Hofburg Wien einzigartig auf der ganzen Welt

The Hofburg in Vienna is the former imperial residence. From 1438 to 1583 and from 1612 to 1806, it was the seat of the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, thereafter the seat of the Emperor of Austria and from 1867 to 1918 the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Today it is the official seat of the Austrian Federal President.
The Hofburg in Vienna shows many different architectural styles, from Gothic to Renaissance, Baroque to Rococo, and a smattering of Classicism and is in many ways a "city-within-a-city," comprising 18 groups of buildings, 19 courtyards, and 2,600 rooms.
Wien Hofburg Neue Burg Heldenplatz
The area around the Hofburg, along with some of its outlying buildings, houses a number of other attractions, including the Imperial Chapel (Burgkapelle), the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), the Austrian National Library, and the Spanish Riding School.
Hofburg, Kunsthistorisches Museum (English: "Museum of Art History")
The oldest continually used part of the Hofburg Palace, the Schweizerhof, was built in the early Sixteenth century and is where you’ll find the gothic Bergkapelle and the Royal Treasury; the Schatzkammer. 
Hofburg Vienna, Schweizerhof
The Imperial Library, at first a standalone building, is one of the most vital parts of the Hofburg Palace for its creative value.
Hofburg in Vienna, the Austrian National Library
Text source: www.planetware.com and my own.
Photos courtesy Piotr Piekarski.

"Oh du lieber Augustin" und Die Große Pest In Wien

"Oh du lieber Augustin" ("Oh, you dear Augustin") is a popular Viennese folk song. It was presumably composed by the famously balladeer and bagpiper Marx Augustin (1643 - 1705?, Vienna) in 1679, though written documents only date back to about 1800.
Augustin plate at the Griechenbeisl in Vienna. Fot. Piotr Piekarski.

In 1679, Vienna was struck by the Great Plague. The city was crippled by the epidemic, which recurred fitfully into the early 1680s, claiming an estimated 76,000 residents. According to legend Augustin got drunk and fell asleep on the street. He was mistaken for a plague victim and thrown into a pit with the other dead.
“Lieber Augustin” fell in to a plague pit
Source: www.planet-vienna.com
Before he could be covered with lime and buried, he awoke from his stupor and climbed out of the grave. He didn’t get the disease despite his being tossed among the infected and his luck became a symbol of hope and Vienna's ultimate triumph and survival over the plague. The little song appeared in 1679 about how Augustin lost everything, and it is still sung by children today.
The tune of "Oh, you dear Augustin" is nearly identical to that of "Did You Ever See a Lassie?" - Song for Kids by Little Fox. Below in German.
"Oh, you dear Augustin" English text
O, you dear Augustin, Augustin, Augustin,
O, you dear Augustin, all is lost!
Money's gone, girlfriend's gone,
All is lost, Augustin!
O, you dear Augustin,
All is lost!
Coat is gone, staff is gone,
Augustin lies in the dirt.
O, you dear Augustin,
All is lost!
Even that rich town Vienna,
Broke is like Augustin;
Shed tears with thoughts akin,
All is lost!
Every day was a feast,
Now we just have the plague!
Just a great corpse's feast,
That is the rest.
Augustin, Augustin,
Lie down in your grave!
O, you dear Augustin,

All is lost!
Text source: www.planet-vienna.com, www.bargaintraveleurope.com, www.mein-oesterreich.info, Wikipedia.

Hundertwasserhaus Wien - ein Ökohaus

The Hundertwasser House in Vienna is one of Austria’s architectural highlights.
The Hundertwasser House Vienna (German Hundertwasserhaus Wien) is an apartment house in Vienna, Austria, designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser with architect Joseph Krawina as a co-author. This landmark of Vienna is located in the 3. district, Kegelgasse 34-38 / Löwengasse 41-43.
Hundertwasserhaus Wien
The house was built between 1983 and 1986 by architects Univ.-Prof. Joseph Krawina and Peter Pelikan. It features undulating floors ("an uneven floor is a melody to the feet"), a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. Hundertwasser took no payment for the design of the house, declaring that it was worth it, to prevent something ugly from going up in its place.
More than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city. 
Hundertwasser Village in Wien
The Hundertwasserhaus can only be viewed from outside. Right opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, however, is the Hundertwasser Village, which is open to visitors. It was created out of a tire workshop in 1990-1991. The artist created his own shopping center here with a "village square", a bar and numerous stores in the typical Hundertwasser style.
Source text: www.wien-vienna.com, www.wien.info
Photos courtesy Piotr Piekarski

Polnischen St. Josefskirche am Kahlenberg in Wien

The Kahlenberg (in English literally means bald mountain) is a hill 484 m asl located in Vienna, Austria (Döbling) and lies in the Vienna Woods. Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland launched his attack on the Turkish forces during the second siege of Vienna from here on the 11 and 12 September 1683. A huge Muslim army had Vienna surrounded and were ready to take the city by storm. Their final target was Germany.
Battle of Vienna (painting by Jan Wyck 1698)
The small church on top of the Kahlenberg was built in  1639. Two plaques on its front are in German and Polish: one records that King of Poland John III Sobieski prayed there before leading his Polish troops together with the imperial forces under Charles of Lorraine to relieve Vienna from the Turks in 1683; the plaque on the right recalls a visit that the Polish-born Pope, John Paul II, paid to the church 300 years later to the day. The Turkish name of the mountain is Alamandağı.

