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  • History | Japan > Tokyo > Meiji Shrine
    Updated at May 22,2013

    Outside the train station, located in the middle of a forest, you will find the Meiji Shrine. The shrine is dedicated to the Great Emperor Meiji. Every Sunday morning traditional Shinto weddings can be seen taking place there.

  • History
    Updated at Nov 18,2014

    Schönbrunn Palace interiors:

    Tip 1: General information and the Palace Interiors - the Imperial Tour.

    Tip 2:  Palace Interiors - Rooms included in the Grand Tour.

    Tip 3:  Schönbrunn Gardens and other sites.

    ******************** Tip 1 *****************************

    Transportaion: Public transport lines arrive directly to the palace: Underground: U4, Schönbrunn station,
    Trams: 10 and 58, Schönbrunn station,
    Bus: 10A, Schönbrunn station.

    From the Westbahnhof (western railway terminal): journey time approximately 15 minutes - take the westbound tram line No. 58 and alight at Schönbrunn. From the Station Meidling: journey time aproximately 30 minutes - take the northbound U6 (brown) underground line and alight at Längenfeldgasse, then change to the westbound U4 (green) underground line and alight at Schönbrunn.

    Opening Hours: Schönbrunn Palace is open daily, including public holidays. 1st April to 30th June 08.30 to 17.30, 1st July to 31st August 08.30 to 18.30, 1st September to 31st October 08.30 to 17.30, 1st November to 31st March 08.30 to 17.00. Ticket sale starting at 08.15.

    Duration: 1 day.

    Tours types:

    Imperial Tour: 22 rooms, c. 30-40 minutes, € 11,50 / € 8,50 (see below).  You will see the state rooms and private apartments of Franz Joseph and Sisi.

    Grand Tour: 40 rooms, c. 50-60 minutes, € 14,50 / € 9,50 (see below). Besides the state rooms and private apartments of the imperial couple you´ll also see the precious 18th-century interiors from the time of Maria Theresia.

    There are combined tickets of the Schönbrunn and Hofburg Palaces.

    Prices:            Imperial Tour           Grand Tour                   Grand Tour
                            with audio guides   with audio guides         with guide
                            ------------------------    -----------------------         ---------------

    Adults                            € 11,50               € 14,50                       € 16,50
    Children (aged 6 - 18)   € 8,50                 € 9,50                         € 11,00
    Students (aged 19 - 25) € 10,50               € 13,20                       € 15,20
    Disabled persons          € 10,50               €13,20                        € 15,20

    Tips: Most of the outside grounds are free but you'll have to join a tour to see the inside. Of the 1441 rooms within the palace, 40 are open to the public. The Imperial Tour takes you into 26 of these, and in the last room those on a Grand Tour show their tickets again and continue through the remaining rooms. Note that the Grosse Galerie (Great Gallery), part of both tours, is being restored until late 2012. Despite the rather steep prices, both tours are well worth doing for an insight into the people and the opulence of the baroque age. Because of the popularity of the palace, tickets are stamped with a departure time, and there may be a time lag before you’re allowed to set off in summer, so buy your ticket straight away and explore the gardens while you wait. The palace tour is one of the few Viennese tourist attractions that remembers not all visitors speak German. Your ticket entitles you to a free — and excellent — audio guide, which has a choice of languages including English. There is some written information in the rooms (in German and English) but you need the audio guides to benefit from the experience. The narrators tell you what you're looking at, they put everything in historical context, and they throw in little anecdotes and bonus material, like an original voice recording of Emperor Franz Joseph.

    History: The land around Schönbrunn Palace had been in the possession of the Habsburgs since 1569, when the wife of Emperor Ferdinand II. had a summer residence built there in 1642. The Schönbrunn palace and garden complex built here from 1696, after the Turkish occupation, was redesigned from the ground up by Maria Theresia after 1743. By the early 1700's Emperor Charles VI starting using the property as a Summer hunting lodge since the grounds were heavily wooded 4 miles from central Vienna, but still no Palace... It wasn't until Emperor Charles VI gifted the residence to his daughter Maria Theresa in the mid 1700's that the Estate started to blossom. Maria Theresa decided to finish the grounds as a true Palace and added many fascinating features like a huge garden, the mighty Neptune Fountain, a theater, a festive zoo, beautiful galleries, and opulent fixtures from Chinese lacquer panels and murals, to colorful wall papers. When Maria Theresa died in 1780, Schönbrunn Palace again fell to the wayside of the uniterested Royal family and was even occupied by French Emperor Napoleon twice in 1805 and 1809. The Palace finally began to start hitting its potential in 1853 when Emperor Franz Joseph, who was born in the Palace in 23 years earlier, married Elizabeth of Bavaria. Elizabeth also known as Sissi had a very keen eye for design and the motivation to spruce Schönbrunn Palace up better than ever. Elizabeth quickly come to beloved by the people of Austria for her individual sense of freedom and how beautiful she was. In a moment of perfect timing during Sissi's revamping of Schönbrunn Palace, Austria and Hungary joined as one empire in 1867 giving her an unlimited budget for remodeling any way she wanted. During the remodeling the Hapsburg's built ornate carriages as well as a series of stately Imperial Apartments. Schönbrunn Palace even got its current yellow look thanks to a new coat of paint. Although it may seem that the gold paint was meant to be bold, it was actually used because it was the cheapest color of paint available. It turns out that even empresses with unlimited budgets can still care about making thrifty decisions. Sissi later ruled Austria after her husband died and went on to become the country's longest ruling royal ever. Toward the end of her life Sissi spent more time at the Palace of Gödöllő in Hungary, but she definitely left her mark on Schönbrunn Palace and the people of Austria. She died at the age of 60 in 1898 which was a long life back then. For most of the year, the Habsburgs resided in the countless number of chambers that a large imperial family needed - in addition to the formal state rooms. Emperor Franz Joseph, who later married the enchanting Queen Elizabeth, Sisi and reigned from 1848 to 1916, was born here in 1830. In the possession of the Habsburg dynasty since Maximilian II, the palace passed to the ownership of the Republic of Austria at the end of the monarchy in 1918. Although Austria is now a republic, Schönbrunn has remained a place of political encounter at the highest level.

