Vienna - Schönbrunn Palace and Park.

AUG 14,2011 - AUG 14,2011 (1 DAYS)

History

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.

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******************** 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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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):

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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):

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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."...:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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' :

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

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

Austria

1 DAYS

History

******************** Tip 2 ***************************

Schönbrunn Palace interiors -  Rooms included in the Grand Tour.

Blue Chinese Salon: The Blue Chinese Salon was the first room in the private apartments of Franz Stephan. The walls are decorated with the Chinese paper wall-hangings that give this room its name. This room also has historic significance: it was here that the negotiations were held which led to the renunciation of any further participation in the affairs of government by the last Austrian emperor, Karl I, on November 11th 1918. In the Blue Chinese Salon Emperor Karl I signed a document stating that he would not interfere or participate in state affairs - a phrase used to avoid a formal abdication, in November 1918. This marked the collapse of the empire and the end of the World′s oldest dynasty in office. The next day the Republic of Austria was proclaimed, thus ending the history of Schönbrunn as an imperial residence.

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Vieux-Laque Room: The Vieux-Laque Room was used by Emperor Franz Stephan as his study. Following his sudden death in 1765, Maria Theresa had the Vieux-Laque Room remodelled as a memorial room. Black lacquer panels from Peking were set into walnut panelling and embellished with gilt frames. The empress also commissioned several portraits for this room which still hang here. The portrait of her husband by Pompeo Batoni was completed in 1769, four years after the death of the emperor:

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Napoleon Room: When Napoleon occupied Vienna in 1805 and 1809, he chose Schönbrunn as his headquarters. During this time he probably used this room as his bedroom. His marriage to Marie Louise, the daughter of Emperor Franz II/I in 1810 was intended to seal the peace between the two rulers. A son was born of this union, known as the Duke of Reichstadt. After the defeat and abdication of Napoleon, Marie Louise brought her two-year-old son to Vienna, where he grew up at his grandfather's court. An especial favourite of his grandfather, he shared the latter's interest in botany. The portrait of him as a child shows him gardening in the park at Laxenburg Palace. The young duke suffered from tuberculosis and died in this room in 1832 at the age of only 21. His death-mask and his beloved pet, a crested lark, today remain as mementoes of Napoleon's only legitimate son:

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Porcelain Room: The furnishing and surfaces of the Porcelain Room as can be seen today date back to 1763, when the room was Maria Theresa’s playroom and study. The mounted wood panelling and the carved blue-and-white painted framing were intended to imitate porcelain, a material that was in high demand in the 18th century. 213 delicately framed blue Indian-ink drawings are integrated in the wood panelling. They are copies of originals by the French artists François Boucher and Jean Pillement made by the children of the imperial couple Francis I of Lorraine and Maria Theresa. In the course of the restoration, the surfaces of the wood panelling and the carved decorations are to be cleaned in order to re-establish the porcelain impression of the room ensemble. For conservatory reasons, the ink drawings will not be restored, and instead will be subject to longer-term monitoring. The objective is to develop a gentle method that can then be used to treat the strong brown discoloration of the works:

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Millions Room: This room was given the name ‘Millions Room’ after the end of the Monarchy in reference to its precious palisander wood panelling. Set into this panelling are 60 Rococo cartouches with Indo-Persian miniatures taken from a manuscript which show scenes from the private and court life of the Mogul rulers in India in the 16th and 17th centuries. In order to make them fit the asymmetric forms of the cartouches, the miniatures were cut up and reassembled in a sort of collage technique to form new images and then surrounded with a Baroque painted border. It had been assumed that the collages were the work of Maria Theresa’s children, but recent research has been unable to confirm this. The original Rococo ensemble of the room from the reign of Maria Theresa also included the chandelier that still hangs there today, a remarkable work by Viennese court artists made of fire-gilt cast bronze with drip-pans in the form of enamelled blossoms. The bisque porcelain bust from the royal porcelain manufactory in Sèvres portrays Maria Theresa’s youngest daughter Marie Antoinette as queen of France:

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Miniatures Cabinet: From the Millions Room one can glance into the Miniatures Cabinet. It is decorated with numerous small pictures painted by the children and husband of Maria Theresa, some of which are signed. The breakfast table is set with 19th-century porcelain which imitates Imari porcelain from the time of Maria Theresa.

