Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 59, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Next stop Vienna, and of course....we are going to Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the imperial family, which is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe.

The Habsburgs resided here the better part of the year in numerous rooms for the large imperial family in addition to representational rooms. Emperor Franz Joseph, who later married the enchanting Sisi and reigned from 1848 to 1916, was born here in 1830.Today, the palace is part of UNESCO's
cultural heritage due to its historic importance, its unique grounds and its splendid furnishings.

The romantic tour of the imperial apartments taking us on a journey through the centuries started behind a massive door at the top of the Blue Staircase. It began in the west wing of the palace, with the apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Elisabeth, which are furnished in 19th-century styl
e, and continued through the state rooms in the central wing. From there the tour proceeded to the richly-appointed apartments once occupied by Maria Theresa. The Franz Karl Apartments, which were occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph's parents, Archduchess Sophie and Archduke Franz Karl, concluded the tour.
On the ground floor are the Gisela Apartments, the Goess Apartments and the Crown Prince Apartments with their frescoes by Johann Bergl.
Schönbrunn Palace was not only an imperial residence and the setting for countless festivities, but also a place where famous artists and craftsmen from many different epochs created interiors of great beauty.

All the rooms in the palace have their own stories to tell, stories on the margins of great historical events which are indicative of the lifestyle, atmosphere and world view of the imperial era. /blaue_stiege.swf

The palace and its grounds form a unit and reflect each other, in correspondance with the Baroque notion of the princely palace, according to which architecture and Nature should interpenetrate. The Baroque layout of the gardens, together with the additions made during the last decade of Maria Theresa's life, have survived more or less intact and today still determine the characteristic appearance of the gardens at Schönbrunn.

The park has the most beautiful objects of interest:
Great Parterre; Maze & Labyrinth; Small Gloriette;Neptune Fountain; Roman Ruin; Privy Garden; Schöner Brunnen; Angel Foutain; Obelisk Fountain; Round Pool; Columbary;Gloriette;Botanic Garden;Zoo Vienna;;Palm House;Desert Experience House; Star Pool; Carriage Museum; and the Orangery

Our walking tour of the Palace and its grounds was followed by a three course dinner at Café-Restaurant Residenz......and we finished off our day at a concert of classical music with works by Mozart and Strauss performed by the Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra, clad in historical dress......
aaaah, what a perfect day

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