Schönbrunn Palace

Last updated
Schönbrunn Palace
Schloss Schönbrunn
Schloss Schonbrunn Wien 2014 (Zuschnitt 2).jpg
Schönbrunn Palace in 2014
Austria Vienna location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Vienna
General information
Location Hietzing, Vienna, Austria
Coordinates 48°11′04″N16°18′43″E / 48.184516°N 16.311865°E / 48.184516; 16.311865 Coordinates: 48°11′04″N16°18′43″E / 48.184516°N 16.311865°E / 48.184516; 16.311865
Official site
Official namePalace and Gardens of Schönb [1] runn
Criteria Cultural: i, iv
Reference 786
Inscription1996 (20th Session)
Area186.28 ha
Buffer zone260.64 ha
Great Gallery 15-04-18-Schloss-Schonbrunn-Grosser-Saal-DSCF3688-RalfR.jpg
Great Gallery

Schönbrunn Palace (German : Schloss Schönbrunn [ʃøːnˈbʁʊn] ; Central Bavarian: Schloss Scheenbrunn) was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The 1,441-room Rococo palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s it has been a major tourist attraction. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. [2]



Schonbrunn from the main entrance Schonbrunn palace.jpg
Schönbrunn from the main entrance
The Gloriette in the gardens Gloriette Schonbrunn Wien.jpg
The Gloriette in the gardens

In 1569, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II purchased a large floodplain of the Wien river beneath a hill, situated between Meidling and Hietzing, where a former owner, in 1548, had erected a mansion called Katterburg. The emperor ordered the area to be fenced and put game there such as pheasants, ducks, deer and boar, in order for it to serve as the court's recreational hunting ground. In a small separate part of the area, "exotic" birds such as turkeys and peafowl were kept. Fishponds were also built.

The name Schönbrunn (meaning "beautiful spring") has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court.

Das kaiserliche Lustschloss Schonbrunn, Ehrenhofseite by Bernardo Bellotto, 1759-1760 Canaletto (I) 059.jpg
Das kaiserliche Lustschloß Schönbrunn, Ehrenhofseite by Bernardo Bellotto, 1759-1760

During the next century, the area was used as a hunting and recreation ground. Eleonora Gonzaga, who loved hunting, spent much time there and was bequeathed the area as her widow's residence after the death of her husband, Ferdinand II. From 1638 to 1643, she added a palace to the Katterburg mansion, while in 1642 came the first mention of the name "Schönbrunn" on an invoice. The origins of the Schönbrunn orangery seem to go back to Eleonora Gonzaga as well. The Schönbrunn Palace in its present form was built and remodelled during the 1740–50s during the reign of empress Maria Theresa [3] who received the estate as a wedding gift. Franz I commissioned the redecoration of the palace exterior in the neoclassical style as it appears today.

Franz Joseph, the longest-reigning emperor of Austria, was born at Schönbrunn and spent a great deal of his life there. He died there, at the age of 86, on 21 November 1916. Following the downfall of the Habsburg monarchy in November 1918, the palace became the property of the newly founded Austrian Republic and was preserved as a museum.

After World War II and during the Allied Occupation of Austria (1945—55), Schönbrunn Palace was requisitioned to provide offices for both the British Delegation to the Allied Commission for Austria, and for the headquarters for the small British Military Garrison present in Vienna. With the reestablishment of the Austrian republic in 1955, the palace once again became a museum. It is still sometimes used for important events such as the meeting between U.S. president John F. Kennedy and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1961.

Since 1992 the palace and gardens have been owned and administered by the Schloss Schönbrunn Kultur-und Betriebsges.m.b.H., a limited-liability company wholly owned by the Republic of Austria. The company conducts preservation and restoration of all palace properties without state subsidies. [4] UNESCO catalogued Schönbrunn Palace on the World Heritage List in 1996, together with its gardens, as a remarkable Baroque ensemble and example of synthesis of the arts ( Gesamtkunstwerk ).


Schonbrunn Gardens map Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn rough map 2008.gif
Schönbrunn Gardens map
Neptune Fountain, with Gloriette in the background Neptune Fountain Schonbrunn.jpg
Neptune Fountain, with Gloriette in the background

The sculpted garden space between the palace and the Neptune Fountain is called the Great Parterre. The French garden, a big part of the area, was planned by Jean Trehet, a disciple of André Le Nôtre, in 1695. It contains, among other things, a maze.

The complex however includes many more attractions: Besides the Tiergarten, an orangerie erected around 1755, staple luxuries of European palaces of its type, a palm house (replacing, by 1882, around ten earlier and smaller glass houses in the western part of the park) is noteworthy. Western parts were turned into English garden style in 1828–1852.