    Since the height of the Hapsburg Dynasty, Schönbrunn has survived many political changes and even a WWII bomb that crashed through 3 floors but failed to explode. Today the giant 1,441 room palace has 40 rooms available to visit with a paid guided tour and pristine grounds that can be seen for free. Inside the rooms had been renovated to look like Maria Theresa and Sissi had just spruced them up yesterday.

    In 1992 the Schloss Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. was founded and entrusted with the administration of the palace as a modern, limited-liability company. The company is solely owned by the Republic of Austria. Preservation and restoration have to be financed by the company from its own resources without recourse to state subsidies.

    Schönbrunn Palace is one of Europe's most impressive Baroque palace complexes. Today, the palace is part of UNESCO’s cultural heritage due to its historic importance, its unique grounds and its splendid furnishings.

    The tour: The tour actually starts at the west wing of the palace in the rooms of the aforementioned Emperor and his wife Elisabeth (the famous "Sissi"). The rooms in the west wing are Iess elaborately decorated and were used for domestic purposes by members of the imperial family. By contrast the living rooms and offices used by Emperor Franz Joseph are simple and very unpretentious. Take a note of the relatively (but only relatively) spartan decor so you can compare it to the rooms used by earlier generations of Hapsburgs. Franz Joseph clearly led a disciplined life. His bed (the one he died on) is totally nondescript, as is his lavatory. Yes, we get to see the place where even the Emperor had to be alone.

    Offer of itinerary:

    Proceed up the Blue Staircase--named for its color scheme--to the "Bel Étage," where the most important state and private rooms in the palace are located. At the top of the stairs, turn right into the Fishbone Room for a view of one of the inner courtyards, then turn right for a view into the relatively spartan room of the Emperor Franz Joseph's aide-de-camp (Adjutants Room). From there turn left into the Guard's Room, then right into the Billiard Room, which is decorated with paintings about the Hapsburg family history. Go straight to the Walnut Room, where the Emperor held audiences. Turn left into Franz Joseph's Study, where the Emperor spent most of his time working on State papers. Straight ahead is Franz Joseph's bedroom, where he died in 1916. On the wall is a portrait of him on his death bed. Go straight to the Western Terrace Cabinet, with its portraits of the daughters of Empress Maria Theresa and then left into the Stairs Cabinet--the study of Franz Joseph's wife, the Empress Elisabeth, better-known as "Sissi." Next up is Sissi's dressing room, and beyond that Elisabeth and Franz Joseph's bedroom, which they used at the beginning of their married life. Beyond this is Sissi's neo-Rococo Salon. The Marie Antoinette Room was used as the family dining room. Further along are the Children's Room, named for all the portraits it has of Maria Theresa's children, and the Breakfast Cabinet.

    Backtrack into the Children's Room and turn left into the Yellow Salon, which is notable for the drawings of children on the walls. Go straight into the Balcony Room, which features more portraits of Maria Theresa's children, and from here into the Mirror Room, where Mozart gave a recital as a boy. Move on into the Great Rosa Room, and from there turn to your upper right to the Second Small Rosa Room, and then straight into the First Small Rosa Room. This suite is named after Joseph Rosa, whose landscapes hang in all three rooms. Turn right into the Lantern Room, where the palace lantern carriers gathered.

    Move on straight ahead into the Great Gallery, a vast Rococo space used for balls and formal banquets. Turn right into the Small Gallery, which was used for family functions. To the right is the Round Chinese Cabinet and to the left the Oval Chinese Cabinet. These were conference and card rooms. Backtrack into the Small Gallery and Great Gallery and turn right into the Carousel Room, an audience room named after the subject of one of its paintings. Go straight into the Hall of Ceremonies, which is decorated with huge paintings. To the right is the Equestrian Room, named after all its pictures of horses. Turn left into the Blue Chinese Salon, where the last Hapsburg Emperor, Karl I - now a candidate for Catholic sainthood called Blessed Karl - renounced his throne at the end of World War I.

    Walk straight to the Vieux-Laque Room, which Maria Theresa decorated in honor of her husband Francis Stephen I after his death. Next to this is the Napoleon Room. It was occupied in 1805 and 1809 by Napoleon I. When Napoleon I abdicated the second time in 1815, his young son Napoleon Francis Charles Joseph was named Napoleon II, but he was little more that a toddler at the time and was stripped of his title. As his mother was an Austrian princess, he was sent to live at Schönbrunn, and was referred to as Franz, Duke of Reichstadt. He was kept a virtual prisoner in the palace and died in this room at the age of 21. His pet lark, which he claimed was his only friend, is preserved here under glass. Continue on straight into the Porcelain Room, a study and game room with faux porcelain walls, and to the left into the Millions Room, named for its expensive paneling. Off to the right is the Miniatures Cabinet, named for the type of artwork displayed therein. If you go straight you'll see the tapestry-filled Gobelin Room and beyond that, the neo-Rococo study room of Franz Joseph's mother, the Archduchess Sophie. The Red Salon is filled with Hapsburg portraits, while the Eastern Terrace or Flower Cabinet has--obviously enough--designs of flowers all over its walls. Turn left into the Rich Room. This was the bedroom of Franz Joseph's parents, Archduke Francis Charles and Archduchess Sophie. Next up is Francis Charles' portrait-filled Study and Salon. To the left of the Study is the Hunting Room, named for the the artwork it displays depicting hunting scenes. Exit and go down the stairs to see the ground floor Palace Chapel, which was completed under the aegis of Maria Theresa. On the ground floor are laso the Bergl rooms - open only to groups (special fee) or by advance appointment.