Gobelin Salon: The walls of this room are hung with 18th-century Brussels tapestries (gobelins) showing market and harbour scenes. The large tapestry in the middle represents the harbour at Antwerp. The six armchairs are also upholstered with tapestries depicting the twelve months of the year and the signs of the zodiac. Last used by Archduchess Sophie, the mother of Emperor Franz Joseph, as her drawing room, after her death it was given its present decoration on the occasion of the World Exhibition in 1873:

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Study room of Archduchess Sophie: During the 19th century this room was furnished as a study for Archduchess Sophie, the mother of Franz Joseph. Intensely ambitious, Sophie energetically pursued an ultimately successful plan to secure the Habsburg throne for her son. In 1848 Franz Joseph succeeded his uncle Ferdinand as Emperor of Austria:

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Red Salon: The Red Salon contains portraits of several Habsburg emperors, including one of Leopold II, who briefly succeeded his brother Joseph II as emperor. The painting shows his son and successor, Franz, who in 1792 as Franz II became the last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1806 he was forced to dissolve the Holy Roman Empire in the face of Napoleon's victorious campaigns. Two years previously he had elevated the Crown Lands of the Habsburgs into the Empire of Austria. Thus Franz II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, became Emperor Franz I of Austria:

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Eastern Terrace Cabinet: Also known from 1775 as the Flower Cabinet on account of the garlands of flowers painted on its walls, the Eastern Terrace Cabinet lies on the Parade Court side of the palace and enabled the imperial family to gain access to a terrace above the arcades that enclose the Parade Court. The room has a remarkable ceiling fresco painted by Johann Zagelmann around 1770:

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Rich Bedroom: Emperor Franz Joseph was born in this room in 1830. The original wallpaper with its printed pattern of foliage dates to the time when Franz Joseph's parents, Franz Karl and Sophie, occupied these apartments, this being their bedroom. Today this room houses the only surviving bed of state from the Viennese court. Up to 1947 the bed remained in the former bedroom of Maria Theresa at the Hofburg, but was moved to Schönbrunn in 1980 and has recently been restored:

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Study and salon of Franz Karl: This room together with the adjoining salon was 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 bring us back to the time of Maria Theresa one last time. The famous family portrait by Martin van Meytens and his studio shows Emperor Franz Stephan, Maria Theresa and eleven of their sixteen offspring on the terrace at Schönbrunn. Absent from the picture are the two children who were born later and three who had died previously:

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Hunting Room: The Hunting Room is the final room in the tour of the palace on the first floor and is intended to evoke Schönbrunn's former role as a hunting lodge. The background of the painting entitled Partridges in front of Schönbrunn by Hamilton shows the palace built by Fischer von Erlach. Other paintings and exhibits in the display cases illustrate the subject of hunting and the imperial family.

Palace Chapel: The palace chapel at Schönbrunn still retains the original spatial structure and architectural arrangement given to it by the architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (ca 1700). During the expansion from a hunting lodge to residential palace, Maria Theresa refurbished the palace chapel, a task which was obviously of great importance to the monarch. In keeping with the Habsburg tradition, participation at church services was an indispensable part of daily life in the court. In 1743 the decoration of the chapel was relatively simple, and Maria Theresa employed renowned artists to give the chapel a new prestigious interior. The consecration of the palace chapel took place on 29th April 1745 and was conducted by the Archbishop of Vienna, Count Sigismund Kollonitsch. The ceremony, which was attended by Maria Theresa, her family and the whole court, lasted four hours. The chapel was originally dedicated to Mary Magdalene, but with its refurbishment it was dedicated instead to the marriage of the Virgin Mary:

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Bergl Rooms: The east and southeast Bergl rooms were occupied by Crown Prince Rudolf (Crown Prince Apartment), the south Bergl rooms were the summer rooms of Maria Theresia (today known as the Goëss Apartment). Since 2009 the remarkable rooms of the Crown Prince and the Goëss Apartments, with its breathtaking mural paintings, has been open exclusively for groups. The Gisela Apartment in the west wing of the Palace is nowadays a part of the Children museum. Prices per guided tour of one apartment: Groups of less than 10: set price of € 90.00, Groups of 10 to 25: € 9.00 per person, Maximum size of groups: 25 persons. Reservation required!

