The Schoenbrunn Palace is one of the most popular sights of Vienna and is located a short distance from the city center. It used to be the summer residence of Empress Maria Theresia. Its origins go back to 1687.
Due to a lack of interest it was given as a present to his daugther Maria Theresia by Emperor Charles VI in 1740. Eventually she lets the palace be remodeled to its today’s form as a summer residence. There are more than 1440 rooms in the palace. The museum inside the palace is the most popular in Austria.
Besides the extensive palace park the Schoenbrunn Zoo is the oldest zoo in the world. It was founded by Maria Theresia’s husband Emperor Francis I Stephan in 1752. The Emperor was completely dedicated to its design. It is said that he was part of the Freemason cult. Thus, many stories and mysticism surround the park, the zoo and its buildings. Collections of Emperor Francis Stephan build the basis of the Natural History Museum at the Ring.
Besides the wonderful Baroque gardens there are also mighty wells like the Neptun fountain that marks the transition to the hills behind it. On top of the hill is the Gloriette that provides a wonderful view of the city. The gardens are worth to be discovered more closely.
You can take an entire day to discover the Schoenbrunn Palace and its many attractions. A tour of the palace alone takes 1,5 to 2 hours. Very romantic is the Christmas market in front of the palace.