When a friend asked me to write few words about Vienna and to illustrate these words with pictures, I told myself that there was nothing easier than that. Yes, but from where to begin? In Vienna, with a camera in hand, anything you shoot turns into a great picture. Then my friend mentioned it might be interesting to begin with Schonbrunn. Why not? If you have ever been in Vienna and you have visited Schonbrunn, it would be familiar, interesting and nostalgic, and if you have not – it would be something new, unknown, intriguing (in a sense “I wish to visit the place”).  I will not post a photograph here, because the web hosts plenty of images by colleagues of mine with serious sleeping disorders, who get up at the break of dawn and manage somehow to snap a shot of the place without people. Which seems an odd approach.  Because people are always there. MANY. Day and night. If anyone is still doubting – below is a photograph of Schonbrunn at night.

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Well, it is true, that there is a concert (classical music, of course), but crowds are crowds.

Let’s go back to where it all started. In the distant 1569 the Emperor Maximilian II has bought the estate and turned it into hunting grounds, but only during the reign of Maria Teresa, almost 200 years later, the serious construction has began. The Neoclassical Style and symmetry are strongly emphasized (even the number of the rooms – 1441).

The place became the center of the empire during the reign of Franz Joseph, who was born, lived and died in Schonbrunn. He was emperor of Austria, ruling for the longest period of time.

After his heir passed away, the palace is transferred to the hands of the State and becomes a tourist attraction, World Heritage Site of UNESCO, a venue for historic meetings and cultural events.

Taking pictures inside the palace is prohibited, but it is quite possible this door handle to be located somewhere in there.

and one more, more golden, than the previous one.

In fact, almost everything there is golden…

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and glowing.

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The palace park isn’t any less photographed at all.

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The main theme here is flowers, flowers, and more flowers.

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even in the water.

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Everything is well organized, even the trees are groomed,

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a shot behind the scene, to show you how the magic happens.

And of course, the oldest Zoo in the world cannot be left unnoticed. It is a part of the palace complex, along with the Tropical Greenhouse and the House of the Desert.

Some “exhibits” pose

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and others are bored,

some monitor,

and there are those, with whom you can chit-chat for a while.

Not only tourists are visiting Schonbrunn. The Viennese are jogging in the park, getting yearly passes for the Zoo and the Botanical Garden, celebrating their kids’ birthdays there.

As you may guess, there is everything you need for a kid to feel happy.

In the summer the outdoor games are in favor, like the labyrinth and the playgrounds around.

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In the winter the fun is inside, where every little (birthday) girl could be Sissy, as the Viennese fondly call their beloved Empress Elisabeth), or just be an “ordinary” court lady and play for a while in the completely preserved Kids Quarters.

As a summary I can state, that whatever the occasion is, Schonbrunn is an interesting place to visit over and over again.

Ops, my mistake, this came from Rathouse, but that’s another topic . . .

Author: Anton Nachev