Guided tour of the Goess Apartment: One of the first commissions Johann Wenzel Bergl undertook at Schönbrunn was the painting of Maria Theresa's summer apartment, which consists of four rooms, and is known today as the Goëss Apartment. The murals in the rooms display a succession of landscapes, starting with an untouched exotic landscape and ending with a formal Baroque garden:

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Guided tour of the Crown Prince Rudolf Apartment: Unlike to the Maria Theresia Apartment, the paintings in the Crown Prince Rudolf Apartment are of native landscapes but nevertheless still enhanced by exotic and antique set pieces. In 1864 the apartment was furnished for the six-year-old heir to the throne. The walls of four of the six rooms were decorated with exotic landscape paintings by Johann Wenzel Bergl and his studio between 1774 and 1778. Since April 2009 the apartment has again been dedicated to the crown prince. His life is illustrated with numerous objects grouped according to the subjects of family, women, education and science:

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Nature

Schönbrunn Grounds:

Schönbrunn Entrance:

Even the approach to the palace is like a skilfully staged progress towards the presence of the monarch. Avenues lead to the main gate which is flanked by two obelisks crowned with eagles as symbols of imperial sovereignty. Once through the gates, one is confronted with the vast open space of the cour d’honneur, at the other end of which stands the palace itself:

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The Palace Gardens: By walking through the planted flower beds of the park, one first does not imagine that the whole area of the palace garden extends in a legnth and width of nearly one kilometer each. The view to the backside of the castle Schönbrunn and the Gloriette that enthrones on a small hill are more than imposing. Everywhere in the palace gardens of Schönbrunn one finds nicely arranged paths with some fountains or benches for relaxing. Our view fell to widely arranged lawns and abundantly adorned fountains. The park was an integral part of this complex, as a symbol of Nature subjected to monarchical will and as a spectacular backdrop for summer festivities, evening illuminations and firework displays. Music, an art cultivated at the highest level at the Habsburg Court and one that was also deployed to serve the needs of courtly display, took the form of sumptuous operas and serenatas, dances and ballets, for which parts of the palace or its gardens were adapted. There was also a permanent stage available in the palace theatre at Schönbrunn.

Great Parterre: The central axis of the palace formed the backbone of the gardens whose symmetry was determined by orthogonal and diagonal axes. Behind the garden façade of the palace the Parterre occupied the largest space with its strictly symmetrical beds. The beds consisted of formal patterns made with strips of box and coloured stones or sand and were known as "broderie" parterres since these formal motifs were mostly taken from embroidery patterns. To either side of the parterre were formal plantings of severely clipped hedges forming passageways, small openings and hidden enclosures:

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The great Parterre from the southern facade of the Schonbrunn Palace:

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The south facade of the Palace:

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Palm House:  Emperor Franz Joseph commissioned the construction of the Palm House in 1882 to Architect Franz Segenschmid. it is the largest Palm House on the European continent. The Palm House is located on the site of the former Dutch Garden. The Palm House is divided into three pavilions and three climate zones, which are connected to each other by tunnel-like corridors. The tallest room exhibits plants from the Mediterranean region, the Canary Islands, South Africa, America and Australia. The northern room houses plants from China, Japan, the Himalayas and New Zealand. Tropical and subtropical plants grow in the third area. There are several outstanding plants in the Palm House: a 23 meter-tall palm, the largest water lily in the world (with a leaf diameter of 1.20 meters). Temperatures in the Palm House range between 8 and 17  degrees Celsius. The Schönbrunn Palm House was the last of its type to be constructed in continental Europe:

