Schönbrunn Palace

Vienna, Austria

Schönbrunn Palace is a former imperial summer residence located in Vienna. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.

The site of the Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn is outstanding as one of the most impressive and well preserved Baroque ensembles of its kind in Europe. Additionally, it is a potent material symbol of the power and influence of the House of Habsburg over a long period of European history, from the end of the 17th to the early 20th century.

It is impossible to separate the gardens from the palace, of which they form an organic extension: this is an excellent example of the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk, a masterly fusion of many art forms.

A small hunting lodge and later summer residence of the Habsburg family was rebuilt after total destruction during the last Turkish attack in 1683. During construction work the project was expanded into an Imperial summer residence of the court. As such it represents the ascent and the splendour of the Habsburg Empire. At the peak of Habsburg power at the beginning of the 18th century, when imperial Vienna following the Turkish reflected its regained significance in spectacular examples of newly developing Baroque art, Schönbrunn was one of the most important building projects of the capital and residency.

The ample Baroque gardens with their buildings (Gloriette, Roman ruins etc.) and statuary testify to the palace's imperial dimensions and functions. The original intention, when they were laid out in the 18th century, was to combine the glorification of the House of Habsburg with a homage to nature. The Orangery on the east side of the main palace building is, at 186 m, the longest in the world. The Great Palm House is an impressive iron-framed structure, 114 m long and divided into three Sections, erected in 1880 using technology developed in England.

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Details

Founded: 1740
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Austria

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Julie Go (13 months ago)
It is way more beautiful and bigger than I could imagine!!! The gardens, the alleys, the view of the whole city!!! Wow. Breathtaking. Plan to have at least 2-3 hours to explore outside. There’s a cute coffee shop at the other side of the palace alley for a quick snack.
Kris Krmpotich (14 months ago)
Loved it. Beautiful palace. Tons of rich history. Our tour was very interesting and educational. We went in July and really enjoyed it. I highly recommend this if you are in Vienna.
Sushma Roy (14 months ago)
The place is worth visiting in Vienna. Great example of Austrian opulence and lifestyle of Rulers. The audio tour of the palace is good to understand the details. The park behind the palace is open for public and the garden on the top gives a magnificent view of Vienna city.
Gomathy Natarajan (14 months ago)
Architectural stunner. Best time to visit would be summer and spring when the lawns are laid out with flower gardens. The place is over crowded with tourists and the ticket counter is always heavily queued up. Reachable by train from the city centre.
Lucia Malá (15 months ago)
I loved this place so much. Even though it was a bit crowded at the time of our visit, we didn’t seem to care because the palace was just so beautiful. And it’s not just the palace itself but its sourroundings that make it even more special. You could definitely tell that it’s being well taken care of, the gardens and the whole area around the palace were very clean and organized.
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Kromeriz Castle and Gardens

Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).

It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.

After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.

UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.

Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.