Schönbrunn Palace and Park (World Heritage)

The Schönbrunn Palace, completed in the 18th century, rose from a small hunting lodge to a summer residence and later even to the main residence of the Habsburg imperial family. As the most monumental and most important of the imperial palaces, it not only represents the rise and glory of the Habsburg Empire, it is also one of the main works of baroque palace architecture in Europe with its gardens.

Schönbrunn Palace and Park: Facts

Official title: Schönbrunn Palace and Park
Cultural monument: Rococo castle based on designs by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nikolaus Pacassi with almost 1500 rooms, including with Vieux Laque room, Napoleon room and memorial room of the Duke of Reichsstadt, with porcelain room and cabinet of miniatures, with the Million Room and its Persian miniature paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries with scenes from the courtly life of the Indian Mughal empire and Schönbrunn Park with Neptune fountain, obelisk cascade and Gloriette
Continent: Europe
Country: Austria
Location: Vienna
Appointment: 1996
Meaning: the former residence of the Habsburgs as a perfect total work of art

Schönbrunn Palace and Park: History

1696 Start of construction on Schönbrunn Palace
1705 Establishment of the first park
1744-49 Completion of the palace construction
1752 Establishment of the world’s first zoo
1767 under Empress Maria Theresa the establishment of the million room
1773 Establishment of a tapestry salon with Brussels tapestries
1781 Plant of the Neptune Fountain
1804-09 French occupation of Austria, Schönbrunn residence of Emperor Napoleon I.
1854 New furnishings for the shared bedroom of Emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife Elisabeth with wall panels and curtains made of blue Lyon silk and furniture made of rosewood
1898 Empress Elisabeth dies as a result of an assassination attempt on Lake Geneva

»AEIOU« – »All earth is subject to Austria.«

It is as if towards the end of the 17th century the Austrian emperor not only used this interpretation of the five vowels »AEIOU« – like his predecessor Friedrich III. more than 250 years ago – wanted to chisel in stone, but wanted to turn it into stone. Charles VI commissioned Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach to create the “navel of the empire” in Schönbrunn, a building that would be called a “mega-Versailles” today. Fortunately, this monster did not happen because the emperor ran out of money.

Even the subsequent project of a financially viable hunting lodge was unsuccessful, because the monarch had construction work stopped in 1711, as he was meanwhile warming to the idea of ​​building an “Escorial on the Danube” in Klosterneuburg. It is thanks to Maria Theresa that decades after the construction interruption, the hunting lodge should not only be “repaired, but also extended and expanded to make the courtyard more comfortable”. Due to the warlike involvement with Prussia, she had to spend the money carefully on representation, and so the current figure of Schönbrunn is indirectly due to Fridericus Rex.

Nikolaus Pacassi, among others, received the order to expand and lay out the palace and garden, whose buildings can be seen everywhere in Vienna, and not only because he was the queen’s favorite, but also a gifted architect. With it, the Rococo asserts its predominance – as in the interplay of the rooms on the first floor of Schönbrunn.

Probably precisely because Austria was not an empire with colonies overseas, the idea arose early on to unite in one zoo all the strange animals that “crept and flicker” in Africa, Asia and the two Americas. Today it is the object of constant bickering between monument and animal rights activists, a dispute that will in all probability only be finally settled when there are only virtual terrariums left.

According to areacodesexplorer, “Austriae est imperare orbi universo” – “It is Austria’s destiny to rule the world.” the five vowels and their order laid out. But even Maria Theresa had to fight against the “rodents” on the borders of the Danube monarchy. Although the empire was later able to expand into the Balkans and, through the partitions of Poland, also into East Central Europe, it had passed the apex of power. The cementing of the aristocratic rule around the throne ensured that even the most incapable could achieve the highest dignity, nepotism and corruption crushed every striving for reform like octopus arms, and so that they could endure all this, the Austrians developed a melancholy that is still part of theirs today Essence applies.

The reform efforts of Maria Theresa only helped temporarily. Without the burden of wars, but with a successor of its format, the Danube Monarchy would probably have become the first truly multicultural state in Europe – unlike Russia, which held the subject peoples together under the spell of power.

After Maria Theresa, Schönbrunn experienced another woman of great stature: Elisabeth, the wife of Franz Joseph I. Not only did she have her own ideas, no, to make matters worse, she was also stubborn and did not fit into the regulated life of the court. Her end was tragic because she died as a result of an attack by the Italian anarchist Luigi Luccheni, who only found his victim by chance on the basis of a newspaper note. It was actually his intention to assassinate the Duke of Orléans, who, however, had canceled a planned trip to Geneva at short notice.

Today Schönbrunn is one of the treasures of Vienna, the capital of a people who more than once had to look into deep abysses in the 20th century. Would Friedrich III. rule today, he would be on the castle facade in neon letters »AEIOU«. have it attached. And he would say: “Austria erit in orbe ultima!” – “Austria will exist until the end of the world!”

Schönbrunn Palace and Park

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