Favorite thing although the main Palace of the Habsburg Dynasty is at Hofburg Palace in the Center of Vienna, their Summer Palace of Schonbrunn, located near the outskirts of Vienna is famous the world over as it is a testament to the Architectural Grandeur of the Schonbrunn Palace as it is a Unesco World Heritage Site and it was made to rival the famous Versailles Palace of the French Empire as the Hapsburgs wanted to have an architectural masterpiece to call their own. Schonbrunn Palace was built in 1599 as a summer palace where Emperor Maxmillian would do his summer hunts of various game and since then was the official summer residence of the Habsburg Monarchy up to 1916.
It is now Vienna's most popular tourist destination with more than 5 million visitors yearly which visits the palace and it's gardens and attractions inside such as Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Palmenhaus, Wüstenhaus and the Wagenburg.
Opens: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm everyday
Fondest memory It rivals the Versaille Palace of France, however, no photographs are allowed inside the royal apartments.
address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
Favorite thing The initial animal collection at Schounbrunn was formed by the stock of animals from the former palace of Neugeboude and the menagerie belonging to the Belvedere.
These animals - with the exception of the "rapacious" beasts - were moved to the new menagerie at Schounbrunn. The number of exotic animals subsequently increased through new acquisitions and gifts.
Both the zoological and botanical collections benefited from the expeditions to the West Indies financed by Franz Stephan.
The opening of the gardens to the general public in 1779 also included free admission to the menagerie
Fondest memory During the course of the 19th century new animals were added to the collection, existing enclosures being adapted as well as new enclosures built. The attractions included elephants, camels, kangaroos and other exotic fauna.
Favorite thing The Tiergarten Schönbrunn Zoo Vienna is located near the famous Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.
It is the oldest zoo in the world, dating from 1752. Since its privatization in 1992 it is led by Helmut Pechlaner, also president of WWF Austria, who managed to modernize most parts of the zoo and sustain the financial situation of the zoo.
Favorite thing This is probably on the top of many people's list of things to see in Vienna. It's massive. The palace itself, the gardens, the zoo; everything about the place is on a grand scale.
If you suddenly have flights of fancy about the wonderful life it must have been, pause to reflect here on the maxim "money doesn't buy you happiness".
Franz Joseph's life had its highs to be sure, but it wasn't all roses. Of their large family, one son committed suicide, another daughter died at 2, his brother was assassinated in Mexico and his wife murdered in Italy. If all that wasn't bad enough, the youngest daughter went by the name of Marie Antionette, married off to the French king to avoid conflict with them, something the Hapsburgs were cannily adept to.
As for Marie Antionette, as they say, the rest was history.
Now that you've read that, there's a fascinating addendum, for Prince Rupert, the one who supposedly suicided and killed his mistress, was, in fact, bludgeoned to death as determined by archaeologists after WWII. His views were much more humanitarian and left wing and didn't sit well with those in power at that time. Thus he was disposed of but, initially they tried to pass it off as a heart attack, then strong rumours abounded and it became murder/suicide, both of which were lies.
Fondest memory The vast acreage of the park is larger than the CBD of Vienna itself and , the thing I really liked about that was, it's free.
Favorite thing The imerial family could not chose more beautiful chateu as their summer residence. The yellow colour is wonderful and contrasting with green and colorful flowers everywhere around. I guess it contrasts perfectly, because in winter unfortunately we haven't seen much. We had a look inside. There are 3 tours, it begins with a tour for 35 minutes and costs 14 euros (don't remember exactly). So if you have time, we recommend it.
Favorite thing This little train was the best discovery I made today. It is raining her in Vienna like there is no tomorrow. It was our day for visiting Schonbrunn and there was no ways that we could go into the gardens and explore the property. And these gardens are absolutely fantastic! As we exited the palace we found the little train and jumped on it. It was the best 5 euro that I have spent! For 5 euro ýou can ride on the little devil all day long if you so wish and see everything that there is to see without killing your feet.
Favorite thing Not onlz the walls of this room are decorated with Brussels tapestry from the 18th centry, but the armchairs too. The wall tapestries show market and harbour scenes, the armchairs are upholstered with tapestries which depict the twelve months of the year.
Favorite thing FJ ascended to the throne at the age of 18 years. He had an enormous workload everyday and his days started at 5 oclock in the morning. He spend most of his time at his desk. Here he would study papers and be served both breakfast and lunch. The emperor paid little attention to splendour in his private rooms.
Favorite thing In 1695 Emperor Leopold I (r. 1658-1705) decided to build hunting lodge at Schönbrunn ('Beautiful Fountain') on Vienna's outskirts. The plan was to design a palace larger than Versailles. The architect was Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, one of the greatest of the Baroque Era. Unfortunately his plans were too much for the Austrian Treasury, and the Habsburg family had to settle for a more modest dwelling, only 1,441 rooms! When Empress Maria Theresa (r. 1740-1780) came to the throne in 1740, she had the palace expanded and redecorated in French Rococo style. The palace was surrendered to the Austrian Republic in 1918 and today it is both a national monument and a museum. - Schönbrunn Palace was put on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in December 1996.
Favorite thing If you know when you are going to visit Schonbrunn, then buy your ticket online. This will avoid lengthy waits to gain entrance. We had been assured that we wouldn't need to buy in advance in November but still had to wait over half an hour, in absolutely freezing winds, before buying our ticket. Not helped by the fact that there were only two ticket wickets open. The queue stretched right out half-way across the courtyard.
Favorite thing It is one of the zoos worldwide to house specimens of the giant panda. The zoo's pandas are named Yang Yang and Long Hui.
Fondest memory Other zoo attractions include a Rain forest house, in which the spectator is led through a simulation of the Amazon Rainforest, and an aquarium, which enables spectators to walk through underneath a simulation of the amazonas in flood-time.
The new polarium for animals of the arctic region was opened in early 2004.
Favorite thing The fountain of Neptune is clearly done along classical lines and sits roughly in the centre of the garden and is like an axis with the paths radiating out from it.
Fondest memory Frankly I think some of these statues need a bit more clothing in the Viennese winters.