    Finish by exploring the extensive palace grounds and secondary buildings, including the Orangery, Children's Museum, Coach Museum, Zoo, Theater, maze, labyrinth, swimming pool, Neptune Fountain, Palm House, Gloriette pavilion, Obelisk Cascade, faux Roman Ruins, Butterfly House and Privy Garden.

    The Palace rooms:

    Enter the building via the Blue Staircase in the Western wing of Schönbrunn.The Blue Staircase used to be the dining hall in Joseph I's hunting lodge and was made into a ceremonial stairway when the lodge was converted into an imperial and family residence fo Maria Theresa by Nikolaus Pacassi in 1745. The ceiling fresco, painted by the Italian artist Sebastiano Ricci in 1701-2, was not affected by the conversion, and is a glorification of the conversion to the throne, Joseph, depicted as a hero of war and man of virtue who finally receives the victor's crown of laurels before the throne of eternity:

    Fishbone Room: When you reach the first floor go to your right, into the so-called “Fishbone” room. Through the window you look into the Grand Imperial Courtyard, which is now part of the Children’s Museum, in which visitors can find out a great deal about everyday life in the Imperial Court and can also try out a few things.

    Adjutants Room (Aide-de-Camp's Room): During the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph (and possibly earlier) an Aide-de-Camp's Room (adjutants room) was installed immediately before the monarch's apartments on the piano nobile of the palace. Its appearance is documented in a photograph dating from around 1910.

    Guard Room: Emperor Franz Joseph’s guards were posted in this room, to protect the entrance to his private apartments. To your right you can see a ceramic stove, which, like all the others in Schönbrunn, were originally heated with wood via a heating duct running behind the rooms, so as not to disturb the imperial family and to prevent dirt. From the 19th century on, a hot-air heating system was installed, which has been out of commission since 1992.

    Billiard Room:  The Billiard Room is the first in the suite of rooms comprising the audience rooms and private apartments of Franz Joseph. These rooms still have the original decoration and furnishings, most of which date from the second half of the 19th century. The furniture, accessories and mementoes give an idea of the monarch's world, his everyday life at the palace in both its professional and domestic aspects. Several times a week Emperor Franz Joseph received the members of his government and high-ranking military staff. While the ministers, generals and other officers waited here they were permitted to pass the time playing at this Biedermeier billiard table. The two large paintings are connected with the Order of Maria Theresa. The one in the middle depicts the ceremony at which this order was invested for the first time, in 1758. The two paintings flanking it record the celebrations held to mark the centenary of the order's foundation:

    Walnut Room: The name of this room derives from the fine walnut panelling of the walls. The gilt decoration and console tables are typical of the Rococo style – ornamental Rococo combinations made of rock, shell, plant forms or artificial forms – all adding to the astounding décor. The chandelier has 48 arms, and the furniture boasts Rococo. It was in this room that anyone living in the Monarchy could meet with the Emperor Franz Joseph. In this room Franz Joseph gave audiences to his generals, ministers and court officials. On Mondays and Thursdays any of the subjects of his empire could request an audience with the emperor. From these audiences Franz Joseph developed an astounding memory for names and faces retained well into his old age. Here you can see Franz Joseph's writing-desk with a number of items belonging to the emperor displayed on it:

    Study and salon of Franz Karl (39 and 38):

    The study room together with the adjoining salon were last occupied by Archduke Franz Karl, the father of Emperor Franz Joseph. After the death of the archduke in 1878 the rooms were refurbished and the decoration and furniture have remained largely unchanged to this day. The paintings that hang in the former study room (by Martin van Meytens and his studio) show Emperor Franz Stephan, Maria Theresa and eleven of their chilkdren on the terrace at Schönbrunn (two children were born later and three had died previously):

    Western Terrace Cabinet: The Western Terrace Cabinet leads into the apartments of Empress Elisabeth. It contains a portrait by the French artist Malers Pierre Benevault des Mares: Theresa's youngest daughters, Johanna Gabriela and Maria Josepha:

    Stairs Cabinet: The Stairs Cabinet served Elisabeth as a study. Here she wrote numerous letters and composed her diaries as well as her poems. Until the end of the monarchy there was a spiral staircase in this room which had been installed for the empress in 1863 and led down into her private apartments on the ground floor. These apartments were not furnished according to court guidelines but to the empress's personal taste. They had violet silk wall-hangings and also contained many personal items of furniture belonging to the empress. This apartment also had direct access to the gardens, enabling Elisabeth to leave and re-enter the building at any time without being observed by door-keepers, guards or other palace staff.

