Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Carriages in Vienna


This is one of the row of about twenty carriages lined up outside the Hofburg palace in Vienna. This line contained carriages of every colour: pure white, pale blue with black leather seats, maroon with black trim, maroon and white, and a glossy black one with an interior of white buttoned leather. You will see in the photo that behind each of the two horses is a sort of canvas chute. This catches any droppings so the streets of Vienna remain clean. I have not been able to find out if this was the case during the Congress of Vienna. Emperor Franz Joseph had ordered a hundred such carriages built for the visiting monarchs of Europe. They were painted dark green with the Imperial coat of arms emblazoned on the doors in gold. Each coach was drawn by two white horses and had a driver and groom dressed in the imperial yellow livery. It must have been a spectacular sight to see them - the coaches not the grooms! - dashing about the streets of Vienna, or waiting outside one of the many palaces where every night hostesses vied with each other to give the most lavish ball.
Some happy news. I completed my latest book for Severn House on April 24th and sent it to my agent. She loved it and sent it on. Entitled Heart of Stone it was accepted within two weeks and is scheduled for publication this November. I'm delighted, and breathless!
Jane Jackson.

6 comments:

Melinda Hammond said...

Congratulations on getting Heart of Stone acepted, Jane, and good luck with it.

I would imagine that with the number of carts & wagons on the streets of Vienna inthe early 19th century their streets would have been as dirty as those in London and they would have crossing sweepers to clear a path for anyone wishing to actually walk across! I think, as in Joanna's post, we are back to smells again.......

Jan Jones said...

Fantastic news, Jane! And I do love that carriage.

Anonymous said...

Jane said...

Thanks Melissa and Jan. I'm a country girl so the smell of horse poo isn't offensive. But were I a regency maiden trying to dodge piles of it while wearing white kid slippers I might not be so accomodating! Re smells - to compensate for horse poo and below-decks fug think newly baked bread, freshly roasted coffee and frying bacon on the morning air. Now I'm dribbling!

Melinda Hammond said...

Jane - what a wonderfully balanced view! I think a Regency maiden would find the noise and traffic in modern streets quite terrifying, too.

ladysusan said...

Those "horse nappies" haven't been in use in Vienna until 2004, when the city council ordered the "Fiaker" drivers to use them. There've been heavy protests by animal welfare organisations because they say wearing them might harm the horses. The "Fiaker" (name for these carriages and their drivers) protested too, but without success. So no, they wouldn't have been around by 1814. :)

Anonymous said...

How nice to see a post about Vienna! :) Austria is usually off the beaten track of anything romance related. Just one tiny point _ emperor Franz Joseph I came into power after the revolution of 1848, when he was 18 years old. The emperor who was around for the Congress of Vienna was Franz II/I (the second of the Holy Roman Empire, the first of Austria)....
We have the horse nappies too here in Innsbruck and I am glad about it - I cycle a lot and it used to be a real hazard to use the routs the fiakers are taking...
Best regards, LizA