The area called Meidlinger Vertiefung (engl.: depression of Meidling) to the west of the castle was turned into a play area and drill ground for the children of the Habsburgs in the 19th century. At this time it was common to use parks for the military education of young princes. [5] Whereas the miniature bastion, which was built for this purpose, does not exist anymore, the garden pavilion that was used as shelter still does. It was turned into a café in 1927 and is known as Landtmann’s Jausen Station since 2013. [6]

At the outmost western edge, a botanical garden going back to an earlier arboretum was re-arranged in 1828, when the Old Palm House was built. A modern enclosure for Orangutans, was restored besides a restaurant and office rooms in 2009.


The Great Parterre of Schönbrunn is lined with 32 sculptures, which represent deities and virtues.


Gloriette, the Neptune Fountain and Great Parterre Schonbrunn Blick auf Gloriette.jpg
Gloriette, the Neptune Fountain and Great Parterre

The garden axis points towards a 60-metre-high (200 ft) hill, which since 1775 has been crowned by the Gloriette structure (Fischer von Erlach had initially planned to erect the main palace on the top of this hill).

Maria Theresa decided the Gloriette should be designed to glorify Habsburg power and the Just War (a war that would be carried out of "necessity" and lead to peace), and thereby ordered the builders to recycle "otherwise useless stone" which was left from the near-demolition of Schloss Neugebäude. The same material was also to be used for the Roman ruin.

The Gloriette was destroyed in the Second World War, but had already been restored by 1947, and was restored again in 1995.

The Gloriette today houses a café and an observation deck which provides panoramic views of the city.

Roman Ruins

Roman Ruins at Schonbrunn Roman Ruins at Schonbrunn.JPG
Roman Ruins at Schönbrunn

Originally known as the Ruin of Carthage, the Roman Ruin is a set of follies that was designed by the architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg and erected as an entirely new architectural feature in 1778. Fully integrated into its parkland surroundings, this architectural ensemble should be understood as a picturesque horticultural feature and not simply as a ruin, which due to lack of maintenance it had increasingly grown to resemble prior to its recent restoration.

The fashion for picturesque ruins that became widespread with the rise of the Romantic movement soon after the middle of the 18th century symbolized both the decline of once great powers and the preservation of the remains of a heroic past. Erected at the same time not far from the Roman Ruin, the Obelisk Fountain was intended to complete the iconographic program of the park at Schönbrunn as a symbol of stability and permanence.

The Roman Ruin consists of a rectangular pool enclosed by a massive arch with lateral walls, evoking the impression of an ancient edifice slowly crumbling into the ground. In the pool in front of the ruin is a seemingly haphazard arrangement of stone fragments supporting a figural group which symbolizes the rivers Vltava and Elbe.

Activities at Schönbrunn today

Schönbrunn is Vienna's most popular tourist destination, attended by 3,800,000 visitors in 2017. [7] The whole Schönbrunn complex with Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Palmenhaus, Wüstenhaus, the Wagenburg, and The Schoenbrunn Palace Concerts accounted for more than five million visitors in 2009. [8] At the official website tickets can be purchased in advance for tours. In addition to tours and tour packages, many classical concerts featuring the music of Mozart and his contemporaries can be enjoyed with the added benefit of more time in the spectacular halls, Orangerie, or Schlosstheater.

The annual Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn is held on the grounds of Schönbrunn. [9]

The Schoenbrunn Palace Concerts

The Schoenbrunn Palace Concerts are served by The Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra . Founded in 1997; is lead by the chief opera conductor Maestro Guido Mancusi since 1998. He also found Chamber Opera Schoenbrunn in the Schönbrunn Palace Concert series.

In Vienna, they offer daily concerts at the original location of the world-famous contest between Mozart & Salieri (1786). A wealth of experience working with singers and ballet dancers. The Orchestra has regular worldwide tour in China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Brazil.

Film and television productions

The gardens and palace have been the location for many films and television productions including such productions as the Sissi trilogy in the 1950s, A Breath of Scandal with Sophia Loren, and also briefly in James Bond's The Living Daylights when Bond and Kara are riding through the palace garden; the palace is also seen during the end credits. [10] The comedy The Great Race was filmed there in 1965. Jackie Chan shot scenes for Armour of God on the grounds. More recently, the television drama The Crown Prince starring Max von Thun as Crown Prince Rudolf and Klaus Maria Brandauer as Kaiser Franz-Josef was filmed there.