    Elisabeth's (Sissi) Dressing Room: Elisabeth's daily routine was dominated by a strict regime of beauty care, exercise and sport which she followed to preserve her appearance. Caring for her magnificent head of hair took several hours. Her hairdresser, Franziska Feifalik, became one of the empress's closest confidantes and sometimes even took Elisabeth's place in public, for example on official occasions where she would only be seen from afar:

    Imperial Bedroom: This room was the marital bedroom of the emperor and empress. In 1854, the year of their marriage, the room was hung with blue and white silk and furnished with heavy palisander furniture. The bedroom was only used during the first years of their marriage. From the very beginning, Elisabeth rejected the oppressive formality of court life. From the 1870s onwards she began to lead an independent life of her own, travelling extensively. Franz Joseph grew increasingly lonely in her absence, yet he continued to worship her right up to her tragic death. She was assassinated in Geneva by an Italian anarchist in 1898:

    Empress' Sissi Salon: The clock in front of the mirror on the window side of the room displays a unique feature: it has a reversed face at the back so that the time could be told from a brief glance in the mirror. The paintings in this room are of particular interest. The three portraits of Empress Elisabeth are impressive testimony to her beauty. In the oil painting by Skallinsky the empress is wearing a ruby parure, while the painting by Schrotzberg shows her with a blue ribbon. The anonymous lithograph shows off the empress's slender waist. The 18th-century pastel portraits in this room show some of Maria Theresa's children. The portrait of Marie Antoinette in a fashionable hunting costume is by Joseph Kranzinger:

    Marie Antoinette Room: During Elisabeth's time this room served as a dining room. The table is laid for a family dinner with Viennese porcelain, Viennese court silverware made by the company of Mayerhofer & Klinkosch as well as prism-cut lead crystal glasses made by Lobmeyr & Co. When the imperial family dined here alone the occasion was less formal than at court dinners which were ruled by the strictest court etiquette. The emperor himself determined the seating plan and conversation was permitted across the table, whereas at court dinners one could only converse with one's immediate neighbour in an undertone. On official occasions French dishes were served, while at family dinners Viennese cuisine and simpler dishes were preferred. These included Wiener schnitzel, beef goulash, beef with onions, steamed dumplings or 'Kaiserschmarren' (meaning literally 'the emperor's nonsense', a sweet shredded omelette made with raisins and served with fruit compote). The flowers for the table decorations were supplied by the court garden administration at Schönbrunn. Besides azaleas and hyacinths, the most precious arrangements were made of orchids. In 1900 the palace nursery garden contained 25,000 orchids of 1,500 different kinds constituting the largest collection in Europe at that time. The painting in the middle shows Emperor Franz Joseph at the age of 20. The room is named after a tapestry which formerly hung here showing Marie Antoinette and her children. It was a gift from Napoleon III to Emperor Franz Joseph and is today in the private ownership of the Habsburg family:

    Children's Room: In the right hand side of the room is a portrait of Maria Theresa in mourning. She was born in 1717, the daughter of Emperor Charles VI. She fell in love with Franz Stephan of Lorraine at while she was still very young. The couple married when she was nineteen. She bore him sixteen children, eleven daughters and five sons. The room is hung with several portraits of Maria Theresa's daughters. The rooms her children actually occupied lie on the ground floor or on the upper floors of the palace. The door on the left opens onto the bathroom installed in 1917 for Zita of Bourbon Parma, the last empress of Austria:

    Yellow Salon: The Yellow Salon marks the start of the apartments which overlook the gardens of the palace. This room was once the bedroom of Emperor Francis Stephen and Maria Theresa in the early years of their marriage until 1747. Later it was occupied by the Emperor´s sister, Charlotte of Lorraine, and it is mentioned as having been used by Emperor Franz I as his study room. The room is also remarkable for the pastel portraits with realistic depictions of children from the bourgeois classes, which form a complete contrast to the typical court portraits of Maria Theresa's children which can be viewed in the next room (the Balcony Room):

    Balcony Room: The paintings in the Balcony Room were made by the court painter Martin van Meytens and show the Maria Theresa's children. Among them is Maria Elisabeth, who was considered to be Maria Theresa's most beautiful daughter and thus a splendid match. However, she got smallpox and while she eventually recovered, her face was so disfigured by scarring that there was no hope of finding her a husband. The only alternative for the archduchess was to enter a convent. This was not the grim fate it sounds; the imperial archduchesses resided as abbesses of the convent they had entered in magnificent apartments as befitted their rank, and could pursue their own interests unhindered.

    Mirror Room: With its magnificent white and gold Rococo decoration and the crystal mirrors that give this room its name, the Mirrors Rooms is a typical example of a state room from the era of Maria Theresa. The mirrors are positioned so that they reflect one another, creating the illusion of a corridor that blurs the actual dimensions of the room. It was either this room or the adjoining larger Rosa Room that was the setting for the first concert given by the six-year-old Mozart in front of Empress Maria Theresa. After his performance - according to his proud father - "Wolferl leapt onto Her Majesty's lap, threw his arms around her neck and planted kisses on her face."...:

    Rosa Rooms: The following three rooms are named after the artist Joseph Rosa who created the landscape paintings they contain. The first painting on the left shows an idealised view of a ruin in the Swiss Aargau: the Habichtsburg (Hawk's Castle), a name that would later coalesce into 'Habsburg'. The castle is the hereditary seat of the dynasty. The largest of the Rosa Rooms also contains a portrait of Empress Franz I Stephan. It is a full-length portrait of the Emperor standing at a table surrounded by various objects and collector's items that reflect his interest in the arts, history and the natural sciences. The portrait, which has been housed in the storerooms of the Kunsthistorisches Museum for many decades, was restored in Japan in 2006 and first put on public display for the "Maria Theresa and Schloss Schönbrunn" exhibition:

    Lantern Room: Before electric lighting was installed in the palace the lantern-bearers used to wait in this room. Their task was to light the passage of the imperial family or members of the court household after dark. The room is also remarkable for the marble door panelling from the time of Joseph I.

