Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Really, it's all just too much.

I really feel like I have too much to blog about! Is life always this exciting in Europe?
Yesterday I had one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life.

My art history class made a trip to Karlskirche. Named for St. Karl, saint of people afflicted with the plauge. From the outside, I wasn't too impressed. It's a little dirty and not in the best area. But going inside was glorious.

Our lecture yesterday was on the influence of Greek architecture. So as you walk into the church, you walk underneath a Greek pediment. And then into the church. So symbolically, you leave the pagan world(the Greek pediment) behind as you enter the house of God.

The church is built in the baroque style (Rachel, could you educate the masses on what this means? I don't feel like explaining), so of course it's as ornate as you can get.
I was disappointed at first because they had been doing renovation on the dome. Frescoes are always my favorite parts of a church, and we couldn't see the whole thing because of a large scaffold in the way. But then I realized that we'd actually get to go on the scaffolding!!!!

This might not sound very exciting. But it was! People just don't get to get that close to frescoes in baroque churches!

In German, the words for sky and heaven are the same. Himmel. Yesterday, our class rode an elevator into the sky and got to see a little bit of heaven. I could've reached out to touch the dome. It has to be one of the most beautiful and spiritual experiences I've had since I've been here. And then Cara sang Nearer My God to Thee. Imagine being face level with the Sistine Chapel. These things just don't happen. Pictures will be on facebook soon I hope. My mind is still reeling.

And then I went shopping and bought clothes here. This could potentially be a problem. There are too many h&m's then is healthy.

Today was interesting. We toured the Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg. And I'm a little bit tired of hearing about Sisi. Or Kaiserina Elizabeth. There's a huge cult following around her in Vienna. But I'm not too impressed. First of all, she couldn't handle the pressure of court life, so she was depressed all the time. She was anorexic. The woman had a 20 inch waist for goodness sake! And she never really got invovled in politics. She would intervene on behalf of the Hungarians from time to time. But other than that, she tried to stay out of the public eye. And then she was tragically murdered. So she's become this icon. There's t-shirts, purses, post cards, posters, etc. etc. Anything you can imagine, they probably have it here with beloved Sisi's face on it.

In my personal opinion, I'd much rather look up to a woman like Marie Theresa. I've already explained how awesome and amazing she is in another blog. But seriously!!! 16 children! Reformed the school system! Kept the empire from collapse! A much better role model.

Today we also got to tour the royal treasury. The robes were so elaborate. A thought occured to me about the power wearing certain clothes can have on a person. I want to go back to Provo looking chic and sophisticated. I do this by buying new clothes. Clothes tend to give a person confidence. Now the robes and coats of arms in the treasury were so elaborate and ornate, it's no wonder the men wearing them felt like they were divinely positioned to rule. They literally had gold sown into their clothes.... It's interesting how clothes can make a person feel.


Rachel said...

Of all the royal version of the Dear America books that I read, Elizabeth's was my least favorite. I don't care for her either.

kaitlin said...

i feel like i should let you know that i am reading your blog. so that i am not a stalker. maybe i'm still a stalker? but ANYWAYS. glad you are having an incredibleee time in viena. sounds amazing. ali and i miss you in deutsch class. goodbye.