Friday we toured the Hofburg Palace in the afternoon and spent the evening at the Vienna Film Festival. Yesterday was the last day forecast to be in the 90’s, so there is hope on the temperature front.The Hofburg Palace goes on forever, and this is a picture of about half of one of the buildings. The tour included the royal silver collection, which was room after room of things you would put on a dinner table. Originally meals were eaten on gold or silver plates except for deserts which were served on porcelain.Some examples from the silver collection.This shows the royal napkin fold with pockets for two rolls. This fold is a closely guarded secret and today only two people know how to do it.
The tour also included a museum about the life of Empress Elizabeth (called Sisi since childhood), the wife of Franz Joseph. The mothers of Franz and Sisi were sisters who agreed to arrange a marriage between Franz and Sisi’s sister. However, when Franz saw Sisi, he fell madly in love with her and married her when she was 16. She was one of the most beautiful women of that time and was noted for ankle length hair which required two hours of grooming each day and for her 20 inch waist. By the time she reached 50 and had four children, her waist had ballooned to 21 inches. She liked to eat, but was a fanatic for exercise. She also had some good maids to tighten that corset. She was not enthralled with life in the Vienna court, and travelled extensively. She was devastated by the death of her son and his wife. According to our free guide, this was the beginning of fake news. The son committed suicide and his wife was shot and killed the same day. Since the Catholic Church condemned suicide, the papers reported the next morning that the son shot himself accidently while cleaning his gun and the same bullet killed his wife. Problem solved.
The annual Film Festival is on the front yard of city hall and features a different free movie each night from mid June to the end of August. Most of the movies are of musical performances with most being classical performances or dances.There were about twenty food trucks set up on the grounds with lots of tables and chairs. The meals were served on real plates, glasses, and silverware with people to clean the tables.We had Vietnamese food. There was also Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and many other options to choose from.The screen and city hall at sundown. This gives you an idea of the size of the screen.This was the program we saw. The dancing in the movie was all street dancing and the music was a mix of traditional Swan Lake and music you would associate with street dancing. When they were dancing to Tchaikovsky, it was pretty cool. We didn’t care that much for the non Tchaikovsky music. When we left at 10 PM, the food area was still packed and it was standing room only for the movie. It was a unique, fun experience!