    Great Gallery: Measuring over 40 metres by 10 metres the Great Gallery provided the ideal setting for court functions such as balls, receptions and banquets. The tall windows and the crystal mirrors facing them on the opposite wall together with the white and gold stucco decoration and the ceiling frescoes combine to form a total work of art resulting in one of the most magnificent Rococo interiors in existence. The central panel of the ceiling frescos by the Italian artist Gregorio Guglielmi shows the prospering of the monarchy under the rule of Maria Theresa. Enthroned at its centre are Franz Stephan and Maria Theresa surrounded by personifications of monarchical virtues. Ranged around this central group are allegories of the Habsburg Crown Lands, each with its riches and resources. Since the foundation of the Austrian republic the room has been used for concerts and official receptions. In 1961 the legendary encounter between the American president John F. Kennedy and the Russian head of state Nikita Khrushchev took place in this room:

    Small Gallery: The Small Gallery, which was built at the same time as the Great Gallery, was used for smaller family celebrations during the reign of Maria Theresa. In order to give an authentic impression of the room, the wall chandeliers have been fitted with special light bulbs which imitate the effect of candlelight and animate the shimmering surfaces:

    Chinese Cabinets: To either side of the Small Gallery are the two Chinese Cabinets; the Oval Cabinet on the left and the Round Cabinet on the right. The fashion for art from China and Japan had an immense influence on the decoration and furnishing of royal residences in the 18th century of which the two Chinese Cabinets are an impressive example. Set into the white-painted wooden panelling are lacquer panels of varying shapes and sizes. The gilt frames containing the panels incorporate little consoles which support pieces of blue and white porcelain. The rooms are also remarkable for their parquet flooring with its intricate patterns and their chandeliers. The two rooms were used by Maria Theresa for conferences with her ministers – the Round Cabinet was where she held secret state conferences with her chancellor, Kaunitz – and for playing cards:

    Carousel Room: TThis room was a waiting room for visitors of Maria Theresa. It is named for the painting hanging to the left of the mirror of a ladies carousel (carriage parade) given by Maria Theresa in 1743 in the Imperial Riding School to mark the withdrawal of the French and Bavarians from Bohemia.

    Hall of Ceremonies: The Hall of Ceremonies served principally as the antechamber to Emperor Francis Stephen´s apartments. Here the imperial family gathered before entering the oratories of the palace and it was also used for large celebrations such as christenings, name-days and birthdays, as well as for the court banquets. The hall is remarkable for its monumental paintings which were commissioned by Maria Theresa. The five paintings depict a family event of political and historical significance: the marriage of Joseph, the heir to the throne, to Isabella of Parma, a princess of the royal French Bourbon dynasty, in 1760. This marriage was also a calculated political move on Maria Theresa's part, intended to bring France onto Austria's side. The largest painting in the series depicts the entry of the princess from the Belvedere Palace to the Hofburg. The other paintings show the marriage ceremony in the Augustinian Church, the wedding banquet in the Knights' Hall of the Hofburg and the nuptial dinner and serenata in the ballroom. The paintings display a remarkable wealth of detail in their depiction of the buildings, the people, their clothing and even the tableware. The cycle includes what is probably the most famous portrait of Empress Maria Theresa as the 'First Lady of Europe' :

    ******************** End of the Imperial Tour ********************

    For rooms included also in the Grand Tour: see sub-ordinate Tip.

  • History
    Updated at Feb 28,2014

    2 Days in the British Museum:

    Free. Open daily 10.00–17.30, Fridays until 20.30.

    The main Entrance to the BM:

    BM Courtyard from Floor 3:

    BM Courtyard from the Restaurant:

    5th Floor anf glass ceiling of Norman Foster:

    The main entrance: Necanebo Obelisque - 350 B.C:

    Egyptian sculpture - Room 4, 2600 BC – 2nd century AD. Free guided tour, daily, 14.30,  Ancient Egypt, Room 64 .  

    The Rosetta Stone, Room 4, Egypt, Ptolemaic Period, 196 BC:

    Ancient Egyptian Mummies. Rooms 62-63:

    Cleopatra Mummy, Roman period, 200 A.D:

    Soter Tomb, Artemidorue Mummy, South of Cairo, Hwarta, 100-120 AD:

    Hornedjitef Mummy, Luxor, 240 B.C:

    Hor, the senior priest, Mummy, Luxor, 700 B.C:

    Wood cover of Hornedjitef Mummy, Luxor, 240 B.C:

    Wooden tomb of King Intef, 1600 B.C, Dra-Abu-el-Naga:

    Wooden burial tomb, Katebet, 1300 B.C, Luxor-Thebes:

    Wooden burial tomb, Pasenhor, 730-680 B.C, Luxor:

    Covers of wooden burial coffins, temple of Amon priests, Deir-el_bahri 1000-900 B.C‎:

    Wooden coffin, Necropolis of ASyot, Hetepnebi, approx. 2090 B.C:

    Segment of burial paint, tomb of Seti the 1st in the Valley of Kings, 1500-1070 B.C:

    Part of giang Sarcofag of red granite, 5th Dynasty, 2400 B.C.:

    The ancient Egyptians believed that there are many water ways in the deads world - so they buried their deads with wooden boats, 1985-1795 B.C‎:

    A typical tomb, Predynastic, 3400 B.C., Skeleton with burial items:

    Rahotep relief, 2600 B.C:

    Marble sculpture of Kaitep and his wife, 5th-6th dynasty, Giza,
    2300 B.C‎:

    Wahibre, senior administrator brings tribute (sculpture of Osiris, God of Sun) to the King, 530 B.C.:

    Black granite sculpture of Sakhmet, the 18th Dynasty, 1350 B.C:

    Head of Raamses II, 19th Dynasty, 1270 B.C, west to Luxor:

    Raamses VI, 20th Dynasty, 1150 B.C:

    Godess Hathor, Temple Amonhotep II, 18th Dynasty, Luxor, 1400 B.C.:

    Head of Amenophis III, 18th Dynasty, 1390 B.C.:

