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Visiting Schonbrunn Palace, the Historical Palace in with A Great Architecture
The site that is used as the Schonbrunn Palace nowadays was also used as a mansion called Katterburg back in 1548. The place that was situated in a large floodplain of the Wien river beneath a hill, located between Meidling and Hietzing, then bought by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II in 1569. Before used as a palace, the field was used as a hunting ground. The hunting ground lasted for a century. The palace was finally built to the Katterburg in 1638 by the order of Eleonora Gonzaga that spent much time in the hunting ground after the death of her husband, Ferdinand II. The name Schonbrunn itself appeared in 1642, with the meaning of 'beautiful spring'. However, the palace that is standing now is a result of a rebuilt and remodelled that were done in 1740-1750 during the reign of empress Maria Theresa. One of the most well-known person in Austria, Franz Joseph, was also born and died there.
The death of Franz Joseph in November was followed with the fall of Habsburg monarch 2 years later. The palace then became the property of the Austrian Republic and was preserved as a museum. The museum was also used as offices for British Delegation to the Allied Commission for Austria, and for the small British Military Garrison present in Vienna during the Allied Occupation of Austria in 1945 to 1955. The palace became a museum again after the Austrian Republic reestablished and is used for important meetings such as the meeting between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. In 1992, a limited-liability company owned by the Austrian Republic named Schloss Schonbrunn Kultur-und Betriebsges.m.b.H. administered both the palace and the gardens until now.
When you going in to the palace, then you will be welcomed with the Blue Staircase. This is where your tour of the palace begin. Inside, you can visit and see the residential suite of rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth that is furnished in nineteenth-century style in the west wings. While in the central is the rooms belonged to Maria Theresa and Franz I Stephan, and in the Franz Karl Apartment is the room belonged to Archduchess Sophie and Archduke Franz Karl. On the ground floor, there are the private apartments of the imperial family named the Bergl Rooms. The rooms are decorated with painting of landscape murals by Johann Wenzel Bergl, a renowned Bohemian artist. However, these rooms can only be visited by prior arrangement as part of a group visit. There is also the white-and-gold rooms that are the perfect place for large or small wedding ceremonies.
Other attraction in the Palace area are the gardens. The garden was opened for public in 1779 and has become a popular recreational destination for Viennese people. The garden is also famous as a focus of great cultural and historical interest for international visitors. If you like to go for jogging in the garden, then you can go for free during open hours. There is also a map available to let you know the route and the distance you will take. For your information, the garden extends for 1.2 km from east to west and 1 km from north to south. In the garden area, there are also other tourist attractions for visitors, but you will have to pay to go in. Those attractions are the Privy Garden, the Orangery Garden or the Maze, the Zoo, the Palm House and the Desert House. There is also a vineyard that is in compare with the Clos Montmatre in Paris and the Vigna della Regina in Italy. The vineyard also has a history from back in 1744.
In the garden area, you will be able to see some ruins that is unfortunately not a real recess from old times. The ruin that was originally known as Ruin of Carthage is a building that is designed to resemble ruins, with a matching design to its surroundings. However, due to lack of maintenance, the ruins became more similar with the real ruins. The ruin then thought as a picture of the fall of great power. The Roman Ruin has a rectangular pool and stone fragments in front of it that symbolizes river Vltava and river Elbe.
How to Get Tickets?
You can get the ticket to the Schonbrunn Palace on the spot. However, it is better to book tickets online to skip the line. You can also book for a private tour or an evening tour that will let you see the beauty of the palace at night. Another advantage is that you can access some rooms that need to be arranged first. When you are booking online, there are some types of tickets available, so make sure that you buy the one for your wanted destinations.
How To Get Around?
Though it can be a tiring walk, the best way to get around is by walking through the garden. This way, you can enjoy the view of the wide garden. If you want to take a rest, you can sit near the pond also.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommended dresscode for visiting the Schonbrunn Palace. You can wear comfortable clothes to prepare for a long walk, or you can wear nice dress if you want to take a lot of photo.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit the Schonbrunn Palace is around 13.00 and 14.00, or from 16.00 to avoid many tourist. It is also recommended to avoid visit in July and August as it is the peak season for tourists.
Will I Need a Guide?
You can book a private tour and have a tour guide explain everything for you. However, you can also choose to use audio guide that is available in 21 languages and is free of charge.
How To Get There?
There are public transports that can take you directly to the Schonbrunn Palace. The first one is the underground train number U4. Then there are trams 10 and 60, or you can take bus number 10A.