If there’s anything that comes from a visit to the War Museum in Vienna it ought to be an understanding of the stupidity of humanity, that it would even be possible to get ourselves in the situation that so many millions of people could be killed so pointlessly. If there was ever a pivot-point in history it would be giving Princip bad aim, or making he driver turn left when he turned right.
The highlight of the Museum is the car in which Franz Ferdinand was sitting when he was shot by Gavrilo Princip. That one event sparked the most awful cascade of political and military foolishness that came to dominate the first half for the 20th Century. The car sits in the Museum looking almost new – even the bullet-hole in its side is shiny. But just think of the disaster that it represents.
The parts of the Museum dealing with the early history of the Austrian empire are particularly interesting. World War 1 is fascinating because usually we, in Australia, hear the story from the other side. The WW2 bit was disingenuous at best, sliding right past Austrian complicity in the atrocities.
It’s raining and cold in Vienna today and we were thoroughly damp and frozen by the time we made it back to the apartment. Luckily there is a cake shop right underneath us that could provide coffee and hot strudel.
Recovered, we braved the elements to visit the church of the Teutonic Order, because Declan thinks the Order is fascinating, and then went to St Stephens Cathedral where we climbed all 343 stairs in the spiral staircase to get to the top of the South Tower.