Posts Tagged ‘habsburg’

Taking It On The Chin

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

The Habsburgs were a crazy, out of control dynasty that ruled for over 600 years (a.k.a. Austro-Hungarian Empire) and were the most powerful European entity since Rome! They started out mostly a peaceful group and found that marrying their royals with other countries’ royals enlarged  their holdings without firing a shot. But this eventually resulted in a lot of in-marrying, and a slew of reasons that this was not a good idea for their gene pool (more in a minute on that).

The 19th Century was their time to shine with Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, and Strauss, Freud, Doppler and a host of others. At the turn of the century, Vienna was the world’s 5th largest city in the world and had managed to avoid all revolutions and revolts. Then came World War I, (which I could make a case for the greedy Habsburgs starting and losing) and their holdings were split asunder. Then Hitler took over in 1938 and that’s enough of a history lesson for now. I read tons about everyplace I visit.

After a few generations of sisters marrying brothers, uncles with nieces, you get the idea, a few quirky things started showing up in the family Christmas photo. We see hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and skeletal deformities such as smaller stature and the easiest to spot; ‘Habsburg chin’. This is a very pronounced chin (think Jay Leno x 10). Phillip II of Spain was so deformed he could not swallow or speak.. In this portion of a prominent statue in the city center, you see Leopold I (and Holy Roman Emperor) kneel in thanksgiving for the plague being over. He was married to his niece who was also a first cousin so they weren’t fast learners either.

Habsburg Chin

Habsburg Chin

Classical Culture

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

There are so many exciting concerts and recitals by amazing talent all over Vienna, but things can get pricey if you let them. With a little research, yesterday we went to a two hour rehearsal in St. Peters; organ, strings, and soloists of the highest caliber.

This morning we heard the Vienna Boys Choir: they sing for mass at a small chapel within the Habsburg grounds. We then dashed a couple hundred steps to the St. Augustinerkirche to hear the Vienna Philharmonic and bombastic organ play for another service!  All of it sounded like heaven and the goosebumps were free!

no photos allowed in the churches, so it's me being 'Fall-ish'!!

no photos allowed in the churches, so it’s me being ‘Fall-ish’!!