Schoenbrunn Palace, the baroque Summer-Palace of the Hapsburgs is the most important cultural site in Austria and is definitely one of the major tourist attractions in Vienna.
Soon after the end of the Austro- Hungarian monarchy the palace was opened to the public, drawing around 1.5 million visitors annually.
The complex beside the palace consist of a huge park, the Palm House, the Gloriette, which houses Café Gloriette and also a Zoo.
The Palace is a wonderful historic monument. Each room is decorated differently and features the most impressive antique furniture of the epoch and fresco ceilings and wall painting.
Mozart played his first concert in the mirror room as a child prodigy when he was six years old.
The Imperial Tour is that shortest among the tours of the Palace. The apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth are on the top of Blue Staircase in the west wing.
Each room is decorated in courtly tradition and lifestyle, all twenty rooms. Their portraits as portrayed by world famous artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter, display powerful attention to each detail. The empress's dressing room had undergone major reconstruction work, and is kept suitably after historical models.
The Empress, the very popular Sissi was killed by Italian anarchist Lucheni, as she was walking from her hotel in Geneva to the ship on which she was to leave for Montreux, in 1898. Lucheni sentenced to life in prison, hanged himself in 1910.
The Empror Franz Joseph spent his last years entirely in the palace.
In 1996 the Palace, due to its historical background and its splendid furnishings was put on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites
Opening hours in season 8.30 am to 6.00 pm daily
Admission Imperial Tour: Adults €9,50, Children (6-18) €5,90, Students (19-25), €8,50
Tickets & Tours: http://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/plan-your-visit/tickets-tours.html
Photos are not allowed.
I’d doubt that many would argue about the Schonbrunn palace (well, more properly the Schloss Schonbrunn) being among the top “have to see” sights in Vienna – and the crowds seem to agree, there were seemingly thousands of people on the (week) day we visited.
During the latter part of their reign, the Schonbrunn was the main palace of the Habsburg Emperors. Construction started in 1696 and extensions and modifications continued into the 19th century. Franz Josef, the last major Emperor of the line, spent his life here and also died in the palace in 1916: after WW I, the Austrian State became a Republic and took over ownership of the palace. The palace complex is enormous, but apparently had been planned to be even larger: the Habsburgs apparently were trying to match their French relatives with the Palace of Versailles! The Schonbrunn, nonetheless, was still sufficient to be included in the World Heritage List in 1996.
In one day (all we could spare), it is impossible to see everything at the Schonbrunn, so we decided to wander the grounds rather than take a group tour through some of the lavish rooms. We were glad that we did and, fortunately, the weather improved during the day.
It’s all very imposing, from the moment you enter the main (rear?) courtyard (Photo 2 - panorama) where the fiacres, lending a nice period appearance, are dwarfed by the building (Photo 3). Now walk around to the front, facing the main gardens, pretend you are an Emperor by standing on the balcony, and be amazed by the view (Photo 4). The grounds and gardens (more photos in travelogue) are designed to complement the palace itself. It’s all on a grand scale, such as the “Roman Ruin” area (Photo 5). On the hill, the Gloriette (separate tip) dominates the skyline and provides a counterpoint across the gardens from the main palace. Somehow our backyard barbecue area now seems inadequate!
After the Schönbrunn was constructed and the gardens developed, something was needed to complete the picture. At the request of Maria Theresa, widow of Emperor Franz 1, the Gloriette and the Neptune fountain in front of it were constructed at the top of the hill in the 1770s. And the function of the Gloriette? Essentially ornamental, though it was used for dining and functions by the Emperors and now houses a café and small souvenir shop.
I’d have to say that the Gloriette succeeds very well as a counterpoint to the main palace and focal point for the end of the gardens (Main photo). Any doubts you may have about that should be dispelled by the magnetic attraction it seems to exert on the crowds visiting (yes, including us). We managed to avoid the urge to make a direct assault on it, and strolled around the grounds: but there never was any doubt about our destination!
Enroute, pass the Neptune Fountain (Photo 2) then the large water feature which gives great reflections – pity about the delivery van in Photo 3 though! Finally, you’ve reached it, and it still remains imposing (Photo 4) even from closer up. At this stage, you have a choice of the café, an outdoor refreshment area, or just head for the flat roof and take in the view (there is a small charge). We headed for the roof first (seniors discounts apply) and found quite a reasonable view of Vienna (Photo 5) then, as it was a warm day, thought about a cool drink (see “Tourist Trap”).