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The Desert House (Wüstenhaus) is east to the Palm house. The vegetation in the desert house mainly consists on cacti. In the desert house right in front of the palm house, I first had the same feeling. The flora with the many different cacti is surely impressive if one has only few chances to see such things somewhere else. But if one considers that the Emperor Franz Joseph I. had this glass house built that was finally finished in the year 1904 in order to give the plants coming from Australia and Africa a good chance to grow, this house gets something interesting. Today, one can walk through subterranean alleyways with glass inserts and above the ground on solid pathways and see the flora and fauna of three different dry regions. But beside plenty of different birds we only saw one little mouse; the other animals were either well hidden or not there at all. While we took some 30 minutes time to view the palm house, 10-15 minutes were enough for the desert house. It was not the money worth. But anyway, it is a welcolmed chance to get to the tilet after those long walks in the palace garden:

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Note: The Zoo (Tiergarten) is close-by. We left its description to end of this Tip.

Botanic Garden and the Japanese Garden: The small Japanese Garden is north to the Palm House:

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The Botanic Garden extends all along the most eastern stretch of the Schonbrunn park.

In 1753, Maria Theresa's husband, Emperor Franz I Stephan, who was a keen amateur natural scientist, bought a neglected hedged field from the neighbouring village of Hietzing, on which he had a "Dutch Garden" laid out. This garden, which was located on the site today occupied by the Palm House, had a geometrical layout and consisted of three sections. Each section had four quadrants with a fountain at their centres. The northern section was a flower garden, the central section contained vegetable beds and spaliered fruit trees while the southern section was an orchard. A large glasshouse was also erected on the north side. During the reigns of Joseph II and Emperor Franz II/I, the old "Dutch-Botanic" Garden was extended through the purchase of additional pieces of land. A number of new glasshouses were erected in this new part of the garden, together with an arboretum consisting of exotic American trees planted in evenly-spaced rows in sandy soil and equipped with inscribed plaques. The four mighty plane trees still standing near the Palm House date from this time. An inventory of the entire stock of the Dutch-Botanic Garden dated 1799 lists 4,000 plants of nearly 800 different species. From 1828 the Dutch-Botanic Garden was transformed into a landscape garden in the English style and renamed the "Court Plant Garden". Today's Botanic Garden is located on the site of the extra plots of land acquired by Joseph II and Franz II/I:

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Neptune Fountain: The Neptunbrunnen ("Neptune Fountain") marks exactly the centre of the garden. Sited at the foot of the hill south to the palace, west to the Zoo and the Botanic Garden and north to the  Great Parterre and north-west to the Japanese Garden and the Palms House. It was conceived as part of the overall design of the gardens and park commissioned by Maria Theresa in the 1770s. Excavations for the pool began in 1776 and the fountain was completed four years later, just before the death of the Empress. It was very probably designed by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg, while the sculptural group of Sterzing marble was executed by Wilhelm Beyer. At the centre of the figural group above a rocky grotto stands Neptune in a shell-shaped chariot, his trident in his hand. To his left is a nymph, while on his right kneels the sea-goddess Thetis, entreating Neptune to favour the voyage of her son, Achilles, who has set off to conquer Troy. Frolicking at the foot of the grotto are the Tritons, creatures who are half-man and half-fish, and belong to Neptune's entourage. They hold conch shell trumpets with which they can inspire fear in both man and beast, and are restraining the hippocampi or sea-horses who draw Neptune's chariot across the seas. Neptune driving across the seas in dominion over the watery element is a common motif in 16th to 18th-century art, being used as a symbol for monarchs controlling the destiny of their nations. The figural group was originally free-standing, but a screen of trees was planted behind it during the 19th century to provide a foil:

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The Palace from the Neptune Fountain:

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From the Neptune Fountain we had north. The fountain is in our back, we see the Palace in front of us. We bypass it, climb the hill and arrive to the Gloriette which is, immediately, north to the Palace.

