Monday, June 8, 2009

Lange Nacht der Kirchen

Today we went to Die Lange Nacht der Kirchen. This is where all the churches leave their doors open all night and you can listen to music and concerts and tour the churches.  We first went to the Stephansdom and listened to a children's choir. Then we went downstairs to see the catacombs. That was really cool. The catacombs of the Stephansdom holds the most human bones in all of Vienna. It was dark room after dark room filled with bones. Some of the walls were actually stacked bones and skulls but the bones within the rooms were just thrown in together with no apparent order and no identification. There were a few full skeletons of more important people laid out but for the most part it was just a mixture of loose bones. Creepy. It was just like being in a scary movie. The passages were narrow with low ceilings and practically pitch black. Not for those who get spooked easily. But it was actually one of my favorite things I've seen here. I thoroughly enjoy somewhat dark and creepy things because the stories behind them are fascinating. 
We also went up to the top of the Stephansdom. That was quite exhausting. It was 348 steep stairs up this tightly winding spiral staircase. I was dizzy within the first few steps. It took probably twenty minutes to get up to the top. Needless to say after what would have been the equivalent of about 40 floors worth or stairs, our thighs were on fire. Up at the top of the Stephansdom we were able to look out these windows and see far into the city which was at the time lit up with lights. After a few minutes of enjoying the view and catching our breath, we began the long climb down, which, for me, was worse than going up. The stairs were oddly shaped triangles of various uneven heights and I had the constant feeling that I was going to stumble down them at any moment. But I safely made it down. That was the end of my church tours. I would have loved to see more, but I wanted to get home before the subway stopped running so as to avoid a hefty taxi charge.

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