporary buildings display works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and other artists.

2019 is the 450th anniversary of Bruegel the Elder's death, and the  Kunsthistorisches is hosting the world's first major monograph exhibition to celebrate the artist with many of his artworks in the same place for the first time. This exhibition is the highlight of this tour. However, Vienna at Christmas is itself a highlight. This imperial city comes alive with festive cheer as Christmas markets spring up across the city. Should it snow then this visit will be all the more magical with the stunning Hapsburg architecture decked in snow.

This Sapienza Travel art history tour to Vienna visits the major art historical sites within this majestic city. See its rich collection of Old Masters paintings along with artworks by Impressionists, Expressionists and Secessionists. Walk through the streets absorbing the sites, sounds and smells of Christmas. 
After arriving in Vienna on our BA flight, a private coach drives around the Ringstrasse stopping at the Liechtenstein Garden Palace. The collections of the Prince von und zu Liechtenstein contain major works of European art spanning five centuries and are among the most important private collections in the world. We then transfer to the beautiful 5-star Hotel Imperial.

St Stephen’s Church, the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral, seen today in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV (1339–1365). The Wiener Neustädter Altar is composed of two triptychs, the upper being four times taller than the lower one. The tomb of Emperor Frederik II has 240 statues and is a glory of medieval sculptural art!

Dinner is together at a local restaurant.
This morning's first visit is to The Rektoratskirche St. Karl Borromäus (the Karlskirchee) which is a baroque church located on the south side of Karlsplatz. It is considered the most outstanding baroque church in Vienna. The church is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, one of the great counter-reformation reformers of the sixteenth century. The high altarpiece portraying the ascension of the saint was conceptualized by the elder Fischer and executed by Ferdinand Maxmilian Brokoff. The altar paintings in the side chapels are by various artists, including Daniel Gran, Sebastiano Ricci, Martino Altomonte and Jakob van Schuppen.

The rest of the morning is dedicated to the Bruegel exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches. 

After lunch, to the Belvedere Palaces which house the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum.  The Belvedere palaces were the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy.The Belvedere's art collection contains the largest collection of Gustav Klimt's paintings on show at the Upper Belvedere. Further highlights are Klimt's paintings, The Kiss (1908/09) and Judith (1901), and masterpieces by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. Key works of French Impressionism and the greatest collection of Viennese Biedermeier art are further attractions at the museum.

The Lower Belvedere and the former Orangery are venues for top temporary exhibitions. These shows focus on presenting Austrian art in an international context, as defined in the Belvedere’s original mission back in 1903
 
This morning's walk leads to The Imperial crypt where 149 Habsburgs, including 12 emperors as well as 19 empresses and queens, have their final resting place. The magnificent double sarcophagus of Maria Theresia and her husband, Emperor Franz I. Stephan von Lothringen, is a work by Balthasar Ferdinand Moll.

Imperial Treasury houses a collection of rare treasures that were compiled by the Imperial House of Habsburg over the course of centuries, including the Imperial Crown, Orb, and Sceptre of Austria, and the Imperial Regalia of the Emperors and Kings of the Holy Roman Empire, including the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire.

Hofburg Palace covers nearly 59 acres, making it a city within a city. Built in the 13th century and expanded in the centuries since the palace was the seat of power of the Habsburg dynasty. Time is spent walking through the magnificent Imperial Apartments and the Silver Collection which dates to the fifteenth century.

The Albertina houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with prints and drawings from Michelangelo, Raphael and Dürer to Rembrandt and Rubens, and from Klimt and Schiele to Picasso on to Richter and Lassnig. There is a rich collection of paintings by Chagall, Monet, Kandinsky, Klimt, Degas, Miro and Braque and many other world-acclaimed artists.

Dinner is together at a local restaurant.
The first point of call this morning is the ceremonial room at the heart of the Austrian National Library. It is one of the most beautiful library halls in the world and the largest Baroque library in Europe. The former Court Library was created in the first half of the 18th century as a private wing of the Hofburg imperial residence.

In 1327, Duke Frederick the Handsome founded the Augustinian church with a cloister for the friars. Notable among the church's monuments is the memorial to Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria sculpted by Antonio Canova, in 1805. The Loreto Chapel, to the right of the main altar, holds the silver urns containing the hearts of Habsburg rulers.

The Kunsthistorisches houses the extraordinary collection of Old Masters built up by the Habsburgs, particularly from the portrait and armour collections of Ferdinand of Tirol, the collections of Emperor Rudolph II and the collection of paintings of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm.

The coach returns to Vienna airport in the afternoon for the onward flight to London.
Flights - Departing flight from Heathrow at 9.15am. The return flight departs Vienna to Heathrow at 6.25pm, arriving at Heathrow at 7.55pm

If you would like to fly BA Club class, please contact us, and we will provide a price for the upgrade.

Hotel accommodation at Heathrow can be arranged, should you wish to stay the night before departure.

Hotel -
Single rooms are double rooms for sole occupancy.
Deluxe rooms are available to book.


Travel advice - Please refer the Foreign Office's website to make sure you are comfortable with the travel advice they provide for the destination(s) you are visiting. www.fco.gov.uk 

Activity level - Our tours involve a lot of walking, climbing stairs and standing still for periods of time. The historic centres of cities are often uneven and cobbled requiring everyone to be confident walking across them.
with
Thomas Abbott
Thomas Abbott is an independent art and architectural historian. He graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied his Masters at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. He is a specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th century. He has a been a resident of Berlin since 1987 and has successfully led cultural tours for many years across Europe.
Imperial Hotel
The building which now houses the Imperial Hotel was designed by architect Arnold Zenetti with a Neo-Renaissance facade in 1863 as the city palace of Duke Philipp of Württemberg and his wife, Maria Theresa. Its original name was Palais Württemberg. The building was transformed into a hotel in 1873 and today, the Hotel Imperial is, perhaps, Vienna's most exclusive five-star hotel. It is conveniently located on the Ringstraße, close to all the museums, galleries and the Vienna State Opera.

 
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