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Schoenbrunn Palace

The Schoenbrunn Palace is the most popular sight in Vienna. Dating back to the second half of the 16th century. The importance of the palace rose when it came into the possession of Empress Maria Theresia.

It used to be the summer residence of the Habsburgs. During the winter the Habsburg resided in the Hofburg. Every year in spring the Imperial Court moved from the Hofburg to Schoenbrunn Palace. With the second half of the 19th century it became an important center of royal life. Emperor Francis Joseph I was born at Schoenbrunn Palace in 1830 and would eventually spend a great deal of his life here. Eventhough not the last Emperor of Austria Francis Joseph’s long reign marks the downfall of the Habsburg Empire.

After his death in 1916 and the end of the Habsburg Empire with the end of World War I Schoenbrunn Palace came into the possession of the newly formed Republic of Austria. Since then the palace was turned into a museum.

With the end of World War II Schoenbrunn Palace it was used for offices of the British Delegation to the Allied Commission for Austria. When the Allied Forces left Austria it was again turned into a museum.

Schoenbrunn Palace not only serves as a museum and major tourist attraction it also serves an important meeting place. It was in 1961 that President John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. With its impressive halls it can be rented for conferences and special events.

By 1996 Schoenbrunn Palace was added the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Schoenbrunn Gardens

Equally impressive is the park in which Schoenbrunn Palace is located. It is perfect for a nice walk and also for a run. Within the park visitors can find fountains like the Neptune fountain. On top of a hill is the Gloriette that provides a wonderful view of both Schoenbrunn Palace and the city. From there the visitor can experience the traditions of a French Garden.

Besides the main park one can also visit the largest greenhouse in Central Europe – the Palmenhaus or palm tree house – or a desert house. Schoenbrunn park is also home to the oldest zoo in the world dating back to 1752. It was Francis I husband of Empress Maria Theresia that founded the zoo.

Portrait of Franz Joseph I of Austria by Philip de László, 1899

Today, the zoo considers itself as a center for scientific research and preservation of animals. It is widely known for its panda bears.

The baroque buildings of the zoo were preserved and still give a good impression of its times during the 18th century. Due to Francis I’s membership of the Freemasons the buildings and layout of the zoo are sources for numerous speculations.

Visiting Schoenbrunn Palace and all its attractions can certainly consume at least an entire day. Due to its popularity one needs to organize the trip in advance – especially during high season in summer. With Get Locally you can visit the palace and its attractions without the stress of organizing anything by yourself. Just visit our contact form here and drop us a line.