    Red Granite sculpture of a King, 18th Dynasty, 1450 B.C., Karnac Temple in Luxor. Tutemosis III or Amenophis II:

    Part of relief from the Nihebsedpey omb, 2100 B.C.:

    Colossal head of Amenhotep III around 1350 BC:

    Amenophis II - 1400 B.C., Luxor:

    Sudan, Egypt & Nubia - Room 65: Sandstone statue of Paser,
    From Abu Simbel, Egypt, 19th Dynasty, around 1250 BC. A viceroy of Nubia presenting an altar to the god Amun:

    Lower Egypt and Sudan, Nubia, Granite Sphynx of King Tahora, 25th Dynasty, Kawa, 690-664 B.C:

    Nubia, Nubes are painted as black figures, bringing tributes to Kings of Egypt: Giraffes skins, goats and fish:

    Nubia, relief from a Pyramid in Meroe, where Queen Shanakdakhte been buried, 2nd century B.C (from 2nd century B.C until 4th century A.D - kings were buried in Pyramids):

    Nebamun Tomb, Wood Stella - 1070-945 B.C.:
    1350 B.C, Dra-Abull-Naga:

    Ancient Egypt (cont.):

    Stone Stella - Royal Dynasty brings gifts to Gods, Abydos 1295-1186 B.C:

    Wooden Staella, 3rd century B.C:

    The Deads Book that replaced wooden tomb, written with pen on paper, 1480 B.C:

    Wooden figures of Osiris, God of Sun, brought as gifts to the deads:

    Statue of Ankwa 2800 B.C.:

    Sarcofage on a coffin (530 B.C) of Ankhnenefe, last godess-queen of Amon Temple before the Persian conquest in 525 B.C:

    Ancient Mesopotamia - Room 56: Achievements of the Sumerians, Akkadians, and Babylonians, who lived in Mesopotamia at this time:

    Harp from Ur, 2500 BC:

    Statue of Cudea 2150 B.C., King of Lagash, builder of temples:

    Letter from Ishkun-Dagan  2250 B.C., Acadian Empire: 

    Ramina Thicket, sculpture of standing goat on blooming flower, Ur, 3rd Dynasty, 2500 B.C.:

    Queen of the Night, Ishtar, 1792-1750 B.C.:

    Syria, Tel-Halaf, stone relief, 1200-900 B.C.:

    Very ancient human figure, Neolithic Period, 7200 B.C. (!), Ein-Gazal, Zarka valley, Jordan:

    Ancient Levant - Rooms 57-59:

    King Idrimi of Alalakh 1570-1500 B.C:

    Small ivory reliefs, Phoenician culture, 9th-8th centuries, Namrut, Nort Iraq / Turkey:

    Assyrian Culture: Rooms 6-10, Free guided tour, daily, 15.45, Assyrian Reliefs, Room 6.

    Winged Lion with human face, 865-863 B.C., Nimrod Mountain (Nemrut Dagi), Turkey, 35 km. south of Mosul:

    King Ashurnasirpal, 860-805 B.C.:

    Protective Spirit:

    Nenrut, 865-860 B.C.:

    King Ashurnasirpal, Nemrut, 865-860 B.C.:

    City under siege, Tiglat-Pileser (744-727 B.C.) Palace, Nemrut, 728 B.C.:

    Tiglat-Pileser III, 728 B.C.:

    Fight scene, Great Lion, 728 B.C., Ugallu, Sennacherib Palace, Ninve:

    Part of war relief, Palace of Sargon II (721-705 B.C.) , Khorsabad, South Iraq, 640-620 B.C.:

    Sargon II Palace, Khorsabad. Sargon left the former capital, Nemrut (built by Tiglat-Pileser). His son, Sennacherib, left his father's capital as well and built the new capital in Ninve:

    Conquest of Lachish (Israel) by Sanherib, 701 B.C.:

    Royal expedition of Lions hunt:

    Slaves bring tributes to the King - mainly, lions' bodies:

    Segment of black Obelisk, Shalmaneser III (858-824 B.C.) from 827 B.C., Nemrut:

    Lion from Ishtar Palace. Ishtar was the war goddess of the Assyrians. The lion symbolizes Ishtar and stands in front of the palace:

    Ancient Greece - rooms 11-19, Free guided tour, daily, 11.30,  Room 17.

    Elgin Collection, Room (Hall) 18, from the Parthenon. The Parthenon was built during 447-438 B.C. and was decorated by sculptures of Phidias, mostly of Atena, goddess of war:


    Dionisus and head of oxe, Elgin Collection:

    Centaurs against the LLapiths:

    Greek and Roman Sculpture room 23: Aphrodite in Bath from the 1st century AD. This sculpture belonged to King Charles I and was sold after the King's execution. It was found and was returned to the Museum's collection:


    Colossal marble statue of Apollo, Roman, 2nd century AD, From Cyrene, Libya. This colossal marble statue came from the Temple of Apollo at Cyrene in modern Libya. The statue of Apollo was found broken into 121 pieces, laying near the large pedestal on which it had originally stood. The fragments were painstakingly removed from the site and reassembled in the British Museum:

    Room 17: Nereid Monument, Lykia. Xantos was capital of Lykia. Discovered in 1838-1844 by Charles Fellows. Lykian tomb of  Lykian nobles, 390-380 B.C. They were buried in an elevated podium which looks like Greek temple:

    Room 19 - The temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum - Sculpture of Athena-Nike:

    Room 21: The Mausoleum at Halikarnassos was built as a tomb for Maussollos, a member of the Hekatomnid dynasty who governed Karia in south-west Asia Minor,  Bodrum (turkey):

    Mycenaeans Culture, Room 12 a-b, 3200 – 1100 BC:

    Cycladic Islands - Room 11: Perykles head, died 429 B.C.:

    Bassae Temple of Apollo, South of Olympia, 420-400 B.C., Centaurs against the Lapyths:

    The Greeks against the Amazons:

    Room 73: Greeks in Italy. Bronze horse and rider. Greek statue from Italy, 550 B.C.:

    Hoe Hakananaai'a, Easter Islands: Room 24: Living and Dying.

