Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Schonbrunn; Another post another Palace.

Since I mentioned it in my last post on Vienna's Belvedere I thought I should write next about Schonbrunn Palace. Sick of palaces yet? I saw so many on my trip that there is so much to share!
 A rare image of me, ArchitectDesign, as it was the only picture I have that includes the front entry court.  Yes I can play typical tourist and get my picture taken in front of the Eiffel Tower, haha!  I'm blinking, which is one of many reasons I never have my picture taken or post them on my blog. Back to architecture....
A mansion has been on these grounds since before the 15th century as there is a fresh spring (hence the name Schon Brunn or "beautiful spring" in German) but the present building could finally be termed palace when it was added onto by the widow of Ferdinand II, Eleonora Gonzaga, and finished in 1643.
The large grounds just outside of Imperial Vienna made this the perfect summer estate for the Habsburgs.
The present palace owes its' baroque interiors to Empress Maria Theresa, known to most of us as the mother of Marie Antoinette, who remodeled the palace from 1740 until 1750 after receiving it as a wedding gift. The exterior was later renovated by Francis II to the Neoclassical facade we see today.
Since 1918, at the downfall of the Habsburg monarchy, the palace and grounds have been open to the public.
Interior photos of the palace are not allowed so you'll have to find those online (check the official website here) but while waiting in line for my tour I did snap this shot of the lovely lanterns; notice the gilded crown integrated onto the top of the fixture.
Much like at the Belvedere, the emphasis again is not on the lovely (if someone bland) palace but on the gardens.
This private fenced garden on the west of the palace (#5 on the map above) was used by the family as their private yard and where the royal children would go out to play.
These lovely trellised pavilions set into the garden are lovely spots to sit.
It doesn't get better than this.
Right behind the palace is the most famous part of Schonbrunn, the Gloriette, perched high on a hill overlooking the palace and the suburb in which it sits.
I believe I've mentioned before that without fail, the best things I'm traveling to see are under renovation. Never travel with me! For that reason see above lovely photograph of the Gloriette high above the Neptune fountain from wikipedia.
Scaffolding companies should pay me to go on vacation - I would keep them in business.
The Gloriette originally was an imperial banquet hall and now houses one of the many cafes found around the Schonbrunn grounds.
The hard thing to capture in my snapshots is the grand scale of everything. It's a LONG walk from the palace and up the 200 foot tall hill to the Gloriette.
The large grounds provide a lot of different things to see; fountains, pavilions, and even a full zoo!
All of the building fit with the palace in a soft yellow stucco with red clay tile roofs.
Don't miss the "Roman Ruins" (#12 on the map above) designed in 1778.
The orangery now houses a world famous marionette theater.
While this was the one day of our trip without much rain the weather still wasn't very cooperative but we still enjoyed our visit to Schonbrunn.
Much like Paris's Versailles (to which is it often compared), Schonbrunn is a short metro ride outside of central Vienna and well worth the time and effort and kept in immaculate shape.
Visit Schonbrunn's website HERE.