We ended up doing a lot of touring in the city, so I'll try and keep my writing short and sweet here, but heavy on the photos. It was incredibly hot and humid this week, so I got a bit pink walking around, but we squeezed in a lot of things anyway! Including an excellent tour of the crypt of St. Michael's, which included some mummified bodies from a couple centuries ago. The use of wood shavings and the cool temperatures in the crypt caused natural mummification in the cheaper coffins, whereas those of wealthy people are completely unpreserved; the rich were encased in metal coffins that did not allow any ventilation, so the bodies within are basically destroyed by their own decomposition.
Not sure why that is the one piece of information I'm sharing in this post, but here we are.
I'll also add a bit about the St. Stephen's cathedral. At the end of WWII, the roof of St. Stephen's caught fire and collapsed due to the wind picking up embers from fires on the ground. German forces were ordered to blast the entire cathedral to the ground as part of a campaign to eliminate significant cultural landmarks as they retreated, but the German artillery captain who received the orders refused. Because of that decision, the building still stands and only the roof was damaged unintentionally. It was fully repaired within 10 years of the war ending. You can see some photos of the exquisite tiling below.
On our last night in Vienna, we got stuck in the rain on the way to dinner, which cooled things down a bit; I included a shot of the puddles during the downpour.
I'm sad to be leaving tomorrow, but excited to get back to my routine a bit. And to see Chris and the guinea pigs. My parents will continue onto Salzburg, with 4 more weeks spent in Austria and Germany. I can't imagine!
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Brookline, MA.