Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna: how to get what to see and photo
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The most famous palace in Vienna and throughout Austria, Schönbrunn can compete on popularity and attendance only with the Belvedere and Hofburg palaces. From a tourist point of view, these attractions are different. If the Belvedere is a large art museum, then Schönbrunn is famous for its gardens, greenhouses and fountains, then the architectural ensemble is more interesting.
In the 17th century this place was loved by the Austrian emperors as a place for hunting. At the site of Schönbrunn Palace was once a manor belonging to the church.
The palace was built in 1696, after the estate was destroyed during the next campaign of the Turks to Vienna. The campaign ended unsuccessfully, however, like all attempts by the Ottoman Empire to seize Austria (see the article "The History of Austria" ), but there was a lot of destruction.
The building was completed only in 1743, since that time the palace looks exactly like you can see it now.
If you come to Vienna with an excursion group, then you will simply be taken here by bus. If you come to the Austrian capital on your own, then the easiest way is to get here on the Vienna metro . The station is called "Schonbrunn", it is on a green branch. The exact position can be seen on the diagram below.
From the metro station to the Schönbrunn Palace you can walk, the distance is about 200 meters. There is another metro station nearby called "Heitzing", but from it go a little further.
To visit different parts of the palace special tickets are required. The ticket system is quite complicated. We will talk about how we understood it. Separately, you need to buy a ticket to the main palace, and you can pay for two different programs, full and short, tickets cost 14 and 10 euros.
Separately, you need to pay a visit to the zoo, it's still about 15 euros. Another ticket will be needed to visit the labyrinth, at our visit it cost 4 euros.
To see the imperial garden and Glorietta (this triumphal arch on the hill) will need separate tickets for 3 euros each. Look at the preparation of apple strudel is another 5 and separately you can buy tickets to the stables and greenhouse.
Do not buy all the tickets at once, it's better to think how much time you want to spend on the territory of the palace. The territory is large enough, it is possible that you will get tired of walking, and the desire to visit all places in Schönnbrunn will simply disappear.
The easiest way to buy one is a general ticket that will allow you to walk everywhere except the zoo. It's worth the pleasure of 18 euros for an adult and 12 euros for a child (6 to 18 years), on it you can walk as much as you want throughout the territory.
On the territory every 15 minutes there are special electric trains that carry tourists. They absolutely do not fit into the park's style, both in color and in form, looks, in our opinion, awful.
If you do not want to go somewhere, then you can get there. It costs 5 more units of the European currency. The train travels along a certain route, which is written on its roof, the route passes in a circle around all interesting places of the palace.
Summing up all of the above, the idea comes to mind that the whole palace is a large conveyor belt for devastating the purses of tourists. To see everything on the territory of the palace, you will have to pay about 50 euros per person. Prices in Austria "bite".
For those tourists who want to spend even more money, a special distinction is available in the palace. You can ride through the territory in a horse-drawn carriage.
We will not say how much this pleasure is worth, since our article is more like a price list than an interesting review for tourists. Therefore, let's say briefly, it's expensive. But honestly, it's not very convenient, since the coachman will not stop everywhere at your request, if you want something better to consider.
We will tell in order about each interesting place in the palace territory and we will start from the main building. Near it you can see the fountains with very beautiful statues, one of them you see on the first photo in this article.
The main building itself is made in the Baroque style (like the whole palace). This was the place of permanent residence and work of the Austrian emperors of the Habsburg dynasty. The palace has more than a thousand different rooms, but only 40 of them are available for inspection.
Among these rooms are the offices where emperors, bedrooms and guest rooms worked. Photographing inside is strictly prohibited, but all tourists are offered to buy cards and photos at the exit. We were not interested in prices, after visiting the cash registers, we developed a strong immunity to price tags.
The interiors inside are very beautiful, only the emperors of such a large empire as Austro-Hungary could afford. Schönbrunn Palace was built following the example of Versailles in France, in many respects it is similar to it, and the Habsburgs wanted to surpass the French. It turned out or not, it's up to you.
Recall that you can buy a visit to all 40 available rooms, and you can buy a ticket for a shortened program of 22 rooms. To inspect all 40 rooms is quite difficult, it is tiring, although interesting. Usually, the palace itself is examined first, in this case it is worth remembering that you still have a walk in the huge park ahead.
The second place you'll be in the garden is the Garden of the Crown Prince, it's just a very beautiful place, nothing special about it, just a nice walk in the garden.
There are a lot of greenery and flowers, but these are ordinary flowers and the most common plants. All the most unusual specimens of the flora are collected in another place, which is called the greenhouse.
