Vienna Austria on the Ringenstrasse at Hotel Bristol: Part One
Have you ever dreamed of going to Vienna? I went to Austria to discover my roots. Like the taste of the dark, rich, chocolate in Sacher Torte, I fell in love with the place, people, horses and its history.
My grandmother, Sadie Schweitzer, was born in Botosani Rumania in 1887. Along with her family she moved to Vienna and years later became a manicurist serving members of the Imperial Family. There she met my grandfather who was the official barber, they fell in love and established a life together serving the royals.
Taken from the annals of my family's genealogy I also discovered that, " my great grandfather Gustave Goldberg came to America from Austro-Hungary with his wife Sophie after retiring as a member of the Personal Guard of Emperor Franz Joseph."
My fascination with Vienna and my families history began with this framed photograph left to me by my grandmother. It is a hand painted oil of Franz Joseph, the Emperor of Austria
I had done my research and discovered the perfect, not just the perfect but the best place to stay. The Hotel Bristol opened its doors in 1892 and today the prestigious address of Karntner Ring 1-7 commemorates a time when the hotel stretched the entire block and boasted the Grill Room, a much revered Titanic-style dining room.
But Today, the history at the Bristol, a world class hotel, conjures memories of its illustrious past. In pen, you will find the names of Russian composer and pianist Anton Rubinstein, US President Theodore Roosevelt, crowned heads of state like the Spanish and English Kings, opera stars, Nellie Melba and Enrico Caruso, composers, Mascagni and George Gershwin, and one of my favorite historical footnotes, the writer, Felix Salten negotiated the contract that made his novel Bambi a world bestseller-and finally a Walt Disney Movie.
A stay at the Hotel Bristol is discovering, like the classic movie Bambi, to be king and queen of the forest if for only a few days is worth the price, every penny, knowing that once you exit its beautiful doors, a daunting reality begins to set in... the thought that you may never again, in your lifetime, get to experience this kind of luxury.
Courtesy of the Hotel Bristol
An original cell drawing, property of the Colette Chuda Environmental Trust
Like the motto that can be read above the entrance, Virtute et Industria, which stands for virtue and industriousness... I am saving up now for my return visit.
WATCH! History unfold at the Hotel Bristol
WATCH! Il Figaro at the Vienna State Opera
The Hotel Bristol's Prince of Wales Suite conjures memories and mementos of one of the most controversial royal romances of the 19th century; the marriage of then to be King Edward VIII to Wallis Simpson. WATCH!
"Yankee at King Edward's Court," became a trumpeted headline in Reader's Digest. The London Daily Mirror headlined "King to Marry, Wally."
1936 proved to be the year of ultimate fascination for the royals of England and the world when on December 11th the King addressed his people: "You must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love." Solemn as delivered, Edward's words broke ordained royal rules proving that circumstance would far outweigh the grand-scale of England's history and throne when he renounced it in the name of love.
Coming up: Part 2 Lippizaner Stallions and more of the Hotel Bristol's magnificent culinary treats
Editor's Notes: Photo and Video Credits LuxEcoLiving Media Group
Hotel Bristol is part of the Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts
Kärntner Ring 1 1010 Vienna, Austria +43 1 515160