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Friday, June 22, 2007

Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace...

Our trip to Vienna was just for the weekend, and we had to head back to Prague by about lunchtime on Sunday. So Sunday morning we spent at Schonbrunn Palace and gardens. We decided we could spend several days here on the grounds - palace, conservatory, mazes, zoo, Glorietta, etc.

From europeforvisitors.com:
Summer cottages have always been popular with wealthy Europeans, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise when Emperor Leopold I--ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire--commissioned a hunting lodge near the old Tiergarten, or Zoo, at Schönbrunn ("Beautiful Fountain") on Vienna's outskirts in 1695. What was surprising was the grandiosity of his vision: He ordered Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, the greatest architect of the Baroque Era, to design a palace larger than Versailles. Fortunately for the Austrian Treasury, the emperor balked when the architect's estimate came in, and the Habsburg family settled for a more modest dwelling with only 1,441 rooms.

When Empress Maria Theresia ascended to the throne in 1740, she had Schönbrunn Palace expanded and redecorated in French Rococo style over a five-year period from 1744 to 1749. The palace was later occupied by Napoleon and surrendered to the Austrian Republic upon the abdication of the last Habsburg emperor, Charles I, in 1918. Today, the restored palace is both a national monument and an apartment house for a number of lucky Viennese.

Here's the view from the front of the palace looking up to the Glorietta.

Here's looking back at the palace from the Glorietta.

This is the conservatory. It reminded us very much of the one at Como Park in St. Paul. We didn't actually go inside, and will save this for the next (longer) trip to Vienna.

I have to include a picture of Noah. Here he is by the fountain

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