Vienna and monuments: Schönbrunn Palace - home of Empress Sisi
Beautiful palace in Vienna, where Empress Sisi and also famous Maria Theresa were walking, is the main attraction for millions of tourists. You can learn remarkable stories full of twists and fights or walk through 1,441 rooms. One of them is the Room of Millions, or the Hall of Mirrors, where Mozart discovered his talent or Blue Chinese salon that remembers the end of the monarchy. Schönbrunn Palace hides the beautiful garden with charming fountains, labyrinth, cafe Gloriette and a zoo.
How was Schönbrunn named?
Establishment of Viennese icon is dated to the year 1569, where the Habsburgs owned this beautiful building in the Baroque style. Maximilian II. bought the complex from the original owner. The Habsburgs really liked hunting so it was publicly assumed that the gardens will be home of hunting animals or beautiful peacocks. However, it was Maximilian II. who decided that exotic birds will live in the gardens.
At that time, this Viennese landmark was not yet known as Schönbrunn. It was called Katterburg and fenced garden, which the Hungarian army managed to destroy, belonged to it. Emperor Matthias thought that the garden did not deserve such a bad condition, so he decided to repair the garden and use it for the hunting purposes. It was him who called the garden "Beautiful Fountain" - in translation Schönbrunn.
The history of the most important monument in Vienna
Eleonora von Gonzaga, the wife of Emperor Ferdinand II., managed to build a summer house, which she described as Schönbrunn Palace in 1642. When Ferdinand II. was still living, he used to go there with his wife to enjoy hunting expeditions. After his death, Eleanor changed her mind and came up with completely different plan what to do with palace and gardens. She convinced her niece and her husband - Emperor Ferdinand III., to build the center of cultural life at Schönbrunn And she succeeded.
The gardens have become a place where theater performances were held, in which, to the amazement of many Viennese people, the Emperor Leopold I. performed. The year 1683 was a tragic year for Schönbrunn. The palace became a victim of the Turkish siege. Ten years later, the Emperor Leopold I. let architect Bernhard Fischer von Erlach to build the hunting lodge and in year 1700 mid wing of the palace was completed. Construction of the palace was stopped the following year due to the Spanish War, which brought financial problems.
After the death of Joseph I. Schönbrunn became for a short period of time a residence of widow Wilhemina Amalie. Until Emperor Charles VI. inherited Schönbrunn and later gave it to his daughter Maria Theresa. She didn’t waste time and started planning. She asked the architect Nicola Pacassi to lead the construction. Schönbrunn became main center of political and social life and also a place where Emperor Franz Joseph, whose wife has become glamorous and all people loved Sisi, was born. Schönbrunn is also known as the place where the emperor spent the last moments of his life.
Schönbrunn Palace and its rooms - what to see and not miss
Schönbrunn Palace belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, mainly thanks to its charming rococo style furniture. You can find 1,441 rooms in the palace but there are only 45 of them, which are open to the public. Even so, each of these rooms is worth to visit. You can see the simple rooms of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Sisi. There are also her personal items that remained in the palace as the Empress left them.
You can also go to the Hall of Mirrors, where the star was born. Only six year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart practiced here his musical talent and there is also a rumor that once he kissed the Empress Maria Theresa. You cannot miss the other room, which is called the Round Chinese Room, where Maria Theresa sat down with Chancellor Prince Kaunitz and talked about the next steps the country should take.
Blue Chinese Salon remembers the end of the monarchy because Emperor Charles I. signed here his abdication in 1918. Where else to go? For example, go to the Vieux-Lacque Room, where famous Napoleon relaxed. And there is also a piece of Bohemia in Schönbrunn. It is the Czech crystal chandeliers. The Million Room doesn’t hide millions but is paneled with rosewood and decorated with miniatures from India and Persia.
Park at Schönbrunn Palace
There is no better place in Vienna than the park at Schönbrunn Palace. In summer you can see blooming flowers and tourists from all corners of the world. It is impossible to miss the garden, which is placed in the eastern part of the palace. Only a few people know that this part of the garden is a few meters above the cellar courtly cuisine.
Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most visited places in Vienna and its park was created to overshadow the park in Versailles. Over 25,000 orchids and 1,500 different kinds of flowers were planted in the gardens in 1900, which caused that the park won the record of the largest flower collection in Europe at the time. Schönbrunn has a rich history, including parties of Vienna's elite.
Today the main attraction is the labyrinth, where you will desperately seek a way out. Labyrinth hides the twelve signs of the zodiac. It is not as easy as it might seem to find all of them. There are several statues and fountains in the park. One of them is the Neptunbrunnen with signs from Greek mythology. The eastern part of the park is home to a magical Schöner Brunnen, which according to legend will make beautiful those who drink from it. Kronprinzengarten is part of the garden where you can find citrus fruits. You should also visit the palm greenhouse, which holds many Mediterranean, tropical and subtropical plants. The building is divided into three pavilions with three temperature zones, which are connected by tunnels. You can see here the largest water lily in the world.
Gloriette is not just a place, where you can have a beautiful view of the whole Vienna, but also a reminder of the Austrian victory at the Battle of Cologne. Who is behind the construction of the Gloriette is revealed on the facade of the building, "Joseph II. Augusto et Maria Theresia Imperantib. MDCCLXXVI ". You can also enjoy Viennese coffee in a local cafe, where events with music are held every Sunday.
Concerts at Schönbrunn
Schönbrunn, even in the 21st century, is still keeping its position of the center of cultural life in Vienna. You can enjoy a performance of the local orchestra in this historical environment. You can listen to some of the most famous operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart like The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni. Lovers of operetta arias, waltzes and polkas will surely love to listen the work of Johann Strauss. Being a member of the orchestra at Schonbrunn is an honor, which only renowned musicians deserve. Season begins from April 1st and ends on October 31st. You can also enjoy orchestra performances from December 24th to January 1st.
Zoo in Vienna
The Zoo in Vienna is one of the best zoos in Europe and also the oldest one. But this is not handicap, but an advantage. Rich history and location near the famous baroque Schönbrunn Palace, makes it attractive for many visitors. Over 500 kinds of animals, including the panda Fu Lonag, live here. Not everyone likes long walking tours and in this case there is prepared yellow-green train that drives through all the important places of the zoo. Just hop on the train and enjoy the ride between wild animals. Come with us to explore Zoo Vienna with pandas, Baroque charm and monarchy.
Address: Schönbrunner Schlossstraße, 1130, Wien
Transportation: Subway U3 (orange line) - Herrengasse, trams no. 1, 2, D and J - Burgring, bus no. 2A and 3A - Hofburg
Access for the disabled, toilet for people in wheelchairs
How to get there: Buses Eurolines will take you to Vinena twice a day. The journey takes just four hours and also children can travel by buses Eurolines that are equipped with children restraint seats.