The Austrian television series, Kommissar Rex has shot several episodes there. In the Kuroshitsuji episode 2: His Butler, Omnipotent, Sebastian Michaelis tells his master that he was a guest at the Schönbrunn Palace soirees before his contract was sealed with Ciel as he teaches the young master how to dance. Dutch violinist André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra, along with the Opera Babes used it as the back drop for a version of the European Anthem, "Ode to Joy" in 2003.

In the third leg of The Amazing Race 4 , the palace hosted a "Fast Forward" task where one team had to carry trays of champange glasses across a ballroom floor of waltzing couples. [11] In the sixth leg of The Amazing Race 23 , teams had to race through the garden's maze and search for the pit stop located at the Gloriette. [12]

American animated television series Little Einsteins featured the Schönbrunn Palace during the episode The Glass Slipper Ball, which first aired in January 2007.

Schonbrunn, Vieden, Rakusko.jpg
Schönbrunn main facade
Wien Panorama.jpg
Panorama of Schönbrunn from the Gloriette, with Vienna in background
Schloss Schonbrunn Ehrenhof.jpg
Panorama of the entrance court

The Schönbrunn Palace silver coin

The palace was selected as the main motif of a high value commemorative coin: the Austrian 10-euro The Palace of Schönbrunn silver coin, minted on October 8, 2003. The obverse shows the central part of the frontage of the palace behind one of the great fountains in the open space.

See also

Related Research Articles

Tiergarten Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna

Tiergarten Schönbrunn, or "Vienna Zoo", is a zoo located on the grounds of the famous Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. Founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752, it is the oldest continuously operating zoo in the world.

Meidling 12th District of Vienna in Austria

Meidling is the 12th district of Vienna. It is located just southwest of the central districts, south of the Wienfluss, west of the Gürtel belt, and east and southeast of Schönbrunn palace. Meidling is a heavily populated urban area with many residential buildings, but also large recreational areas and parks. In sports, it is represented by the FC Dynamo Meidling. The Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz was raised in Meidling and his private residence is there.

Nymphenburg Palace Baroque palace in Munich, Bavaria, southern Germany

The Nymphenburg Palace is a Baroque palace situated in Munich's western district Neuhausen-Nymphenburg, in Bavaria, southern Germany. Combined with the adjacent Nymphenburg Palace Park it constitutes one of the premier royal palaces of Europe. Its frontal width of 632 m (2,073 ft) even surpasses Versailles Palace. The Nymphenburg served as the main summer residence for the former rulers of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach.

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach Sculptor and architect from Austria (1656-1723)

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach was an Austrian architect, sculptor, and architectural historian whose Baroque architecture profoundly influenced and shaped the tastes of the Habsburg Empire. His influential book A Plan of Civil and Historical Architecture (1721) was one of the first and most popular comparative studies of world architecture. His major works include Schönbrunn Palace, Karlskirche, and the Austrian National Library in Vienna, and Schloss Klessheim, Holy Trinity Church, and the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg.

Hietzing 13th District of Vienna in Austria

Hietzing is the 13th municipal District of Vienna. It is located west of the central districts, west of Meidling. Hietzing is a heavily populated urban area with many residential buildings, but also contains large areas of the Vienna Woods, along with Schönbrunn Palace.

Eleonora Gonzaga (1598–1655) Holy Roman Empress

For other women of the same name, see Eleanor Gonzaga (disambiguation)

Laxenburg Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Laxenburg is a market town in the district of Mödling, in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. Located about 20 km (12 mi) south of the Austrian capital Vienna, it is chiefly known for the Laxenburg castles, which, beside Schönbrunn, served as the most important summer retreat of the Habsburg monarchs.

Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt austrian architect

Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt was an Austrian baroque architect and military engineer who designed stately buildings and churches and whose work had a profound influence on the architecture of the Habsburg Empire in the eighteenth century. After studying in Rome under Carlo Fontana, he constructed fortresses for Prince Eugene of Savoy during his Italian campaigns, becoming his favorite architect. In 1700 he became court engineer in Vienna, and in 1711 was named head of the court department of building. He became court architect in 1723. His designs for palaces, estates, gardens, churches, chapels, and villas were widely imitated, and his architectural principles spread throughout central and southeast Europe. Among his more important works are Palais Schwarzenberg, St. Peter's Church, and Belvedere in Vienna, Savoy Castle in Ráckeve, Schönborn Palace in Göllersdorf, and Schloss Hof.

Schloss Neuwaldegg château

Schloss Neuwaldegg is a Baroque palace with an English garden in the Hernals borough of Vienna, Austria.1 It is currently privately owned and rented out for a variety of private and public events.

