1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Maria Theresa of Austria and her Schönbrunn palace (slideshow) August 3, 2009

This great empress is not that widely known as she deserves. In my adoration for this absolutely amazing historical figure I would like to dedicate this post to Her Highness, the Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary, Queen of Bohemia, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and a Holy Roman Empress – Maria Theresa of Austria(1717 – 1780). She was an exceptional ruler and here are some facts that depict her life and deeds:

  • She had in fact begun her rule aged 23
  • Maria Theresa’s father had not given her any training in government, leaving her to learn for herself. Without money, a strong army, and knowledge of state affairs, Maria Theresa knew she had to rely on her judgment and strength of character – and she succeed!
  • Unlike many monarchs of her time, she married for love. When her husband died, Maria Theresa’s devotion to him was so great that she dressed in mourning until her own death 15 years later
  • She gave birth to 16 children, and despite her political activity she was a loving and caring mother
  • She initiated financial and educational reforms (mandatory education in 1774), promoted commerce and the development of agriculture, and reorganized the army, all of which strengthened Austria’s resources
  • She has enlarged her country to the size of an empire, mostly due to a very wise politics of marriages, and not wars.
  • Maria Theresa focused on reforming laws along the lines of enlightened absolutism, especially to strengthen the economy
  • Other important reforms included outlawing witch-burning and torture, and, for the first time in Austrian history, taking capital punishment off the penal code – it was replaced with forced labor.
  • She was the only female to rule during the 650-year-long Habsburg dynasty. (more…)
 

Vienna Christmas Markets (photo-report) December 9, 2008

For someone like me, who grew up far from any religious traditions, the Christmas celebration in Europe has in the first line a cultural and even artistic value -although I guess that for many so called Christians it is almost the same.

One of the most charming Christmas tradition I enjoy in Vienna is a Christmas market, also known as Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, and Weihnachtsmarkt (in German). Such street market is associated with the celebration of Christmas during advent, mainly the four weeks preceding Christmas Day. These markets originated in Germany and Austria but are now being held in many other countries.

I went photo-hunting and now I am happy to share with you some lovely pictures, showing so many colours that you normally never see in a European city:) … I sometimes had a feeling of being in India…

ENJOY!

P.S. swaps, sorry, it was not snowing this time…:(

LOVE, axinia

 

Vienna Fall Impressions November 7, 2008

Autumn is the season one should not miss – its golden beauty is mesmerizing like the happiness itself! This year we are enjoying exceptionally warm (about 20° C!) golden November in Austria.

Here are some photo impressions, I hope they can reflect at least a bit the warmth and soft beauty of these days…

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