Commissioned by Archbishop Guidobald Thun and executed by Tomasso di Garona between 1656 to 1661, the Residenzbrunnen is largest Baroque fountain of its kind outside of Italy. It sits in the middle of the Residenzplatz all on its lonesome.
Franz Josef I was a vocal critic of the Staatsoper. Nevertheless, the Emperor was shocked when one of the architects, Eduard van der Nüll, hanged himself. Apparently, from that point onwards, Franz Josef always responded to questions about his opinion of artistic projects with the phrase, “It was very beautiful, I liked it a lot.”
The Kärntner Strasse (“Carinthian Street”) runs from the Staatsoper to the Stephansdom. First mentioned in A.D. 1257, the Roman Strata Carintianorum was part of the trade route to the Carinthia in Southern Austria. Fancy shops, cafés and hotels gradually displaced the wagons and drays. Today, it resembles a badly dressed U.N. summit, with tourist groups being shunted up and down the pedestrian-only avenue.