22. July 2009 20:22
Salzburg, Austria is a city with lots to see and do, including a mountaintop fortress and the birthplace and childhood home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But one of the most interesting facets of our visit there today was dinner at St. Peter’s Restaurant, which is well over a thousand years old.
Founded in the year 803, St. Peter’s is the oldest restaurant in Austria, and many locals claim that it is the oldest in Europe or even in the world. The restaurant has hosted a wide range of history’s most important people from Charlemagne and Christopher Columbus to U.S. president Bill Clinton.
The restaurant is part of St. Peter’s Monastery, which was also founded around the same time, and which is still home to a number of active monks. The monastery owns and operates the restaurant, which was originally carved into the side of the mountain that the monastery sits on.
Today, there are many more rooms to the restaurant, and some of them are quite elegant. But guests can still eat in the large cavers which were hollowed out from the side of the rock if they wish. It’s a dining experience that few other cities – in Austria or elsewhere – can offer.
21. July 2009 00:22
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then snapshots of Innsbruck, Austria are worth 10,000.
This city high up in Austria’s Alps is the second largest in the country. And while there are many noteworthy facets, including a thriving cultural and educational scene, nothing is more impressive than Austria’s Old Town.
The area known as Old Town was constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries. Today, only a few blocks remain (much of it was destroyed in the bombing raids of World War II). But those few blocks are an absolute treasure: narrow pedestrian streets wind their way between the facades of centuries-old buildings, trimmed and decorated with Baroque-era artwork and immaculately maintained.
The fanciful architecture, tiled streets and pastel colored walls seem like something out of a storybook. Sidewalk cafes, jewelry stores, and candy shops add to the appeal. For a tourist in Innsbruck, there is no better place to spend an afternoon or evening.
And no matter which alley you look down, the Alps linger in the distance.