The impressive Schönbrunn Palace is located just 6 km west of the center of Vienna. It was built at the beginning of the 18th century. And it is still considered one of the main attractions in Austria.
The history of the palace begins in 1569. Then Emperor Maximilian II bought a small summer residence in this place. It is noteworthy that it was built in a former mill. But, of course, in those days the residence was absolutely not like a modern palace.
The name of the Schönbrunn Palace is believed to have originated in 1612. Then the King of Germany and the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Matthias, while hunting in the local forests, discovered schone brunnen, which means "beautiful springs" in German. Later this name stuck, and this is how this beautiful palace began to be called.
In 1683, Emperor Leopold I ordered the construction of a large Baroque Imperial Palace here. The emperor, by the way, even planned to outshine the legendary Palace of Versailles with it. However, in the end, the palace turned out to be more modest, but still very attractive. Construction took place from 1696 to 1730. Almost immediately after the completion of the work, the palace with its 1441 rooms became the residence of Maria Teresa. This is the only female ruler from the Habsburg dynasty.
Throughout its history, Schönbrunn Palace has been repeatedly destroyed and reconstructed. The last restoration was carried out here after the Second World War and ended in 1952.
Now it is one of the great sights of Austria in general, and Vienna in particular.
Consider the main attractions of the Schönbrunn Palace.
Only 40 of the 1441 rooms of the Schönbrunn Palace are accessible to tourists. These include the exhibition halls at the western end of the palace. There are the luxurious apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elizabeth (aka Sisi).
By the way, in the article about Hofburg Imperial Palace we have described Empress Sisi in a little more detail.
The rooms are furnished with luxury furniture of the 19th century. You will see the Emperor's apartments and the Walnut Hall. It was named after the rich walnut wood paneling of 1766. The pearl here is the wooden candelabra covered with gold.
Another iconic place was Franz Joseph's bedroom with an ordinary soldier's bed. It was there that on November 21, 1916, he died after 68 years of reign.
Pay attention to the Empress Elisabeth's Salon. Here you will find portraits of her children by Jean-Etienne Lyotard.
Of the rooms that in the past belonged to Maria Theresa, it is worth noting the Bergl Rooms. These apartments are richly furnished in an exotic style. Here you will see the works of Johann Bergl.
Marie Antoinette's room. It is known that Napoleon himself stayed here. In this room you will see the famous portrait of Francis I with the emblem of the Order of the Golden Fleece and the portrait of Marie Antoinette herself.
The Yellow Room contains a white marble clock. This is a gift from Napoleon III to Franz Joseph.
The Breakfast Room has beautiful flower paintings. They are considered the work of the Empress's daughters.
The Great Gallery once served as the main venue for imperial banquets. Here you will be amazed by the ornate ceiling paintings.
The Millionth Room is Maria Teresa's personal salon. It is finished with precious rosewood panels adorned with gilded carvings. About 260 Indian and Persian miniatures are kept here.
The Hall of Mirrors will delight and delight visitors with its crystal mirrors in gilded frames in the Rococo style.
Schönbrunn Palace Park and Gardens
Stunning park with an area of over 2 km2 smashed around the Schönbrunn Palace. It was created in the Baroque style back in the 18th century. In 1996, Schönbrunn Park was even included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
A special delight is simply to walk along the numerous paths along the flower beds of the park and find 44 of its mythological marble sculptures from the 18th century. No less interesting is the fountain of Neptune.
It is noteworthy that the Schönbrunn gardens resemble the Boboli gardens at the famous Pitti Palace, all in the same Vienna.
The most imposing and impressive building in the park is (Palm House). It was built in 1883. At the time, this glass greenhouse was the largest in Europe. There are three sections that house numerous exotic plants. In addition, hundreds of species of butterflies live here.
Also of interest is the Tyrolean garden and alpine note, added to the Schönbrunn park along with the farmhouse in 1722.
The classic arcade Glorietta is definitely worth a visit. She is located at the top of a hill in Schönbrunn. The Glorietta was built in 1775 to commemorate the victory of the Austrian forces over the Prussian army of Frederick the Great at Colin in 1757. The top of the hill offers excellent views of Vienna.
The classic Glorietta on the Hill is a gorgeous long arcade.
