Vienna Travel Blog› entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
Early morning...wel around 9.30 am isn't really that early, we left the apartment to go to the famous Schloss Schönbrunn. After about 20 minutes with the subway U4 and a 10 minute walk, we entered the gates to see a very, very big plaza which led to the entrance. The palace itself is very impressive to see, just so huge and royal. We entered the palace and were glad we bought tickets at the Sissi Museum. The line was a long one, and we could just walk passed all those people. There was an audio tour here too.
Emperor Maximilian bought the palace in 1559, and so it became a residence for the Hapsburgs, or actually more like a hunting lodge. It still was used as a recreational ground the century after that. After fires, several destructions, rebuilds, several buildings were destructed during the Turkish Siege in 1683 and never rebuild.
During her reign, the palace was remodeled a few times and together with the gardens, build and decorated in Rococo style (lots of curls and decorations). She lived there together with her husband, Emperor Franz Stephan, who died in 1765. Maria Theresa had a few rooms appointed as memorial rooms. These rooms, the so-called Bergl-rooms, are painted with magnificent landscapes from ceiling to floor, really beautiful too see. The details of the paintings in those rooms are amazing with all the birds and butterflies and everything.
After her death, it was still used as a summer residence, after a two time occupation by Napoleon in 1805 and 1809. In 1814/1815 the palace was remodeled and refurbished after a long time of overdue maintenance. Also the outside became less Rococo, more plain with just a few elements, and probably got the famous yellow color it still has now. In 1830, Frans Jozef was born in Schönbrunn, where he spend most of his childhood, youth and where he died in 1916. In Schönbrunn you can see the rooms of Maria Theresa, Frans Jozef, Sissi, and also the rooms Archduchess Sofie and her husband Franz Karl were using. Schönbrunn became an important building for the royal family, and stayed that way until 1918.
You really have to see it yourself, the rooms are beautifully decorated, there are beautiful paintings to be seen, the ball room is immensely huge with magnificent chandeliers.
The garden is a view you really can't describe with words. It so big, with a magnificent Neptune fountain, big flowerbeds, and the Gloriette at the back of the garden. From the Gloriette, on a 60 metre high hill, you have a beautiful view on the garden, the palace and Vienna. The floor until the fountain is called the Great Parterre. In the Garden there are a maze, a playground for children, and a zoo, the famous Schönbrunn Tiergarden.
As you can guess we visited the Zoo too. It was different from the zoos i know. You can get very close to animals, the constructed the zoo in a way you can see the animals in a very close range.