The Vienna Trip.
The heirs to the Austrian Empire had made Vienna their capital in the 12th century and from the "Queen of the Danube," the Hapsburgs ruled over an empire that stretched from Switzerland to the borders of Russia. The city, with all its historical landmarks, fortifications, and palaces, mesmerized the young Hitler. From buildings that exuded power, a dynasty was maintained, an army and navy was manned, and business was transacted around the world. With two million residents, Vienna was also the cultural center of Austria. Its achievements in music and medicine alone were world renowned. It was at its height as a center for science and art.
The city, dotted with buildings and monuments in every architectural style, rivaled anything in Europe. Almost anywhere one set up an easel there was something to paint. Besides thousands of other treasures, the city had a parliament building which looked like a Greek temple, a city hall resembling a Gothic mansion, a university akin to an Italian Renaissance palace, a Gothic Cathedral with a 448 foot soaring spire, and a French Renaissance opera house about which every Austrian found something to criticize, including the young Adolf Hitler who found the interior "overdone."
To a potential artist, Vienna was a giant art studio. Vienna's Art History Museum alone contained one of the greatest art galleries in the world which drew artists from all over Europe. Good as well as bad artists were everywhere hawking their wares or performing their work for the passerby. The young Hitler was captivated.
(Use your "back" button to return to where you were if you interrupted main narrative to read this "footnote.")