    Totem, British Columbia, Canada:

    Mexico: Room 27. Gallery tour -daily, 13.00 (for 30–40 minutes), free, Meet in Room 27.

    Mask in Turquoise of Xiuthecuhtli God of Fire, 15-16th centuries AD, Azteca, Mexico:

    Miclantecuhtr, seating God with deads mask (the death ritual), Azteca, 16th AD:

    Stone mask of Xipetotec, the God responsible for changes and transformations (for example: from the dry season to the rain season):

    Codex Zouche-Nuttall, Mixtec, Late Post-classic period, 1200-1521 AD,
    From Mexico. This is one of a small number of known Mexican codices (screenfold manuscript books) dating to pre-Hispanic times. It is made of deer skin and comprises 47 leaves. one side of the document relates the history of important centres in the Mixtec region, while the other, starting at the opposite end, records the genealogy, marriages and political and military feats of the Mixtec ruler, Eight Deer Jaguar-Claw. Here, you see only one page of the manuscript:

    AfricaThe Sainsbury Galleries, Room 25. Gallery tour -daily, 12.00 (for 30–40 minutes), free, Meet in Room 24.

    Otobo (Hippo) Masquerade, 1995, Kalabari people:

    Mask, Malawi, Chewa people, Latu, 20th centurey:

    Mask, Punu people, Gabon, 19th Century:

    Iron Masks:

    Masdquerades - Men Masks in ceremonies of change: birth, death, change of seasons:

    Benin Plaques, Oba Palace, Nigeria:

    Benin (nigeria) Palace, 20th Century:

    Wood Carving, Sudan, Azande people, 19th Century:

    Tree of Life. Sculpture made of hundreds of weapons, made around the globe, none of them in Africa. After the civil war in Mozambique 1977-1992:

    Throne of weapons. Sculpture made of hundreds of weapons, made around the globe, none of them in Africa. After the civil war in Mozambique 1977-1992. In 1985 the Christian Council of Mozambique set up a project of transforming arms into tools:

    Weaving with golden strings on black silk. Algerian artist, 2001. A tribute to Jalal-al-Din-al-Rumi, the mystic-Sophic poet from the 13th Century who settled in Konya, Turkey - after long trips in the Mediterranean and North Africa:

    Textiles from Africa:

    Part of a door panel, Yoruba people, Nigeria, 1910-1911:

    Otobo - Hippo,  - person disguised as a big animal, which predates travelers, Kalabari, South-Nigeria:

    Sculpture made of wood, textile, steel, fibres -  Kalabari, South Nigeria:

    Object of Power, Igbo, Nigeria, 20th Century:

    Panel from wooden door, Palace of King Ogoga, Ikere, Yoruba region, Nigeria:

    Rooms 40-50: Britain and Europe:

    Gold Cape, Wales. 1900-1600 B.C:

    The Battersea Shield, Iron Age, 350-50 B.C:

    The Shehisham Treasure, 100 BC, Norfolk, Bronze Necklaces:

    Mildenhall Treasure, 4th century A.D, Roman Britain, Suffolk:

    Sutton Hoo, Burial site of Kings of Britain, 700-600 BC:

    Lewis Chessmen, discovered in year 1831 in Lewis island (west Scotland). Chess was a popular game from the 1st Millenium AD and played among men and women:

    The Royal Golden Cup, from France, the 14th century. Given by James I to the ruler of Castille and used in official ceremonies:

    Glass artworks with Chinese influence, made during the first 40 years of the 19th century:

    Porcelain dishware manufactured in the Tzarist factory in St. Petersburg:

    A porcelain cup from Limouge, France (the 17th century) , from the collection of Baron Rotshield (died 1898): Ahasuerus, Ester and Haman:

    Porcelain cup and plate, year 1560, from the collection of Baron Rotshield (died 1898): Jacob Dream:

    The Lyte Jewel, Britain 1610, miniature with figure of King James I and diamonds:

    Roman portraits (Room 85), The Wolfson Gallery, 1st – 4th century AD:

    Emperor Hadrian, Bronze Head, 117-138 A.D:

    Marcus Aurelius, 161-180 A.D:

    Cupid dancing, 10-100 A.D:

    Etruscan world (Room 71) 3000 BC – 1st century:

    Seated Etruscan Figure - 540-520 B.C:

    Two Seated Etruscan Figure - 625-600 B.C:

    Room 72: Ancient Cyprus:

    Heads found in Cyprus 700-50 B.C:

    Ancient Cyprus, 450 A.D. Head of young Athlet:

    450 A.D. Colossal Bearded Man:

    China - Rooms 33-33b: Guided gallery tour, free, Daily.
    China: 12.15 (for 30–40 minutes)
    South Asia: 12.45 (for 30–40 minutes):

    Budai, "the laughing fat", one of future Buddhaa metamorphoses. Installed in gates of temples and monasteries:

    Budai, again, on the right side and a Daoist God on the left:

    Buddha Akshobya, Bronze, Tibet, 13th century:

    A trumpet from shell, copper, gold and precious stones, Tibet, 18-19th centuries AD:

    Seven eyes of Bodhisattva: three in his head and four in his legs, porcelain: 

    Bronze sculpture of a God who sits with Gui (Ceremonial Tablet), Qing dynasty, China, 17-18th centuries:

