First of all, you can get several museum "deals" by buying combination tickets. We bought a ticket that combined the Imperial silver collection, the furniture collection, Empress Elizabeth's (Sissi) private apartments, and the Grand tour at Schönbrunn Palace.You can take the tour in any order, but allow a couple of days at least. If you want to do all the museums allow a few weeks.
The first part of the tour introduced us to the silver collection of the Imperial hofburg palace and the eating habits of the court and the times. The palace is so huge it houses several museums.
As you walk into the first part of the tour, you find molds, plates services dishes, utensils stretching over 2 dozen rooms. It is a huge collection of state dining accouterments. A lot of beautifully set up tables showing how feasts must have looked in Franz Josef's time,
It is inconceivable to me how they could have 38 course meals. Eventually they toned down to about 13 courses for formal affairs and 6 or so for private dining. The incredible load it put on the serving staff is reflected in the huge staff needed to manage just the kitchens. It is a lesson in bureaucracy gone nuts.
Sissi is the nickname of Empress Elizabeth and the second part of the tour included commentary on her life and private apartments. I'm of two minds about this whole Sissi thing. She became the "beloved" of the peopel oin legend only. In reality people didn't care much for her nor did she for them. She was clinically depressed most of her life, and indeed opined that her agreeing to marriage at such an early age with no recourse to escape was a mistake in general and certainly for her. She chose not to participate in court life, and was a fanatic exerciser, and traveller.
All in all, this woman made a mistake and when she realized it it was too late to back out. Now a days we would think nothing of saying "oops" do over, but not in her day and time and especially not if you are the Empress!
I am a bit chagrined to see a whole museum devoted to the myth with only a thin look at her reality, and to this day the myth is preferred. That to me is jarring and annoying, but seems to be what people want. It is worth seeing if you bear in mind you are listening to a made up story that everyone wants to believe but also everyone knows is not true. The mental contortions you have to put your self in just to approach that state of mind are boggling, and the boggle alone is worth the tour!
The URL i give is a bout as good as any other on the subject. They have a cafe so i indicated food is available.
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