St. Josefskirche am Kahlenberg in Wien
Short History
Kahlenberg was uninhabited until the 18th century. Originally, the mountain was called Sauberg (sow mountain) or Schweinsberg (pig mountain), after the numerous wild pigs that lived in the pristine oak forests. In 1628, Ferdinand II acquired the mountain from the Klosterneuburg monastery and called it Josephsberg (Joseph's Mountain). Only after Emperor Leopold I renamed the original Kahlenberg (the neighbouring mountain) to Leopoldsberg was the name "Kahlenberg" given to the "Josephsberg".
King Jan III Sobieski commemorative plaque placed on the facade of the Polish church on Kahlenberg. King Jan III Sobieski (1629–1696) was king of one of the largest nations in Europe called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. 
After acquiring the mountain, Ferdinand II allowed a hermitage for the Kamaldulenser, an order of Catholic hermits, to be built. A few houses were built around the Chapel of Saint Joseph, which earned the name Josefsdorf.
Inside St. Josefkirche Church, Kahlenberg
The Kahlenberg mountain is also notable as the place where Albert Einstein, Otto Neurath, and other mathematicians and physicists made the first plans, around 1920, for what would later become the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science.
St. Josefkirche Church at Kahlenberg today led by Polish priests, the Resurrectionists and it is an important pilgrimage site - the miraculous image of Black Madonna.
Source text: www.nytimes.com, Wikipedia.
Photos courtesy Piotr Piekarski and public domain.

Stephansdom in Wien

St. Stephen's Cathedral the symbol of Vienna and  it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria.

St. Stephen's Cathedral is 107.2 meters long and 34.2 meters wide. It has four towers. The tallest of these is the south tower at 136.44 meters. A total of 13 bells hang here. However, the best-known bell of St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Pummerin, is located in the 68.3 meter-tall north tower. It is the second-biggest free-swinging chimed church bell in Europe. 
Stephansdom in Wien
On the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral, colorful roof tiles were laid to create the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle and the coat of arms of the city of Vienna. The interior of St. Stephen's Cathedral was changed again and again over the centuries, right through to the Baroque period. The sound of the 'Pummerin', the cathedrals big bell, is used to celebrate New Year in Austria.

History of St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral  was built in 1147 AD. For a long time it was uncontested as highest building in Europe measuring almost 137 m. Duke Rudolf IV of Habsburg ordered the complete restructuring of the church in Gothic style. In 1359, he laid the cornerstone of the nave with its two aisles. The South Tower, was completed in 1433 (the Viennese have given it the nickname "Steffl," representative of the whole cathedral).
The cathedral has got two very impressive features: The gigantic roof, and the tall, lean tower (136,7 metres of hight). One can find only few gothic towers of such height that were finished in the Middle Ages. Inside the Cathedral there are many art treasures like the tomb of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1754), the Altarpiece of Wiener Neustadt, the pulpit by Anton Pilgram (1514-15), the sepulcher of Emperor Frederik III by Niclas Gerhaert (1467-1513), the watchman`s lookout, a self portrait of the sculptor, and the Gothic winged altar.
St Stephen's Cathedral organs
St Stephen's Cathedral has an old organ tradition. The first organ is mentioned in 1334. After the 1945 fire, Michael Kauffmann finished a large electric organ in 1960 with 125 voices and 4 manuals, financed with public donations. In 1991, the Austrian firm of Rieger rebuilt the choir organ. It is a mechanical organ, with 56 voices and 4 manuals.

Many myths are being told about Vienna's famous landmark: Find out about this weird indentation of the wall at the left side of the main entrance, which was used to measure the size of a loaf of bread by dissatisfied customers.
Then there's the story of the Servants' Madonna, which once saved an innocent girl from being arrested for stealing.
Inside The Tirna Chapel is the 15th-century Crucifix above the altar, take a peek at the beard of Christ: it's made of human hair and, according to legend, is still growing. 
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Capistran Chancel
At the cathedral's apse you can admire the so-called "Zahnwehherrgott" (Lord of tooth ache), an 'ecce homo' statue once situated at the graveyard outside the cathedral.
And what about the incomplete northern steeple? Financial troubles because of the permanent threat of a Turkish siege?  But the legend of the young architect who was mortally in love with the daughter of the architect building the southern steeple is much more intriguing... 
A source text: wien.info, aboutvienna.org, Wikipedia, planetware.com
Photos courtesy Piotr Piekarski.