Schloß Schönbrunn had been the Viennese summer residence for Austrian Royalty for many decades. Today it's open for anybody to visit. The tour of the castle is a fascinating journey back into history and allows a little glimpse into what life was like for royalty during the 1700, 1800, and 1900's. The castle was built by the ruling Habsburgs (Maximilian II) between 1696 and 1712. It has 1,441 rooms and is decorated in the delicate rococo style.
We did the grand tour (40 rooms, includes audio-guide, Euro 11.50/person), which lasted about 2 hours. The tour is conducted electronically via headsets, which allows you to go at your own pace.
Noteworthy: One of Austrias great rulers, Empress Maria Theresia (1700s), resided in the palace and gave birth to most of her 16 children there.
The castle also offers much information about Empress Elisabeth(Sissi), wife of Franz Joseph (late 1800s). Elisabeth became somewhat of a national heroine due to the romantic series of Sissi-films. I picked up her biography in the extensive castle bookstore, and I would recommend that anybody who is enchanted by the myth NOT read it - reality might destroy the romantic illusion.
Franz seemed to be quite a workaholic, spending many hours at his office (first room of the tour). One thing confused us; movement seemed to be through one eternal passageway. So we wondered if Sissi would have passed 19 rooms to get to the 20th, until we found a labyrinth of back passages for residents to move throughout the palace. There were also some art rooms dedicated to Chinese / Indian paintings. Emperess Theresa was also the mother of Marie Antoinette, married into the French family, and who said the famous words before the Revolution 'If the peasants dont have bread, let them eat cake!'. Very educational!
The Habsburg summer residence was conveniently located just four metro stops from the Hofburg, Its historical importance and luxurious beauty of its palace building and gardens has made it one of Austria's most important touristic attractions. There are 1441 rooms of which no more than 40 are open to the public. Several ticket classes are offered. The cheapest is what the bus tours get and exclude the most beautiful rooms in the palace. The most expensive includes everything including a baking demonstration. To take full advantage of the more costly ducats requires the investment of many hours.
The estate known as Katterburg owned privately as early as the Middle Ages was bought by Emperor Maximilian II in 1569 as a hunting lodge and garden. Matthias would discover a fresh water spring in 1612 which he named the Schonne Brunnen or "fair spring". Eleanora von Gonzaga, the widow of Emperor Ferdinand II, lived here full time and first named the entire complex Schonnbrunn. Her expansion and redesign of the property would be short-lived, destroyed by Turkish invaders in 1683. Twelve years later, Leopold I commissioned a reconstruction to the plans of master architect Johann von Ehrlach, but again it would be used mostly as a hunting lodge until the era of Maria Theresien (1740-80).
Under her rule, Schonnbrunn entered its golden era at the center of political and court life. As the Hapsburg dynasty grew, so did the palace with major work done between 1743-9. Internal reconstructions in the rococo style softened the Baroque interior and addition of multiple wings and levels created a massive building on the order of Versailles which the exterior mimicked. Emperor Franz II/I used the palace very little and it was occupied by Napoleon between 1805-9.
The palace regained its importance in Austrian life during the 60 year reign of Franz Josef. Born here, he spent most of his adult life as a resident, and died here in 1916. A suite of rooms also belonged to the Empress Sisi. After WWI, the palace became the property of the Austrian government. The entire complex was selected as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996.
Schönbrunn Palace (German: Schloss Schönbrunn [ʃøːnˈbʁʊn]) 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. The palace and gardens illustrate the tastes, interests and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.
The sculpted garden space between the palace and the Neptune Well (viewn towards Gloriette, which is on top of the hill) is called the Great Parterre ["Great Ground Floor"]. The French garden, a big part of the area, was planned by Jean Trehet in 1695. It contains, among others, a maze.
The complex however includes by far more attractions: Besides the Tiergarten, world's oldest existing zoo (founded in 1752), an orangerie erected around 1755, staple luxuries of European palaces of its type, a Palm house (replacing, by 1882, around ten earlier and smaller glass houses in the western part of the park) is noteworthy. Western parts were turned into English garden style in 1828–1852. At the outmost western edge, a botanical garden going back to an earlier arboretum was re-arranged in 1828, when the Old Palm House was built. Thisone is currently being restored and partly will be house a modern enclosure for Orang-Utans, besides a restaurant and office rooms. It will be re-opened in 2009.
