Wednesday, April 17, 2013

State Visit to Austria - Day 3 **

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa finished up their state visit to Austria today by venturing out of Vienna and into the two states of Lower and Upper Austria. (If you haven't been following their activities, have a look to catch up on the first and the second day.)

Photo: Peter Lechner / HBF
The Grand Ducal Couple started off their day by visiting the Stift Melk, the world famous and stunningly beautiful Benedictine abbey overlooking the Danube river about 80 kilometres west of Vienna. They were accompanied by the Austrian president Heinz Fischer and his wife; at the abbey, they were welcomed by Lower Austria's Landeshauptmann Erwin Pröll and abbot Burkhard Ellegast. All together they toured the permanent exhibition at the abbey and had a look at the interiors. This was followed by an organ recital at the church.

Photo: Luc Deflorenne / SIP / Cour grand-ducale
Afterwards, the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess as well as their hosts paid a visit the Mauthausen concentration camp located east of Linz, the capital of Upper Austria. The Couple laid down a wreath of flowers at a monument erected by former Luxembourgish prisoners in 1968 to commemorate victims from the Grand Duchy. 176 Luxembourgers were imprisoned at the Mauthausen camp or its 49 sub-camps, more than 60 of them died during their time there or shortly after the liberation and the end of the Second World War.

Photo: Luc Deflorenne / SIP / Cour grand-ducale
After yet another official luncheon, this time hosted by the Landeshauptmann of Upper Austria Josef Pühringer, the Grand Ducal Couple on their hosts attended a presentation on environmental engineering by the company Voestalpine AG in Linz. Before leaving Austria, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also viewed an exhibition titled Neue Bilder vom Menschen (New pictures of the human) at the Ars Electronica Center Linz, a former tobacco factory turned experimental center dedicated to social phenomena at the crossroads of arts, technology and society.

More pictures are located at Tageblatt, Wort, AFP, ORF #1, ORF #2 and on the website of the cour as well as on the website of the Austrian president. RTL now has a gallery of 60 visuals of the whole state visit as well as video footage at the beginning of their French evening news.


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