Monday, November 23, 2009

Mayerling und Heilegenkreuz

Prince Rudolph's death was a disappointment for everyone, including me.

A few years ago, I watched a movie, The Illusionist. It's a fun movie. It gives a different explanation of what happened at Mayerling. So when I heard we were going there, I was extremely excited. There are two generations of Habsburg families that I love the most. Maria Teresea's, and Fraz Joseph's. Those two families had extreme influence over the way the Empire was shaped. Anything that I learn about either family, I am fascinated by. So of course I wanted to see the place where Prince Rudolph killed himself, and his lover.
But I was sad to learn that most of the old hunting lodge has been turned into a nunnery of the Carmelite order. There's only a two room museum there, which has some great pictures, Maria Versara's coffin, and authentic fruniture. But once again, Hollywood has held my expectations too high. And I was a tad disappointed.
The rest of this outing, we went to Heilegenkreuz. The weather was perfect this day. The sky was only partly couldy, and the colors of the trees and sunset all fit together so well. I would totally live there. We toured another monestery. I didn't feel that I learned much more than I learned at any other monestary we've toured. But I did appreciate the vespers that we attended. I think singing monks are perhaps the most relaxing thing to listen to on the planet.

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