Schloss Schonbrunn

Vienna Travel Blog

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The entrance to Schloss Schönbrunn

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.

The outstretched Garden
It wasn't until the 17th century, when Maria Theresa was crowned, that part of  the residence was rebuild and started to function as a permanent summer residence for the Hapburgers. She got it as a present from her father, Emperor Karl VI, who had little interest in the palace. 

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.

The Neptune Fountain

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 Gloriette
That and the garden make the palace a magnificent and one of Vienna's most beautiful spots to visit. 

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.

There are koalas, which i've never seen so close before, when they fed the wild cats, one lay so close we could take pictures inches of his face and huge claws!  I never knew they were that big...They have a lot of birds, a building with a simulated rainforest environment, different species of bears, birds, amphibians, there are meerkats, gazelles, rhinoceros, giraffes, just so much to tell. The Zoo itself is really spacious. The animals aren't in cages close to each other, and the habitats are quite big too. 

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The entrance to Schloss Schönbrunn
The entrance to Schloss Schönbrunn
The outstretched Garden
The outstretched Garden
The Neptune Fountain
The Neptune Fountain
The Gloriette
The Gloriette
One of the statues inside Schönbr…
One of the statues inside Schönb…
One of the fountains
One of the fountains
The pretty garden
The pretty garden
The Neptune Fountain
The Neptune Fountain
Fountain upclose
Fountain upclose
Schloss Schönbrunn, from the Gard…
Schloss Schönbrunn, from the Gar…
From the Gloriette
From the Gloriette
The entrance to the zoo
The entrance to the zoo
meerkats are sooo cute
meerkats are sooo cute
bats!
bats!
A red raccoon
A red raccoon
Feeding time!
Feeding time!
Mine!
Mine!
Having fun
Having fun
Teh penguins
Teh penguins
Having lunch
Having lunch
The tiger i talked about
The tiger i talked about
Vienna
photo by: EmyG