At the far end of the Grand Parterre and up the hill lies the Gloriette, supposedly built to honor (one of Austria's very few) military victories, this against the Prussians in 1757. Always a part of the plans for the palace, it would finally be built in 1775 to plans by Johann von Hohenberg, Maria Theresien's pet architect. This classical style building ( images 2,3 ) is comprised of a central section is in the form of a grand arch with wings containing semi-circular arches. The roof features an impressive eagle astride a globe with what appear to be trophies to either side. Trophies and copies of Roman armor line the central and side stairways. Many of the arches, columns, and trophies were lifted from an earlier palace of Maximilian II by order of MT. History states that she loved this building with its incredible view of the gardens and palace and took breakfast here daily. It was completely restored and refinished in the 1990's with repair of some war damage. Today the central building houses the elite Cafe Gloriette, a beautiful and appropriately expensive luxe cafe.
THE EAGLE ON THE GLOBE - the eagle was long held to be the only creature that could fly between earth and the sun without danger, and perched on the globe was a symbol of the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperors as intermediaries between heaven and earth.
There are all sorts of treasures hidden away in the wooded parks than line the Grand Parterre. These can be visited on foot but involve a great deal of walking. A little shuttle train ( images 1,4 ) passes around the perimeter of the park on a regular basis, hop on hop off style, stopping at many of the sites in the park. On a cloudy, cold, and misty day, it is the best way to travel the park. A lot of the features are passed without stopping and with only glimpses through the trees such as the Little Gloriette ( a tower apparently most used for extra- and pre- marital liaisons )and the Roman Ruins used then and now for concerts. The fountain at the site of the spring for which the palace is named is buried too deeply in the forest to be seen from the little tram and there is no stop for it.
One featured site worth a photo op is the Obelisk Fountain ( image 5 ) at the crossing point of the garden's diagonal pathways. The obelisk is the symbol of the Sun God of the ancient Egyptians, from whom the Habsburgs presumably also were descended. It is covered with hieroglyphics purporting to give the history of the Habsburg dynasty. Of course, the fountain was built in 1777 and hieroglyphics not translated till the 19th C, so one can rightly suspect the inscriptions to be bogus. Below the obelisk, water pours out of figures of River Gods. The Habsburgs lost little opportunity to demonstrate to their subjects their right to absolute rule.
Schönbrunn was the former summer residence of Austrian’s previous imperial family. It takes its name from a beautiful spring that was found on this site. An earlier hunting lodge was destroyed by the Turks, so Emperor Leopold I asked Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach to design a grand Baroque residence here in 1695. Then it was Empress Maria Theresia who employed Nikolaus Pacassi (her court architect) to complete the project in the mid-18th century.
The palace has some of the best Rococo interiors in central Europe while the surrounding Schlosspark is home to the Tiergarten, Vienna’s zoo, and the Palmenhaus (Palm House). To the west of the neighbouring villa district of Hietzing is the much wilder parkland of the Lainzer Tiergarten, a former royal hunting ground that’s now a haven for wildlife.
The palace contains nearly 1500 rooms, and in its day, would have housed more than 1000 servants. Even though the sheer scale of the place is undeniably impressive, the building itself is something of an acquired taste; its plain façade is painted a rather pale mustard yellow color.
The interior of the palace contains excellent arrays of Baroque and Rococo State rooms. There is also a fine collection of imperial carriages in the Wagenburg (Coach Museum), plus temporary exhibitions in the Orangerie.
The best way to enter Schonbrunn and the Schlosspark to go directly to the Meidlinger Tor on the Grünberg strasse from U-Bahn Schönbrunn, rather than walking along the multi-lane freeway to the main gates of the Schönbrunn Palace.
You could also continue one stop further on the U-Bahn to Hietzing, and walk into the park via the Hietzing Tor on Hietzinger Haup strasse. This will enable you to look at the nearby Hofpavillon Hietzing, the imperial family’s private U-Bahn station.
The first thing that you must to do when visit Vienna,is see this beautiful imperial palace:Schönbrunn Palace,(Schloss Schönbrunn),this palace it was planned in 1690 by Johann Fischer von Erlach,the most famous architect of the time.The Hapsburg palace was intended to surpass Versailles in splendour,but thrifty Emperor Leopold I cut the budget,and works not begin until 1696,under Joseph I.
There are some guided tours inside the palace,even though only can be visited some of most important rooms,the whole palace has 1.700 rooms!.There are also audioguides availables,a good choice if you want to learn everything about the palace without book any guided tour.
Here were living also the Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elizabeth "Sissi" and it was used as summer residence,it is located just outisde of the city center.
Don't miss to see here the Carriages Museum!.
Over 8 million visit the Schonbrunn Palace annually and over 2 million pay for audio guide tour of the available rooms. Photography, as we found so often in Austria, is strictly forbidden and the rules are rigorously enforced. Many of the room remain clear in memory. As previously stated, some of the most suptuous are not included on the basic ticket and in bus tours. For example, the Rich Room contains Maria Theresien's bed, covered in red velvet with gold and silver designs to match the wall coverings. Another special room is the Millions Room, name after the millions of silver coins used to pay for it. The wall is covered in rosewood with many miniature paintings and a bronze chandelier with enamel flowers. Many striking rooms are done in Chinese style.The tour also features the rooms of Franz Josef and Elizabeth ( Sisi ) both separate and very different suites as well as a joint bedroom used early in their marriage.