Palais Augarten palace

Palais Augarten is a Baroque palace in the district of Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria. Constructed in the late seventeenth century by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach on the site of a hunting château and gardens, the palace and gardens were expanded in the nineteenth century under Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Despite extensive damage suffered during World War II, the palace has been maintained almost in its original appearance, and many of the original furnishings can still be found there. Today, Palais Augarten is the home and rehearsal space of the Vienna Boys' Choir, who also have their own school there. The palace is located in the 130-acre Augarten park, which is the oldest Baroque garden in Vienna.

Gloriette park feature, often a type of pavillion

A gloriette is a building in a garden erected on a site that is elevated with respect to the surroundings. The structural execution and shape can vary greatly, often in the form of a pavilion or tempietto, more or less open on the sides.

Sculptures in the Schönbrunn Garden

The sculptures in the Schönbrunn Garden at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria were created between 1773 and 1780 under the direction of Johann Wilhelm Beyer, a German artist and garden designer. The Great Parterre of Schönbrunn Garden is lined on both sides with 32 over life-size sculptures that represent mythological deities and virtues. The Neptune Fountain at the foot of the Gloriette hill is the crowning monument of the Great Parterre. Other sculptures are distributed throughout the garden and palace forecourt, including fountains and pools. Several sculptors were employed during the execution of these works, among them Johann Baptist Hagenauer.

Schloss Klessheim château

Schloss Klessheim is a Baroque palace located in Wals-Siezenheim, 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Salzburg, Austria. The palace was designed and constructed by Austrian architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach for Prince-Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun in 1700. It became the summer residence of the Archbishops of Salzburg. Since 1993, the palace has been used by Salzburg Casino.

Tourist attractions in Vienna Wikimedia list article

The tourist attractions of Vienna concentrate in three distinct areas. The largest cluster, centred on Schönbrunn Palace, attracted around five million visitors in 2009, down from six million in 2008. Museums and exhibitions of Hofburg Palace accounted for nearly two million visitors in 2008, with a significant decline in 2009. The third, and the newest, cluster of modern art museums in Museumsquartier attracted less than one million visitors. Nearby duo of Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches museums, located halfway between Museumsquartier and Hofburg, also reported around one million visitors. The Landstraße district, which lies south-east of the old city, is home to art exhibitions at the Belvedere Palace and the KunstHausWien.

Wüstenhaus Schönbrunn Architectural structure

The Wüstenhaus Schönbrunn is a desert botanical exhibit in Vienna, Austria. It is located in the Sonnenuhrhaus, which was built in 1904 as the newest of the four botanical houses in Schönbrunn Palace Park. The desert exhibit opened in 2004 as a counterpart to the "Rainforest House" that opened in 2002 in the nearby Zoo Vienna.

Johann Wilhelm Beyer German sculptor, porcelain artist, painter and garden designer

Johann Wilhelm Beyer, a German sculptor, porcelain artist, painter and garden designer. Beyer has the largest share in the design of the gardens and statues of Schönbrunn Palace, which is regarded as his masterpiece.

Winter Palace of Prince Eugene building in Innere Stadt, Austria

The Winter Palace of Prince Eugene, also known as the City Palace, is a high-Baroque palace in the Innere Stadt district of Vienna, Austria. Located on a narrow street at Himmelpfortgasse 8, the palace was used as the winter residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, who spent his summers at the Belvedere. The Winter Palace was designed and constructed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach from 1695 to 1700, and by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt from 1702 to 1724 following his predecessor's plans.

Outline of Vienna Overview of and topical guide to Vienna

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Vienna:

Schlosstheater Schönbrunn Schönbrunn palace theatre

Schlosstheater Schönbrunn is a stage at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna which opened in 1747. The Baroque theatre now serves for the training of students of acting and opera, and for performances of the Musik Theater Schönbrunn.


  1. Official website
  2. "The Park under Maria Theresa". Schloß Schönbrunn. Schloß Schönbrunn. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
  3. "Who owns the palace?". Schloß Schönbrunn. Schloß Schönbrunn. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
  4. "Meidlinger Vertiefung" (in German). Archäologischer Dienst GesmbH. Retrieved 2014-11-28.
  5. "The history of the Landtmann Jausen Station" . Retrieved 2014-11-28.
  6. "Wien Besucherzahlen" [Vienna Visitor Statistics] (in German). Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  7. Schönbrunn ist Wiens beliebteste Sehenswürdigkeit (in German). Die Presse, August 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
  8. "The Arts - Rolex Timeless Luxury Watches". Rolex. Rolex. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  10. "ARCHIVES: The Amazing Race 4". Game Show Newsnet. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  11. Barrett, Annie (November 4, 2013). "The Amazing Race recap: 'Choir Boy at Heart'". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved January 1, 2020.