We picked up a brochure about the Summer's Night concerts given in the Palace grounds and wished we could be there for the next one in June 2009.
I can't imagine a more Viennese musical occasion - other than, of course, the New years Day Concert.
If you plan to be in Vienna in early June, appreciate classical music and enjoy special occasions this FREE event should be on your list of things to do.
SOMMERNACHTSKONZERT SCHÖNBRUNN 2009
Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
Date & Time: Thursday, June 4, 2009, 9:00 PM
Place: Schönbrunn Palace Gardens (in front of the Neptune Fountain)
ADMISSION FREE! No reservations available.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade G Major, KV 525, "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"
Manuel de Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain
Modest Mussorgsky: A Night on Bald Mountain
Johann Strauss II: A Thousand and One Nights, Waltz, op. 346
Johann Strauss II: Wiener Blut, Waltz, op. 354
Personally, I found the Schonbrunn website (see below) to be very imformative when planning a trip, including the various attractions, history, opening hours etc.
Useful subpage are:
More photographs of the palace gardens are shown here as well as the travelogue section of this VT page. In general, the best season to visit would be summer to autumn. Early summer (e.g. June) would be good because there would be less crowds.
Overall, my wife and I had an enjoyable time walking around the palace gardens :)
The park gardens of the Schonbrunn was opened to the public since 1779 and it is still a very popular spot till today. Most of the garden areas are free-of-charge and consist of beautiful lawned grounds, colourful flowers, statues, walking paths, fountains etc.
This is a very good place to relax and spend some quality time, more information is at the webpage below, and more photos are at part 2 of this tip as well as the travelogue section of this VT page.
There is a zoo located at the premises of the Schonbrunn. Due to time constraint, my wife and I did not visit the zoo. If you are interested, more information is at the official website of the zoo below.
The Neptune Fountain is a very impressive fountain of very detailed architecture located at the bottom of the hill behind the palace just after the garden area. You can actually walk up to the statues on top of the fountain via a path and take close-up photos of the statues as well as good views of the palace through the statues as shown in the main photograph of mt VT Schonbrunn page.
Detailed information on the Neptune Fountain is at the webpage below, and more photographs are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
Originally known as the Ruin of Carthage, the Roman Ruin was designed by the architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg and built in 1778. It was recently restored and consists of a rectangular pool enclosed by a massive arch with lateral walls, evoking the impression of an ancient edifice slowly crumbling into the ground. In the pool in front of the ruin is a seemingly haphazard arrangement of stone fragments supporting a figural group which symbolises the rivers Danube and Enns.
As for the statues, there are a total of 32 of them at the garden area and they were built between 1773 and 1780 under the direction of William Beyer.
The Gloriette structure on the hill behind the Schonbrunn palace was built in 1775. Maria Theresa decided the Gloriette to be designed to glorify Habsburg's power and the Just War, and thereby ordered to recycle the stones which was left from the almost-demolition of Schloss Neugebäude. Now, the Gloriette houses a cafe and it offers great views of the city, palace and its premises since it is on top of the hill.
The Schloss Schonbrunn is the centre piece of the visit to this historical place in Austria, which is also an UNESCO world heritage site since 1996.
In order to fully appreciate the long history of the Palace from its days when Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II brought this land in 1569 till the modern era, please visit the webpage below.
Not so many zoos in the world host Pandas. The fact that here in Schoenbrunn is now a couple of them clearly shows the quality and standing of this zoo. China allows only seldom to "export" Pandas. We saw only one of them - it seems understandable that the hope is minimal to see one day Panda babies here....
In general a visit of the zoo can be highly recommended. As mentioned it is the oldest zoo in the world but underwent in the last few years a facelifting making it now one of the most modern zoos existing.
I can't help, I love the Hippo but they are extremely dangerous so this was the only chance to be on a pic with it (the originals were al the time in the water, only the eyes, ears and the nose holes were visible...)
The pic shows a view from the Palace building along the North-South axis of the park to the Gloriette pavillon. To imagine the dimensions of the park: the walk form the main palace building up to the Gloriette is about 20 minutes. The Zoo is right of this axis. The Gloriette itself is just a baroque pavillion wihtout any special function. Now it hosts a Cafe (a very good one according to Globetrott)
Room 36 (Terrace Cabinet)
Room 37 (Bedchamber): This is the room where Franz Josef was born in 1830. It contains the only remaining state bed from the imperial court at Vienna. It was made at the time of Maria Theresa's marriage and was originally located at the Hofburg complex. This bed is amazing and I wish I could have taken a picture of it.
Room 38 (Archduke Franz Karl's Study): This room belonged to Franz Josef's father. Franz Karl abdicated the throne in favor of his son in 1848. There is a family portrait of Maria Theresa and her huge family.
Room 39 (Corner Salon)
Room 40 (Hunting Room): This room is dedicated to hunting, which was a pastime of many Habsburg rulers.
After room 40, the Grand Tour ends.
Room 32 (Millions Room): This room is named for the amount of money spent on the paneling to represent scenes in the life of Mughal rulers in India.
Room 33 (Gobelin Room): This room is named after the Brussels tapestries from the 18th century that hang here. They depict market and harbour scenes.
Room 34 (Archduchess Sophie's Study): This room was used by Franz Josef's mother. She was also the aunt of Sisi. Her writing desk contains mementoes of Franz Josef and her husband Franz Karl.
Room 35 (Red Salon): This room has portraits of Habsburg emperors.