A visit to Schönbrunn wouldn't be complete without a walk around its lovely grounds, which have actually been open to the public since 1779. Empress Maria Teresa was largely responsible for having the gardens landscaped into their present form duringthe second half of the 18th century. They aren't as big as those at Versailles, but they do offer a nice variety of attractions, including a maze, a small zoo (which happens to be the oldest zoo in the world), a rose garden, a Japanese garden, an obelisk, some (fake) Roman ruins, and an old palm house built to grow exotic plants. The area that stretches in front of the palace is called the Great Parterre, and it leads to the beautiful Neptune Fountain. Another important feature of the Schönbrunn gardens is the Gloriette built in 1775 on top of the hill that faces the palace. It houses a small cafe and you can get a beautiful view of the palace and surrounding grounds from its rooftop terrace.
The gardens are open to visitors free of charge every day of the year (check the website for opening hours), although there are some extra fees charged to see some of the attractions (maze, palm house, Gloriette terrace). The Vienna zoo is also operated separately from the palace (see http://www.zoovienna.at/en/zoo-and-visitors/welcome-worlds-oldest-zoo/)
I know it's a cliche thing to say, but Schönbrunn is to Vienna what Versailles is to Paris :o) Back in the 16th century, the Imperial family acquired this piece of land located about 8 km away from Vienna, fenced it in, and for a long time it was used as recreation and hunting grounds by the Habsburgs. Schönbrunn Palace was then built in the mid-18th century and it became the official summer residence of the Imperial court (as opposed to Hofburg Palace, which was their winter residence). A total of 40 rooms are now open to the public, including the private appartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and those of his wife Elizabeth (Sissi). Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed inside the palace so I can't share with you all the beauty and splendor of the rooms decorated in a Rococo style - suffice it to say that they are worthy of the family that ruled over Austria for more than 600 years!
Unless you're really pressed for time, you should definitely buy a ticket that allows you to go on the Grand Tour (you don'tget to see as much on the Imperial Tour). You can pay a bit more to go on a guided tour, but I thought the free audioguide was quite informative and easy to listen to. Schönbrunn Palace is open daily (check the website for opening hours) and tickets for the Grand Tour cost 13.50 Euros.
Schonbrunn can be easily reached by metro. The yellow colour of the building pronounces the unique Habsburg brilliance in its era. The many rooms available for tourist visit have much to offer, including a couple of rooms with Chinese artefacts and the remarkable blue porcelain motifs. Be prepared to walk 15 minutes or so to the far end of the garden, where a magnificent white facade stands. Beyond that there are wooded areas where deers freely hop. There's also a large zoo and an orangery inside this summer palace as well.
Indeed, this monument is so special that Andre Rieu has given numerous waltz concerts in the past years. He even fabricated a 1:1 replica which is taken to major cities of the world to impress audiences there. Truly impressive, I must say.
Probably this is the sight you should pick if you have the chance to see one place in Vienna only. Schoenbrunn Palace, the most splendid castle of the late Habsburg monarchy, is the symbol of Viennese court life. The grounds were purchased in 1569, when the “Hofburg” in the city centre was still the residence of the Emperor. Schoenbrunn got its name from a beautiful fountain “Schoener Brunnen” which was once located on these grounds. The castle has its origins in the 17 th century, the current structure was completed during the reign of Empress Maria Theresia in the mid-18 th century. Most of Schloss Schoenbrunn was preserved in the state it had during the reign of its tow most famous inhabitants, Emperor Franz-Joseph and his wife Elizabeth, better known as “Sisi”. After the fall of the monarchy in 1918, it was turned into today's museum and became UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 as one of the first sites in Austria.
There are different tickets for access to the palace, each one permits access to different areas with a couple of combination possibilities. The gardens are accessible for free (with exception of the labyrinth), to see all accessible areas of the palace, you should plan around two hours. I spent more than half a day on the Schönbrunn grounds which included the tour of all accesible rooms in the palace and an extensive explorations of the gardens, the labyrinth and the Gloriette building (from which you have an excellent view over the city and the palace grounds) – without visits of other buildings such as the coach museum or the zoo. If you want to visit these as well, you should definitively plan a whole day.
The Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) in Vienna is one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria and since the 1860s has also been one of the major tourist attractions in Vienna.
In the year 1569 the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II purchased the Katterburg which was located on a large area between Meidling and Hietzing where today Schönbrunn's parks and different buildings are situated. He showed interest in the newly founded zoo, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn, and tried to establish not only a systematic maintenance of wild animals, but also a plantation of rare and exotic plants. He is justifiably called the creator of Schönbrunn's garden arrangement.
After the downfall of the monarchy in 1918 the newly founded Austrian Republic became the owner of Schönbrunn Palace and preserved the beautiful rooms and chambers as a museum for the visitors.
Take the whole day to visit this palace. It is big and has lots of things to explore.
The Habsburgs really knew how to leave with style. A magnificent and imponent summer residence.
Diferent kind of tickets are available to visit this palace.
Imperial tour: offers a panoramic view of the imperial life style and their destinations. It is the shortest and cheapest one.
Grand tour: it covers the whole palace. It takes about 50 min.
Classic pass: Grand tour plus prince's garden, Gloriette, labyrinth and Apfelstrudel show( here you learn how to make apfelstrudel, taste it and get the recipie )
Gold pass: the classic pass plus all the gardens and the carriage museum
From the Gloriette you can see a great view of Wien and the Stephanskirch.
Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/152e5a/4e34c/#ixzz1Ru4bqPhP
Located on the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace, and one of the oldest zoos in Europe (founded by Empress Maria Theresia in the 18th century). Though some enclosures seem a little outdated, the integration of the historic features into the zoological garden is quite remarkable (just one example: a fake ruin in a bird-house). The rainforest house is especially interesting - with a very creepy bat tunnel.
Without dabt it is the most famouse and the most beautiful spot in Vienna. You must take out hole day to see everything in Schonbrunn. There are amazing parks unique beauty. It is summer royal residence and the most important cultural monument in the city.
Tickets for schonbrunn palace costs:
Imperial tour (with 22 state rooms) EUR 9,5; Grand tour (with 40 state rooms) with guide 14,40 EUR
Also you must visit Maze and Labyrinth, Privy Garden and the Gloriette viewing terrace. It is open daily from 9 am and it is cost 6,9 EUR (for all 3 attractions)
There is also Schonbrunn Zoo and it is the worlds oldest and only baroque zoo.
The grounds came into possession of Emperor Maximillion II in 1569. He started the gardens and the building of a royal residence which was added to by succeeding Emperors.
In 1700, the palace that stands today was ready to be moved into and Empress Maria Theresa re-built and extended the palace between 1743 to 1763.
Other features such as the Roman Ruins and the Obelisk Fountain were erected in 1777.
The palace was taken over by the state of Austria after WWI and was thankfully preserved in it's Imperial glory for future generations to admire.
the Neptune fountain is situated right in front of you ,at the end if the flower carpets under the Gloriette. It seems to be operated by a computer that is in charge of the water jets - when I first saw it , it was working , the next moment - no water coming out of it. Go figure.....
It was conceived as part of the overall design of the gardens and park commissioned by Maria Theresa in the 1770s.
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