The Gloriette:  The Early Classicistic colonnaded Gloriette was built to Hohenberg's designs on the crest of the hill in 1775. The structure consists of a central section in the form of a triumphal arch, flanked by arcaded wings with lofty semi-circular arches. The central section, which was glazed during the last year of Maria Theresa's life, is crowned with a mighty imperial eagle perching on a globe and surrounded by trophies. The flat roof with its retaining balustrade was already being used as a viewing platform by the beginning of the 19th century. It can be accessed today via a stairway. Besides the external flight of steps leading up to the glazed central section, which today houses Café Gloriette, there are additional lateral flights of steps which are lined with massive sculpted trophies. These are arrangements composed of antique Roman armour with shields, standards and lions, and were executed by the sculptor Johann Baptist Hagenauer. The central eagle motif and the other sculptural decorations were executed by Benedikt Henrici.  Never completed, the palace was made over to the army in 1774 to be used as a powder magazine. Maria Theresa subsequently gave orders for the valuable architectural features to be dismantled and used in the remodelling of the park and gardens at Schönbrunn. The Gloriette has been repeatedly interpreted by historians as a monument to the notion of a "just war", which according to 18th-century ideals was not waged senselessly but with the purpose of restoring the balance of power and consolidating established order. During the 19th century the glazed inner hall of the Gloriette was frequently used as a dining room. A kitchen was built nearby so that food could be freshly prepared, but this was demolished around 1925. One year later the glazing was also removed. In 1945 part of the east wing was destroyed by a bomb, but was rebuilt in the years following the war. The Gloriette underwent complete restoration in 1994/95 during the course of which the central section was reglazed. Today, the Gloriette houses a popular café with a remarkable view over the imperial palace and its formal gardens. It seems that many visitors want to climb up the small branched paths to the Gloriette. Thus, you wo'nt be very surprised when you don't not get any seat in the small café in the Gloriette, that, with a lot of view windows, offers an attractive possibility to rest. But the seats are positioned very closely together and the lack of cosiness in the overfull room is not very inviting, as any few minutes the door is opened and people enter the room in order to look for a seat. But at the front of the café there are enough benches from which you can have a look down to the castle Schönbrunn. It is surely worthwhile to visit the Palace Schönbrunn and climb the Gloriette hill in the summer time when everything blossoms but then one surely has to count with more visitors respectively than there are in the autumn season.

The view to the Palace and Vienna Forests during the climb to the Gloriette Hill:

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The Gloriette Restaurant:

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View of Schonbrunn Park from the Gloriette:

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View of Vienna from the Gloriette:

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We head south-west from the Gloriette to the Obelisk. The Obelisk Fountain is exactly west to the Neptune Fountain, on the most west border of the park - in its centre. Like the other features in the park this fountain was also designed by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg and according to the inscription on the socle of the obelisk was erected in 1777. The statuary work was carried out by Benedikt Henrici partly following designs by Wilhelm Beyer. The fountain consists of a pool contained against the slope behind it by a retaining wall topped by a balustrade with vases. Projecting forward into basin from the centre of the back wall is a mountain grotto peopled with river gods and crowned by an obelisk. The water flows out of the mouth of a central mask and the vases held by the river gods via a succession of three basins into the main pool. The obelisk, borne on the backs of four turtles as the symbol of stability, is covered in hieroglyphs purporting to tell the history of the Habsburg dynasty. However, these are spurious, as hieroglyphs were not in fact deciphered until 1822. Between the mountain grotto and the retaining wall is a double flight of steps leading to a platform from where a small cave reveals a view of the avenue. As cosmic symbols, obelisks were associated with the sun cult of the Ancient Egyptians. Crowned by a golden sphere symbolising the sun, the obelisk represents the path of the rays of the sun down to earth, while the four edges signify the cardinal directions. In Baroque iconography the obelisk stood for princely steadfastness and stable government. The eagle perching on top of the sphere, held to be the only creature that can approach the sun without coming to harm, symbolises the ruler mediating between heaven and earth. The Obelisk Fountain at Schönbrunn was doubtless also intended to express the Habsburg claim to absolute and enduring dominion:

