Jewish Day in Vienna 

After visiting numerous churches this trip, we spent today touring the oldest surviving synagogue in Vienna and visiting both buildings of the Jewish Museum.  We still had time for a couple of churches.What would you guess is in this row of buildings?  The two policeman standing outside are a big clue.  It is the Stadtempel, the only synagogue in Vienna not destroyed in WW II.  It was built in 1824 – 1826 under the reign of Emperor Joseph II, who had declared that only Catholic Churches could face the street.  Consequently, the synagogue was hidden behind houses with nothing visible on the street showing it is there.  Ironically, this helped save the temple as it could not be burned without burning all the other buildings attached to it. It is now the primary temple in Vienna.  Since Vienna is a music city, the cantors of this synagogue were very talented.  One prominent cantor here was friends with Franz Liszt and Gustav Mahler, who composed music for him to use in services.  Our tour guide spoke at length about the rise of antisemitism in Europe.  She believed that this problem was less in Vienna than other large European cities.t

The doors to the arc where the Torah is kept.

Another reason the Stadtempel was the only one of 94 Jewish temples and prayer houses in Vienna to survive WW II, was that it was across a narrow street from the oldest church in Vienna so it would be hard to burn the synagogue without also burning the church.The Holocaust memorial in Vienna represents 6500 books to tell the story of the 65.000 Viennese Jews killed in the Holocaust.I did enjoy some currywurst between museums.  You will note that I am eating it properly – a bite of sausage followed by a bite of bread.  According to our guide, only an American would eat them together in one bite.

We have seen several interesting clocks.

This clock on the Hofburg Palace is three clocks in one: a conventional clock, a sundial below the clock, and a moon phase clock (the small blue and gold ball above the clock).  We checked the moon phase clock that night and it is accurate.  In case you are wondering, the clock shows 12:15 because it is on daylight savings time and the sundial is an hour behind because it is on standard time.I love this clock.  It is on a bridge between two buildings.  Historical figures move acros the face with a pointer showing the hour on their heads.  The pointer points to the minutes. Thus the time above is 11:15.

A nearby sign identifies the historical figures on the clock.

And for dinner it was pork schnitzel at one of the oldest schnitzel restaurants in Vienna.  Yes, I ate the whole thing!  I think Susan was the only customer who didn’t have schnitzel.  She went for liver and onions.  They were both good, but for me the schnitzel was a clear winner.

4 thoughts on “Jewish Day in Vienna ”

  1. Yum. How much weight have you gained? You should just enjoy it all and worry about that when you get home.
    Just have fun!

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