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Austria: Schönbrunn Castle– Wien’s Versailles

Published: 13.11.2013
Wien is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It offers its visitors rich history, beautiful architecture and unusual gastronomical joys. Again, we go to visit this royal city and walk in the most beautiful castle in whole Austria. It is so beautiful they compare it to French Versailles.

It takes an hour to travel from Bratislava, Slovakian capital, to Wien. The most comfortable means to get there is train. You will avoid traffic jams and problems with parking. You even save some cash because you can buy an expedient 24-hour ticket. It is also valid a s a return ticket. You can use with it also Wien’s public transportation, subway included. Using subway is the fastest option how to get to Schönbrunn. The subway stop of the same name is at the green U4 line.

 Zámecký komplex Schönbrunn

Schönbrunn Castle

We already know how to get to one of the most impressive places in Wien. Now we should explore it. When we approach massive castle complex we enjoyed magnificent metal gate. Couple dozens meters behind it on a gravel courtyard there is the main building of the castle complex. Its façade is typical combination of gold - yellow color that was a symbol of the then empire. This originally hunting castle was gradually expanded since the half of the 18th century until it reached its present form. Originally baroque architecture is referred to as a rococo. This work of art had been used as a summer residence and residence palace of the Habsburg family and their courtiers. Marie Therese and her family lived there as well as Emperor Frantz Joseph I with his spouse Elizabeth Bavarian also known as Sissi. The name is derived from words “beautiful well - spring ". It splendidly captures its infinite beauty.

Zámek Schönbrunn

Visitors can admire the castle not only from outside but also inside. There are box offices and information in its central part. You can learn there about various types of castle visits. Usually, tours are divided according to guide circuits and number of rooms you visit. Regardless expensive entrance fee it is an unusual experience to walk in wide corridors, mysterious chambers and official saloons decorated with precious furniture. You can also visit Maria Theresa’s apartments. The so-called " Great Gallery " ( Hall of Mirrors) is breath-taking. It is one of the most precious halls in the castle. There used to be balls, audiences and other events at the court. Even six-year old genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played there. Every visitor gets portable electronic guide. You can choose from various world languages, Czech included, so you can really enjoy your visit.

Zámecký komplex Schönbrunn

Castle Compounds

Castle is unique not only inside. Once you get to the other side, literally a whole new world . A world of well maintained park greenery, many flowers and sculptures. There is a labyrinth and the oldest still operating ZOO in the world, many benches, wells and pathways. Even this is Schönbrunn ! Hundreds of thousand visitors visit this his kingdom of relax every year. Thanks to vast spaces everyone can enjoy walk there. No wonder that it became part of UNESCO’s list in 1996. At Schonnbrun’s other end there is Glorietta . It is a “memorial” to Austrian victory in battle of Kolin. Today there is a coffee shop and there are classic music concerts on regular basis.

Zámecký komplex Schönbrunn

Zámecký komplex Schönbrunn – jízdy v kočáru Zámecký komplex Schönbrunn – brána do zahrad

In rear part of the park complex there are greenhouses and very interesting Palmenhaus, House of Palms. Visitors can see plants from rain forests of all continents. It is the last and the largest exhibition of its kind in Europe. Near is ( Wüstenhaus ), Desert House, that was opened again and it offers a unique cactus collection.

Zámecký komplex Schönbrunn - fontánaZámecký komplex Schönbrunn - zoo

Zámecký komplex Schönbrunn - Palmenhaus Zámecký komplex Schönbrunn - v pozadí Glorietta

Schönbrunn is not just its 1440 chambers , 200 kitchens , Wagenburg museum with hundred carriages, golden ornaments, beautiful colorful gardens, sculpture masterpieces and many other things. It is also a meeting place of locals, foreign visitors or a home to precious flora and fauna. Autumn or spring Schönbrunn is best for walks but even in winter or in summer it offers many experiences you will keep for a long time. Thus, we recommend you to visit it very much.

Text and photo : Oskár Mažgút

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