May 28th – Took an omnibus for Schoenbrunn, one of the palaces of the present Emperor. We were not conducted through it as he was then residing there, but had a most delightful walk through the grounds which are very artistically arranged – avenues of linden trees trimmed on either side so as to form a wall about eight or ten feet in diameter. In the center and at the corners were statues, in niches formed by the trees. There are thirty-two of these in marble.
From the platform, we had a fine view of the grounds and of Vienna. In a retired portion of the grounds is an imitation of a Roman ruin, an obelisk and a beautiful fountain which gave the name of Schoenbrunn to the palace.
From Schoenbrunn we rode through an avenue of linden trees three miles in length to Saxonbourg, the Imperial country coat. There is nothing remarkable in the palace, but the park is beautiful. In the centre of it is a lake, in the midst of which is a castle constructed after the manner of one in the Tyrol. It is rich in objects of the middle age, such as armor, arms of war of the peasants. One room was the copy of a torture chamber. In the saloon of the Hapsburgs were seventeen statues from Rudolph I to Charles VI and Marie Theresa. In the Throne Room we saw some paintings – the Crowning of Francis II 1702 and the festival which followed in the _______ de Frankfort. The cathedral of St. Stephens is the most important edifice in Vienna. It was founded in 114_. It is in the best Gothic style. The tower is 110 meters in height. One has an extended view from it and above all an excellent panorama of the battle fields of Leban, Magram, Aspern and Caoling. In the subterranean vaults of the church of Capuchius, are the tombs of the Emperors. In one corner we saw the tomb of Napoleon II and that of his mother, Maria Louisa, Archduchess of Austria.
In the Church of the Augustus we saw the mausoleum of the Archduchess Marie Christine, daughter of the Empress Maria Theresa. It is executed in marble by Carona. In the Loretta Chapel of this Church are the hearts of the Imperial family enclosed in silver urns containing spirits.
We were much entertained by our visit to the upper and lower Belvedere. In the latter is one of the most celebrated collections of arms and suites of armor; also numbers of rarities. It was taken from Innsbruck by the Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol and transferred to Vienna in 1806. We saw the bows and arrows and tomahawks of Montezuma some in suits of mail; some Turkish arms; coats of mail of the Tyrol; the suit worn by Philip II of Spain; in the portrait room that of Queen Elizabeth of England; one of Mary, Queen of Scotts, Kings and Queens of Spain and other countries in the curiosity rooms; a chess board made in ____; fine specimens of minerals, coral, etc., varieties of carved work.
After thus we went to the Imperial Riding School. It is a very handsome building. There are two galleries on either side for spectators and the Empress and royal ladies ride on a prepared floor in the center.
I forgot to speak of the gallery of paintings in the upper Belvedere. It is one of the finest in Europe. There we saw some of Ruben Raphael’s finest works; also some of Murillo’s. His St. John dressed in camel’s hair holding a staff was very good. The face reminded me of the Spanish children, whose beautiful features he had as copies.
Left Vienna on the first of June for Trieste. Our route lay over the _______ and ______ Alps. The pass of the first was grand. We passed over fifteen viaducts and through fifteen tunnels, some of which were very long. This is said to be the finest piece of railroad engineering in Europe. The country was picturesque – beyond description. The caves, hills and mountains were covered with evergreens, pines, birch, balsam fir, etc., these giving them still more pointed shape. Every now and then we would see ruined castles, perched on the summit of these hills, dating back to the middle ages. They appeared inaccessible and one could imagine romantic adventures occurring there. The valleys were well cultivated everywhere practicable. We notice women working everywhere in the fields. We met several trains loaded with soldiers.