Schlacht von Itter 1945: Amerikaner und Wehrmacht Seite an Seite gegen SS

The Battle for Castle Itter in the Austrian North Tyrol village of Itter near the town of Wörgl was fought on 5 May 1945 in the last days of the European Theater of World War II. It may have been the only battle in the war in which Americans and Germans fought side-by-side. Popular accounts of the battle have called it the "strangest" battle of World War II.
American Sherman Tanks in Tyrol, May 1945. Source: spiegel.de
The prison was established to contain high-profile prisoners valuable to the Reich. Notable prisoners included tennis player Jean Borotra, former prime ministers Édouard Daladier, and Paul Reynaud, former commanders-in-chief Maxime Weygand (During the Polish–Soviet War, Weygand was a member of the Interallied Mission to Poland of July and August 1920, supporting the infant Second Polish Republic against the Soviet Union), 

De Gaulle's sister Marie-Agnes Cailliau was among the French VIPs liberated from the German Nazis
and Maurice Gamelin, Charles de Gaulle's elder sister Marie-Agnès Cailliau, right-wing leader and closet French resistance member François de La Rocque, and trade union leader Léon Jouhaux. Besides the French VIP prisoners, the castle held a number of Eastern European prisoners detached from Dachau, who were used for maintenance and other hard work. The French prisoners were treated well.
Gen Maxime Weygand with her wife leaves the castle Itter, May 1945
Source 2 photos above: bbc.com

On 3 May 1945, Zvonimir Čučković, an imprisoned Yugoslav communist resistance member who worked as a handyman at the prison, left the castle on the pretense of an errand for commander Sebastian Wimmer. He carried with him a letter in English seeking Allied assistance he was to give to the first American he encountered.

The town of Wörgl lay five miles down the mountains, but was still occupied by German troops. Čučković instead pressed on up the Inn River valley towards Innsbruck forty miles distant. Late that evening he reached the outskirts of the city and encountered an advance party of the 409th Infantry Regiment of the American 103rd Infantry Division of the US VI Corps and informed them of the castle's prisoners. Americans received support from the the German Wehrmacht under the command of Major Josef Gangl...
Major Josef Gangl died during the battle from a sniper's bullet
Basic on: Wikipedia with my own additions.
About the Battle for Castle Itter an interesting article read here:historynet

History of Itter castle before WWII
The castle Itter, located at the top of a hill at the entrance of the Brixental valley. First mentioned in 1240, in the 19th century is has become a meeting point for composers and musicians, as Sophie Menter, a famous pianist all over Europe, purchased the castle in 1884. Famous personalities such as Richard Wagner, Liszt and Tschaikowskij visited Itter Castle. In the early 20th century it was rearranged in neo-Gothic style by her successors and today it is in private property and not accessible for the public.
Source: tirol.tl

Polnischer Held General Bór-Komorowski in Innsbruck 1945

Polish hero General Count Tadeusz Komorowski (Korczak Coat of Arms), 1895 – 1966 , better known by the name Bór-Komorowski (after one of his wartime code-names: Bór - "The Forest"), at the end of World War II was in Salzburg and Innsbruck (Austria), at that time belonged to Germany's Third Reich.
In July 1941 he became deputy commander of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa or "AK"), and in March 1943 gained appointment as its commander, with the rank of Brigadier-General. He was appointed commander in chief a day before the capitulation of the Warsaw Uprising and following World War II, Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile in London. Since 1956  General Count Tadeusz Bór Komorowski earned his living in England... as an upholsterer.
The ruins of Warsaw after the Uprising 1944
Photography Prints
After the capitulation of Warsaw Uprising in October 1944 after two months of fierce fighting Bór-Komorowski surrendered to the Germans.  Bór-Komorowski went into internment in Germany and next in Markt Pongau Camp near Salzburg, Austria. Near Innsbruck the capital of  Land Tyrol he was freed by US troops. In Innsbruck he met the French generals Maxime Weygand and Maurice Gamelin, who at the same time were freed from captivity.
General Bor-Komorowski... with Polish officers... [in] Innsbruck, Austria, shortly after their liberation.
About picture above:
Inscription: General Bor-Komorowski (short man with dark moustache in centre) with Polish officers of his staff who were forced to capitulate with him after the ill-fated Warsaw Rising last year, walking dawn a mountain road at Innsbruck, Austria, shortly after their liberation from Itter castle where their had been kept prisoner. On left an American M.P., gives them a salute as they pass by.
Creator: Unknown photographer

Date: ca. 1945. Medium: Gelatin silver printCredit Line: Transferred from the Slavic and Baltic Division, 2012.Department: Photography CollectionObject Number: SLV 091, Volume 5, Plate 73. Source: www.digitalcollections.nypl.org THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY DIGITAL COLLECTIONS.
Author's Note:
In my opinion this photo not done in the Innsbruck. The scenery and landscape does not fit. Maybe in Telfs (under Hohe Munde peak) or in Markt Pongau Camp? By the way: General Bór-Komorowski was never imprisoned in Castle Itter.
Own elaboration based on ogniskopolskie.org.uk and Wikipedia.