Its central part is made in the form of a triumphal arch. She, in turn, is crowned with a large imperial eagle sitting on a globe. On either side of the arch are the wings of an arcade with high semicircular arches.
In the center at the top of the building is the Gloriette Café. Its flat roof is surrounded by a balustrade and is used as an observation deck.
Most of the architectural elements - double columns, capitals, arches and entablatures - are attributed to the unfinished Renaissance Neugebøyde Palace, begun by Maximilian II back in 1568.
The Schönbrunn courtyard houses the Carriage Museum. This large collection includes over 60 old state carriages, sleighs and carts, as well as harness and court livery from 1690-1918.
The museum is located in a former winter riding school. The exhibition features an ornate carriage used at royal weddings and coronations.
You should also pay attention to the black funerary carriage. She brought the Habsburgs to their place of eternal rest in the Imperial Crypt in the Kapuzinerkirche.
On the territory of the palace there is also the Schönbrunn theater. It is the only surviving Baroque theater in Vienna. It was built in 1747 by Nikolaus Pacassi, the favorite architect of Maria Teresa. And the rich design and decor in the Rococo style was added in 1767.
It was here that the Empress herself performed in performances. Later Haydn and Mozart gave private and public concerts in this theater.
The palace chapel, built in 1700, is worth visiting for its ceiling paintings, the apotheosis of Mary Magdalene by Daniel Gran and the marriage of Maria Paul Troger.
Yes, there is also a zoo in Schönbrunn Palace. Moreover, it originates from the menagerie of Francis I, founded in 1752. This makes it the oldest zoo in the world.
More than 750 species of animals live here. You will see pandas, orangutans, tigers, African elephants, cheetahs and many more representatives of the fauna of our planet.
Try to plan your visit to this zoo so that it coincides with the feeding time of the animals (the schedule can be seen on the zoovienna website zoovienna.at/en/).
If you come to Schönbrunn with children, be sure to visit the Children's Museum. You will find it on the ground floor of the West Wing. There are interactive exhibitions on the daily life of the imperial family. They demonstrate well the sharp contrast between the living conditions of the royal family and the life of ordinary people.
Historical artifacts include toys, fans, and clothing. It is noteworthy that children can dress up as little princes or princesses. In addition, an unforgettable festive banquet in the imperial style can be organized here.
A small panoramic train runs along the palace grounds. This is a great way to quickly get around the vast Schönbrunn square. In addition, you can enter or exit it at any of its nine stops.
There will be no problems with food in Schönbrunn. There are several cafes for every taste and income. From the trendy Residenz restaurant with its gourmet cuisine to the democratic open-air cafes, including Gloriette, with its superb panoramic terrace.
Schönbrunn Palace is fully wheelchair accessible.
Schönbrunn is located a 40-minute walk from the center of Vienna. Therefore, you can walk here with pleasure.
Nearby are tram lines 10 and 58, bus 10A, and metro line U4. And all of them have a stop here called, of course, Schönbrunn.
In addition, there is a car park.
Address: Schonbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
You can get more information on the official website of the Schönbrunn Palace schoenbrunn.at/en.html
Where to stay near Schönbrunn Palace
- Luxury Austria Trend Schloss Schoenbrunn. It is located right in the Schönbrunn Palace and consists of two bedrooms, a chic hall and a living room
- The excellent Grand Hotel Wien offers elegant rooms, suites, cafes and six restaurants, as well as a rooftop patio
- The Imperial Hotel will amaze you with its huge chandeliers and marble bathrooms. A butler service and a piano bar for a taste of royal life
- The Stadthalle Boutique Hotel is a charming eco-friendly hotel with individually decorated rooms, free breakfast and a delightful roof garden
- Ruby Marie offers affordable rates, a fun hipster vibe, a great roof garden, a meditation room, and even bike rentals
- Kolpinghaus Wien-Zentral has bright décor, nice rooms and free breakfast
- Austria Trend Hotel Zoo Wien is located within walking distance of the palace zoo
- Ekazent Schonbrunn in the city center offers clean rooms and free breakfast
- Angel's Place Vienna, near the palace, has apartments with kitchenettes. Free accommodation for children will be a plus