Some of it can be viewed without a separate ticket. Outdoors, grow lemons, mandarins and other citrus fruits.
We were lucky, we got here just at that moment in the summer, when the fruits were already ripening. It is strictly forbidden to tear fruits, this is said on a special plate in several languages. In Russian there is no inscription on it, and this is a serious mistake, as it seems to us.
In any case, we did not try to pick lemons, they will suddenly fined. In Europe, this is in the order of things and fines can be very weighty, it is better not to take risks.
Citrus trees are not adapted to existence in such a cold climate. Therefore, trees are taken out on the street only in the summer, they do not even plant them in open soil, they stand in special large pots. The creation of greenhouses in the gardens of palaces in the 18th century was considered a sign of luxury.
The greenhouse in the park of Schönbrunn Palace was founded in 1755, and since then various plants have been grown here, including in greenhouses. Greenhouses in those days were meant for growing flowers even in winter. They are here to this day.
The most unusual greenhouse is called Palmenhaus (Palm House), it is a very interesting greenhouse of high altitude, inside it really grows palm trees.
Passing through the territory, one can not help noticing the large number of statues in antique style.
In total there are thirty-two of them in the park, they depict the ancient Greek gods and heroes. Some are easy to learn, some are not.
In the photo on the left you see a hero who is holding a sheep's hide on his hand. Probably, it's the easiest to learn, it's Jason, who, along with his associates, went to Colchis (an ancient state, presumably in the area of modern Armenia and Georgia) to return the Golden Fleece to Greece.
Many readers watched another Soviet cartoon about the journey of Jason and the Argonauts, really very qualitative. But, we do not recommend reading the original legend without a serious need, perhaps, of all the ancient Greek legends, it is the bloodiest.
The other characters and characters are not so recognizable, especially for those who are not interested in ancient history.
Whether you recognized the characters or not, in any case, you can admire the statues, they are beautiful in themselves, even if you do not know exactly who is depicted on them.
The next place, interesting for tourists, is a labyrinth, or rather two labyrinths. One of them has high walls, the other is lower. The first labyrinth with high walls is not very interesting, you just need to go for it, do not get lost.
The second one, which you see in the photo above, is much more fun, it has branches and mirrors in the center. Especially fun around mirrors to tourists with cameras, you can get a photo with several images of a person in one frame.
These two labyrinths are also distinguished by their names. They are called in German "irrgarten" and "labyrinth", and in English "maze" and "labyrinth".
At first glance it is completely unclear why these two labyrinths have different names? In Russian, they are both called labyrinths, we have a difference.
And in English and German there is a difference. Labyrinth has no branches, it can not get lost, an example in the photo on the right.
Maze (it's irrgarten) has ramifications and it can easily get lost, which is why it has low walls in the Schönbrunn Palace.
At the end of the path on top of the hill is Gloriette. This is a large triumphal arch built by Empress Maria Theresa in honor of the Habsburg dynasty. Now from here you can admire the view of Vienna and sit in a cafe.
Tourists climb the roof of the building, there is an observation deck, in addition, the majestic statues above can be viewed closer.
And the last place in the park, which we would like to talk about in detail, is called the "fountain-obelisk".
It was built in 1777, and it is this architectural composition that can be called unique, we have never seen such a thing.
Such obelisks were erected in ancient Egypt, especially the famous obelisks of Pharaoh Ramses II and Queen Hatshepsut in Karnak temple in Luxor . On them the pharaohs recorded their exploits and great achievements.
The emperors of Austria-Hungary decided to do something similar. On this column is written the history of the imperial house of the Habsburgs.
In the ancient Egyptian language they could not write this, since the hieroglyphic language of the ancient Egyptians was not deciphered then, the rosetta stone (it was he who gave the key to reading the ancient symbols) was found only in 1822.
A synthetic language of symbols and signs was used, more like the language of pictures. Trying to read this without knowing the true history of the Habsburg dynasty makes no sense, nothing is clear.
The statues in the fountain at the bottom are made in the Greek antique style, the obelisk itself is in Egyptian, so the composition looks a little strange, but for most tourists it does not really matter.
On this we finish the story about the palace Schönbrunn, we did not have time to get to the zoo or stables during our visit. We hope that in the future we will come back here and prepare another review.
In conclusion, let's say that living squirrels live in the park. They are not afraid of people, although they do not allow themselves to be touched.
Pleasant walks through the palaces of Vienna, and read our articles about Austria ( links below ).