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The Rusten Allee leads from the Obelisk directly east to the Roman Ruin. Designed by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg and built in 1778, the ensemble is completely integrated into the surrounding landscape as a picturesque garden feature. The fashion for picturesque artificial ruins had started before the middle of the 18th century in England but it had taken several decades for it to spread further afield.
Hohenberg created the Roman Ruin at Schönbrunn as an entirely new structure on the model of the Ancient Roman temple of Vespasian and Titus, the remains of which had been recorded in an engraving by Giovanni Battista Piranesi dating to around 1756. In contrast to the Gloriette, all the architectural elements of the structure, including the columns and reliefs, were made under the supervision of the court architect, as has only recently been verified. The ensemble consists of a rectangular pool framed by a massive semi-circular arch with lateral walls evoking the impression of an ancient edifice slowly crumbling into the ground. The centre of the ensemble is the arch with its fragmented architrave and frieze, which is decorated with reliefs of various sacrificial implements based on Roman models. The lateral walls projecting forward at right angles display the same relief decoration in addition to Classicistic figures and busts. In the pool in front of the ruin is a figural group representing the gods of the Rivers Danube and Enns, executed by Wilhelm Beyer. The aisle in the woods rising directly behind the central arch was originally terraced to simulate a cascade. It leads to the statue of Hercules fighting Cerberus, the three-headed hound which guarded the entrance to Hades, as well as the personified Vices, while beneath his feet lies the defeated Hydra, a many-headed water-snake. Quite apart from the romantic or picturesque effect that the architect was striving for, the fact that the structure was commonly referred to as the 'Ruin of Carthage' indicates that it was probably intended as an allusion to the victory of Rome over Carthage. For centuries, the Habsburgs had embodied the office of Roman-German Emperor, seeing themselves as the legitimate successors to the ancient Roman Empire; this edifice was thus also intended as an expression of their dynastic claims:

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From the Roman Ruin go south along the Ruinenallee to the Round Pool. The Star Pool (its eastern counter-part) was originally sited at the centre of the Great Parterre. In 1772, during the course of Hohenberg's remodelling of the Great Parterre it was moved to its present location on the western diagonal axis of the gardens. At the same time, as a counterpart to it, the Round Pool was created at the centre of the star-shaped system of avenues on the eastern side of the park. The groups of naiads, made in both cases of marble from Sterzing in South Tyrol, were executed at the same time as the Neptune Fountain, between 1770 and 1780. Naiads are nymphs of springs and streams who belong to Neptune's followers. At the edge of each of the circular expanses that contain the Star and Round Pools at their centres are eight large marble vases sculpted by Johann Baptist Hagenauer between 1772 and 1780:

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We are still on the west side of the Schonbrunn park. Continue more southward along the Ruinenallee and you arrive to the Oranjerie or Orangery. As far back as the time of the dowager empress Wilhelmine Amalie an orangery garden was laid out at Schönbrunn which included a hothouse for overwintering bitter orange trees. In 1754 Franz I Stephan instigated the building of the Orangery by Nicola Pacassi, probably to designs by Nicolas Jadot. One hundred and eighty-nine metres long and ten metres wide, the Schönbrunn Orangery is one of the two largest Baroque orangeries in the world, the other being at Versailles. The south façade is articulated by an alternating series of large and smaller apertures with rusticated pilasters decorated with masks. The interior has a rhythmic sequence of shallow vaults and is heated by a hypocaust system. The Orangery served not only as the winter quarters for citrus trees and other potted plants but was also a winter garden used for imperial court festivities. Joseph II was especially fond of holding celebrations in the Orangery with festively-decorated banqueting tables, ranks of flowering plants and illuminations in the citrus trees. The rear part of the Orangery is still used in its original function, while the front section, which has been renovated, is used for events such as the Schönbrunn Palace Concert series:

