Schönbrunn Palace

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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
Website
Official site
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official namePalace and Gardens of Schönbrunn
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 Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical 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. [1]

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Central Bavarian dialect

Central Bavarian, also known as Central Austro-Bavarian, form a subgroup of Bavarian dialects in large parts of Austria and the German state of Bavaria along the Danube river, on the northern side of the Eastern Alps. They are spoken in the 'Old Bavarian' regions of Upper Bavaria, Lower Bavaria and in the adjacent parts of the Upper Palatinate region around Regensburg, in Upper and Lower Austria, in Vienna, in the state of Salzburg, as well as in the northern and eastern parts of Styria and Burgenland.

House of Habsburg Austrian dynastic family

The House of Habsburg, also called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland, Kingdom of Portugal, and Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.

Contents

History

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 Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.

Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor King of the Romans, King of Hungary and Bohemia

Maximilian II, a member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death. He was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague on 14 May 1562 and elected King of Germany on 24 November 1562. On 8 September 1563 he was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia in the Hungarian capital Pressburg. On 25 July 1564 he succeeded his father Ferdinand I as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

Floodplain Land adjacent to a stream or river which is flooded during periods of high discharge

A floodplain or flood plain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river which stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls, and which experiences flooding during periods of high discharge. The soils usually consist of levees, silts, and sands deposited during floods. Levees are the heaviest materials and they are deposited first; silts and sands are finer materials.

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

Schonbrunn by Bernardo Bellotto, 1758 Canaletto (I) 059.jpg
Schönbrunn by Bernardo Bellotto, 1758

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 [2] 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.

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor Archduke of Austria, 1619 to 1637 Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Bohemia

Ferdinand II, a member of the House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor (1619–1637), King of Bohemia, and King of Hungary (1618–1637). He was the son of Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria, and Maria of Bavaria. In 1590, his parents, who were devout Catholics, sent him to study at the Jesuits' college in Ingolstadt, because they wanted to isolate him from the Lutheran nobles. In the same year, he inherited Inner Austria—Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and smaller provinces—from his father. Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, who was the head of the Habsburg family, appointed regents to administer Inner Austria on behalf of the minor Ferdinand.

Orangery covered winter garden

An orangery or orangerie was a room or a dedicated building on the grounds of fashionable residences from the 17th to the 19th centuries where orange and other fruit trees were protected during the winter, as a very large form of greenhouse or conservatory.

Maria Theresa ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg

Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.

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.

Austrian State Treaty multilateral 1955 treaty regarding the international status of Austria

The Austrian State Treaty or Austrian Independence Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state. It was signed on 15 May 1955 in Vienna, at the Schloss Belvedere among the Allied occupying powers and the Austrian government. It officially came into force on 27 July 1955.

John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician and journalist who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.

Nikita Khrushchev First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a Soviet statesman who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Khrushchev's party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.

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. [3] 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 ).

Gardens

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. [4] 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. [5]

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.

Sculptures

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

Gloriette

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. [6] The whole Schönbrunn complex with Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Palmenhaus, Wüstenhaus and the Wagenburg, accounted for more than five million visitors in 2009. [7] 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. [8]

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. [9] 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 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.

Schonbrunn, Vieden, Rakusko.jpg
Schönbrunn
Wien Panorama.jpg
Panorama of Schönbrunn, 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

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References

  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.
  9. http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/locations/schonbrunn-palace%5B%5D