Start at (1) Stephansplatz square in front of Vienna’s landmark (2) St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Go north along (3) Rotenturmstrasse to the Italian ice-cream parlor (4) Zanoni (www.zanoni.co.at), purveyor of some of the best ice cream in town. Turn your back to Zanoni and walk up to the (5) Hoher Markt—one of Vienna’s oldest squares, with the ruins of the Roman military camp Vindobona directly under it. Look up to the (6) Ankeruhr, a clock considered to be one of the finest art nouveau monuments in Vienna. Instead of hands, the Ankeruhr shows the time by means of 12 figures representing famous Viennese historical personalities. Another interesting landmark at the Hoher Markt is the (7) Vermählungsbrunnen that was erected for Emperor Joseph I in the beginning of the 18th century.
Continue along Wipplingerstrasse past the baroque building of the (8) Old Vienna City Hall to your right and turn left toward (9) Judenplatz (Jewish square). In the Middle Ages it was the center of Vienna’s Jewish community. Today, the square features the (10) Holocaust Memorial, known also as Nameless Library, by British artist Rachel Whiteread. Go past the monument in the direction of Ledererhof and continue to (11) Am Hof square with its large Catholic Church of the Croatian community in Vienna, (12) Kirche am Hof. The church has welcomed three Popes on their visits to Vienna, including Pope Benedict XVI in the fall of 2007. Cross the square in the direction of (13) Naglergasse, a narrow charming street with shops and pubs. Go left along Naglergasse to the (14) Graben and walk to the (15) Pestsäule monument that was commissioned by Emperor Leopold I following the devastating Great Plague of Vienna toward the end of 17th century. Walk back to Naglergasse and on the way look around the corner of the Graben and Jungferngasse for the beautiful Romanesque (16) St. Peter’s Church (www.peterskirche.at), which many say is the oldest church in Vienna. Continue to the end of the Graben and look into (17) Julius Meinl (www.meinl.com) grocery store for gourmet products and exquisite wines from Austria and around the world. Continue your walk along the (18) Kohlmarkt which hosts a number of international designer labels such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Don’t miss (19) Demel (www.demel.at) pastry shop and café—they sell great cakes and chocolates once praised by a number of Austrian emperors and aristocrats. Kohlmarkt ends at (20) Michaelerplatz square with Roman ruins of ancient Vindobona and the controversial (21) Looshaus, one of the most important monuments of the Viennese Modern Age art movement. Today the building is a bank, but you are welcome to go in and have a look at its interior architecture.
Dominating Michaelerplatz is the royal (22) Hofburg (www.hofburg-wien.at) palace that has several great museums, including the Imperial Silver Collection, the Sisi Museum, and the Imperial Apartments.
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World Heritage Sites in Europe