The Great Gallery is of course the highlight of the tour, a large room used for social functions and occasionally political as well. Tall windows on one side face a bank of mirrors on the other, all covered with gold and silver. The Italian ceiling fresco is a tribute to Maria Theresien surrounded by figures meant to be royal virtues and scenes of the many lands in the empire. It was the room used for the meeting in 1961 of John F Kennedy and Nikita Kruschev. The tour also covers rooms used by Maria T, rooms used by staff, and a relatively subdued room occupied by Napoleon during his stay here. This is a most interesting tour - i miss having images to further help my recall.
The gardens of the Schonbrunn palace are free to visit and free to photograph. The palace exterior and the park are Baroque in style, a coherent unit, with the park measuring over 1 km sq. The original formal gardens laid out by Eleonora von Gonzaga were destroyed by Turkish forces in 1683.
So it would fall to Maria Theresien to create a new garden concept 60 years later. With her husband Franz I Stephan of Lorraine, they designed intended to demonstrate their imperial power, a continuation of the magnificent interior of the palace. The plan, based on two main diagonal avenues and numerous intersecting walks, was completed by 1770. The largest area was occupied by the Grand Parterre, extending from the back of the palace up to where the Gloriette now lies. Symmetrical flower beds and grassed areas were delineated by multicolored gravel in patterns derived from embroidery.
By the time Maria Theresien died in 1780, many of the features of the gardens had also been constructed including the Large and Small Gloriettes, the Roman Ruin, the Beautiful Fountain at the site of the original spring, and the Obelisk Fountain. One year before her death, MT opened the gardens to the Viennese public.
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.
Schönbrunn is of understandable reasons one of the most popular sights of Vienna and all Austria. Schönbrunn - situated quite in the middle of today's Vienna - is a separate destination in the VT database, therefore I have built a Schönbrunn page, too.
For a complete impression of Schönbrunn even a full day is not enough. I would recommend to reserve one day for the palace and the park including the Palmenhaus and a second day for the zoo, the oldest one in the world (founded 1752) and after the recent renovation one of the best zoos in the world..
This is one of Vienna's top tourist attractions, and one of the most amazing palaces you will see anywhere in the world. Where the Hofburg was where the Habsburgs spent the winter, this is where they came to relax and enjoy the warm summer months.
The palace itself is stunning. The amber walls and gold columns, the hundreds of shuttered windows, the grand but conservative Rococo style give the palace an almost unreal feeling. It's like looking at a picture.
The gardens are equally fantastic. Immaculately laid out, with tree-lined pathways designed to frame the palace beautifully, the gardens stretch out over acres of perfectly trimmed grass. The gardens are varied and packed with sights and activities, including an animal garden and a maze. The views from the hilltop are some of the best in Vienna.
It's free to visit the palace and its gardens, but to enter the palace you need to go on a tour, and some of the garden areas require payment. There are a variety of ticket options, which you can check out on the website.
The Schonbrunn Palace or Schloss Schonbrunn was in the possession of the Habsburg rulers since Maximilian II but the palace was passed at the end of the monarchy to the ownership of the Republic of Austria.
There are many beautiful rooms with their original furnitures & art plus Emperor Franz Joseph's personal effects for you to see. The Mirrors room & Chinese cabinet rooms are my personal favorite
I'd have to say that Schonbrunn has more to offer than Versailles in Paris because the original interior furnishings and furniture have remained. In winter, I decided to visit the interior via its Imperial Tour.
Grand Tour with audio guide for 11,50 Euro
I started my Vienna tour by spending about a day in Schonbrunn Palace. Not the castle itself,as I was slightly dissapointed of the baroque rooms ,overcrowded and too dark , but the gardens and the zoo.And probably the Desert house and the palm house ( I left those for the next time )...
Declared by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage site in 1996 , the palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn - UNESCO about Schonbrunn. For those of you that don't speak German , "gesamtkunstwerk" in the text states for "Combined piece of Art" ,which is the castle and its amazing gardens.
Arriving there , the first thing you see are the tourist buses and the crowds heading the same way as you - to the gates of Schonbrunn.
You enter in the palace square through the carved gates with golden eagles perched on the white pilons on the sides. There you will see the horse carriages waiting to take you on a ride through the gardens and Vienna