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North to the Orangerie (Orangery) the Meidlinger Fahrstrsse leads east to the KronPrinzenGarten (Crown Prince Garden) (on your left, north of the road). Adults: 3,50 €, Children: 2,70 €, (Free admission for children under 6 years of age). Opening hours: 15th March to 30th June 09.00  to 17.00, 1st July to 31st August 09.00 to 18.00, 1st September to 25th October 09.00 to 17.00, 26th October to 1st November 09.00 to 16.00. Part of the Meidling Kammergärten, the Crown Prince Garden lies immediately in front of the east façade of the palace, outside the ground floor suite that was furnished for Crown Prince Rudolf in 1870. The four parterre sections are framed with narrow beds, and at the centre of the garden stands an old yew tree. As the garden is sheltered from the wind, fine specimens from the citrus collection of the Federal Parks Authority are transferred here during the summer months:
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From the Crown Prince Garden - head north along the Great Parterre. Arrive to its north-east edge to see the the Maze of Schönbrunn (Irr garten). the Maze was started between 1698 and 1740. It originally consisted of four different parts with a central, raised pavilion, from which one could overlook the labyrinth. During the nineteenth century, the Maze was cut back, until the last hedge was razed in 1892. Through the use of historic models, the new Maze was created in the fall of 1998. The maze exists since not earlier than the year 1998 in the way we can visit it today. On a surface of a total of more than 1700m², it has been tried to imitate the original arquitecture the way it had been arranged between the years 1698 und 1740. It finally is a small gag to explore the room that is surrounded by some high hedges. Here, there is again to consider to save some euros, as there is again some entrance fee to pay:

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The Labyrinth is rather something for sport lovers and explorers. With its total surface of approximately 2700m², it is bigger than the maze and also offers more possibilities to entertain the whole family. For the case the feet still do not ache too much, here, one can play some grope and climbing games and solve some mathematical riddles.

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Museum Of Carriages (Wagenburg): Often overlooked is the exceptional Museum of Carriages (Wagenburg) located in on the Schönbrunn Palace grounds - north-west to the palace. The highlights of the Carriage Collection include the gilded “Imperial Carriage,” the Golden Carousel Carriage of Maria Theresia, the Child’s Phaeton of Napoleon’s son, the Black Hearse of the Viennese court, the personal Landaulet of Empress Elisabeth and the only preserved Court Automobile of 1914. Daily Hours: November-April 10.00-16.00 & May-October 09.00-18.00. Cost: 6€ (5€ with Vienna Card), 3€ Guided Tour, 2€ Audio Tour:

Nature in , Austria, visiting things to do in Austria, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , Austria, visiting things to do in Austria, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Schönbrunn Zoo: In the summer of 1752, Emperor Franz I. Stephan von Lothringen, Maria Theresia's husband, took his royal guests to the newly constructed park at Schönbrunn Palace for the first time. In 1906, Schönbrunn was the site of an exceptional event: the birth of an African elephant conceived in human care. Another extraordinary event occured in 2007: a Panda baby that was naturally conceived in a zoo by the name of Fu Long was born in Schönbrunn. In August 2010 the second bear cub was born. The Nature Experience Trail was opened in spring 2010. in August 2013 the third. The next generation of elephants also arrived in September 2013. In May 2014 polar bears returned to the zoo. Today the Zoo at Schönbrunn is considered one of the best and most modern zoos in the world - but the zoo's historic charm still prevails. More than 500 animal species - from Siberian tigers and Hippos to one-horned Rhinos - live here. The Tiergarten Zoo's hours follow closely to that of the palace and costs 14€ for adults, 6€ for children. Tiergarten Schönbrunn - Zoological Garden Something I have always found much more interesting (being a zoologist) was the Zoological Garden Tiergarten Schönbrunn. It claims to be the oldest in the World (wrong, Salzburg′s zoo is ways older, but had to close for a few years in the 19th century - and the bloody Viennese made us start from zero again). In any case, it′s a good one with attractive Baroque cages that used to be in a very poor shape up to the 1980ies. In the past 30 years, a massive refurbishment has taken place that transformed the zoo into the most modern institutions of its kind in Europe. The small enclosures from Baroque times are used only for old or sick animals these days. Beyond the classic zoo, there is also a park in "Tyrolian Style" (Tirolergarten), which imported a Tyrolian mountain farm into the backyard of the emperor. Open daily from 09.00 - 365 days a year – also on public holidays. Closing time varies according to the seasons and is between 16.30  and 18.30. The ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time – this is also the latest entry time for the zoo.
January 09.00 – 16.3.
February 09.00 – 17.00.
March 09.00 - 17.30.
April–September 09.00 – 18.30.
October (until daylight saving time ends) 09.00 – 17.30.
November–December 09.00  – 16.30.

Prices: Adults € 16,50, Children and adolescents € 8, children under 6 yrs old: free:

Nature in , Austria, visiting things to do in Austria, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Austria

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