    Wei Tuo, military figure ( probably the King), 1626 AD, Ming dynasty, China:

    Ceramics sculpture of immortal, Daoist (Dao = path, way, principle, concept) figure named Han Xiangzi, 17-18th centuries, Ming dynasty, China:

    Sancai group. Figures in tri-colorr, taken from a tomb of Tang dynasty, 8th century AD, China:

    Tomb guard man, Tang dynasty, 7th or 8th century, clay:

    Guardian King of the North, isoteric figure of the King of the North, 12th century AD, Dali, Yunnan, China:

    Stone figure of a Judge (one of ten judges in hell). The judge holds a file of good deeds, Ming dynasty, 16th century AD:

    The other side of the spectrum - one of the hell judges holds a thick file of bad deeds:

    South Asia - Rooms 33- 33b:

    Buddha + 2 Budhisattvas, 4-5 centuries AD, West Pakistan:

    Buddha from Gandahara, 100-300 AD. Buddhaa himself died at 400 BC. Figures representing Buddhaa started to appear from 10-50 AD or 500 years after his death:

    Buddhaa from Borobidur temple in Java, 9th century AD. In Java you can find Buddhism and Hinduism:

    A stone relief where Buddhaa convinces his cousin, Nanda, not to marry and to become an hermit (the bride sits opposite the mirror...), Gandahara, 2-3 centuries AD:

    Stone relief, Buddhaa says goodbye to the palace's mistresses before exiting to his enlightenment journey. Pakistan, 2-3th centuries AD:

    Buddhaa with a crown (called, sometimes, King of Kings), 18-19th centuries AD, North Burma:

    Head of Buddhaa, 14th century AD, Sukhothay, Thailand. Sukhothay was the ancient Thai capital. From 1350 AD the capital moved to Ayutthaya. After the Burmese destroyed Ayutthaaya the capital moved, in 1767, to Bangkok:

    India - Room 33:

    Ganesh, "the Hurdles Remover", Orissa, India, 13th century:

    Vishnu (left), his wife Paravaati (right) - the divine couple, Ganesh parents. Ganesh is under Vishnu feet. Together, they symbolize the union of gendres. Orissa, India, 12th-14th centuries.

    Wooden relief, dancer and players, Kashmir, India, 9-10th centuries:

    Dvrapala - Temple's door guard man, Tamil Nadu, South India, 12th century:

    Shiva and Paravaati. Bottom: their children Ganesh and Karttikeyk. Decca, 1000 AD:

    Elephant and riders, West Deccan, 13th century:

    Ravana, the demon with ten hands (every one with another weapon), which kidnapped Sita. Her husband, Rama, released Sita -  with the help of Hanuman and his army of monkeys:

    Shiva Natarajh, 110 A.D, South India. Shiva holds a drum in his right hand, symbolizing creativity. In his left hand he holds fire flames - symbolizing destruction. His left leg is twisted upward - symbolizing that he is not afraid. He is dressed as  male and female. Pointing on the left leg - indicating relaxation:

    Buddha from Sarnath, India, 5-6 centuries A.D. In this place was the first revelation to Buddhaa:

    Ganesh (with Elephant head) dancing, 750 AD, India:

    Shiva, Lord of Dance, Orisa, India, 13th century AD:

    Japan - Rooms 92-94. Free guided tours everyday, 11.00, room 92.

    Haniwa - Tomb Figures.  Kofun period, 6th century AD:

    Statue of Fudo Myo-o, Heian period, 12th century AD:

    Samurai Katana:

    Statue of a retired townsman, Edo period, late 17th - early 18th century AD:

    Kakiemon elephants, Edo period, late 17th century AD:

    Wooden figure of the Buddha Amida, Kamakura period, 13th century AD:

    Nō theatre mask of a young woman, 18th-19th century AD:

    Kudara Kanon 600 AD, National Treasure:

    Chinese Ceramics, Room 95:

    Korea Room 67:

    Budhisattve (1100-1300):

    Ancient Iran, 3000 BC – AD 651 - Room 52:

    Relief from temple in Persepolis, 470-451 B.C., the King on his throne:

    The East India House Inscription, Neo-Babylonian dynasty, about 604-562 BC, From Babylon, southern Iraq, The religious devotion and building works of Nebuchadnezzar II:

    Ceremonial stella, 900-800 B.C., Marduk Temple, Kassite Kingdom, Agar Quf the capital of the Kassite kingdom9 Built from 1400 BC):

    Lion attacks oxe, relief  from Darius (Daryavesh) palace, Persepolis, 518-339 BC:

    Relief of guardman on the palace of Persepolis:

    York Collection - Temporary exhibits in Room 2 (June 2010):

    A warrior holds another warrior's head in one hand (holding a trophy head) and an axe in another hand - expression of power and wealth, Costa Rica, 1500 -1000 AD:

    Wooden mask from New Guinea, 1700 AD. Used in ceremonial and religious events:

    Wooden Totem, Central America:

    Enlightenment Gallery - the Library:

    Copy of the Rosetta Stone in the Enlightenment Gallery:

    Enlightenment Gallery - The Piranesi Vase, 18th century:

    Enlightenment Gallery - Venus:

    Enlightenment Gallery - Zeus:

    Enlightenment Gallery - Hercules - 300-125 B.C:

    Clocks and Watches Rooms 38-39: A Clock from 1650:

    Mechanical Ship year 1568:

    Clock from year 1705:

    Clock from year 1955:

    Room 50: Britain and Europe (clocks):

    The Monumental Clock with the ringing figures, Crillion 1589:

    Cassiobury Park Clock, the first clocks in Europe with mechnical mechanism for clicking:

    Tableclock from England, 1690 AD, made by Thomas Tompion for King William III: