Results 1-10of 22 Reviews
by Joy S
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
July 31, 2010
From journal 4 Days in Vienna
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
July 23, 2010
From journal Vienna at Christmas
by wanderer 2005
December 16, 2008
From journal Great Pizza in Vienna?
July 20, 2006
To see how royalty lived and to learn a little of the history of the Austrian imperial family, Schöbrunn is really a great place to visit. There is a lot to see in the rooms of the palace, and if you have time, there are other parts, such as a carriage museum, to tour also.
There are two levels of tickets available for the palace: One allows you to visit 22 rooms, and there is a more expensive grand tour that includes 40 rooms. They include hand-held audio guides so you can listen to commentary about the rooms and the imperial family. We were quite satisfied with the shorter tour. Plan on about an hour.
You can get into the gardens, but there is a separate admission for parts of the garden, such as the labyrinth and privy garden. Since we were there in March, those parts weren't open anyway. It was pleasant to just wander around the gardens, even though we were there too early for much to be in bloom.
We walked around the neighborhoods near the palace to look for a restaurant. We never did find anything very good, and wound up at a Chinese place serving a buffet. I recommend that you eat at the palace cafes or elsewhere in Vienna.
The palace has a good website at http://www.schoenbrunn.at.
From journal A Few Days in Vienna
New Delhi, India
July 13, 2006
The tour leads through a series of magnificent rococo rooms, all gilt and stucco against clean white walls; old furniture; embroidered curtains; huge mirrors; tapestried upholstery; massive ceramic stoves; and large paintings. Among the highlights are:
1. The Great Gallery, which is simply dazzling. It has crystal mirrors, a painted ceiling, striking stucco work- and two gilded wooden chandeliers that once held 70 candles each.2. The wood-panelled Million Room, supposedly named so because it cost a million gold coins to decorate it. Amidst the stucco and wood panelling here are framed Mughal miniature paintings, making this one of the most unusual rooms in the palace.3. The two Chinese Rooms, designed in keeping with the contemporary craze for Oriental patterns. Both have parquet floorings, and walls decorated with gold-on-black paintings in an Oriental style. The ceilings too are decorated in blue, white and gold, all worked in Chinese patterns.4. The Hall of Mirrors, where Mozart, then aged six, gave one of his first performances before Maria Theresa. It’s recorded that when she praised him, the young musician "sprang onto the lap of the Empress, put his arms around her neck, and smothered her with kisses"!5. The Ceremonial Hall, famous for its paintings depicting the wedding of Maria Theresa’s son, Josef II. The paintings are in amazingly fine detail- the one of the wedding banquet, for instance, actually contains details of patterns on crockery. The painting of the wedding, incidentally, shows a young Mozart amongst the congregation- although Mozart hadn’t been present; his picture was added at the Empress’s request.6. The China Room, whose walls are covered with nearly 200 blueish pen-and-ink drawings, all of them supposedly made by the Emperor Franz Josef I and his children. If the imperial family did make them, I admire their skill: the drawings are very good indeed.
Besides these, there’s the Hunting Room, which contains lederhosen, hunting jacket and weapons once owned by Crown Prince Rudolf; the Billiards Room; the personal study and bedroom of Franz Josef I; and the bedroom, dressing room, and beauty care room of his wife, Sisi. The rooms, in fact, bring alive the contrasting characters of this strangely mismatched couple.
Schönbrunn opens daily at 8.30. Closing times vary from 4.30 onwards, with the palace remaining open till 6 in July and August.
From journal Vienna Rolls--And Rocks!
April 1, 2006
From journal Vienna - City of Music and Culture
Mexico City, Mexico
June 16, 2005
The Grand Tour of the Schönbrunn interior involves 40 rooms, including the 22
seen on the Imperial Tour. It starts as the Imperial Tour, but in the Ceremony
Hall, the majority of visitors head for the exit and things get significantly
less crowded for those heading towards the apartments of Maria Theresa. The
crowds deservedly miss the best part of the palace.
The Maria Theresa apartments are naturally older than those used by Kaiser
Franz Ferdinand, with decorations generally the originals from the 18th
century. Nowhere is the feminine touch of the female royals more visible than
here, with some of the decorations actually painted by the princesses.
The first room of this tour is the blue Chinese Salon with hand-painted
wallpaper. In this room, on November 11, 1918, Kaiser Karl relinquished all
governmental power at the declaration of the Austrian Republic. However, he
refused to relinquish his claim to the Austrian throne, and he, as well as the
rest of the royal family, went into exile. (Only one princess gave up her very
remote claims to the throne and was allowed to stay in Austria and keep her
The room with impressive black Japanese-lacquer wall paneling was dedicated
to the memory of Emperor Franz Stephan, husband of Maria Theresa, following his
death in 1765. Less respectfully, Napoleon Bonaparte used this as a study during
his occupation of Vienna. (Napoleon on credibility: "If you say you are going to
take Vienna, take Vienna.") The adjacent Napoleon Room was his bedroom but is
more famous as the room where the King of Rome spent most of his short life. For
political reasons, Napoleon married Marie Louise, eldest daughter of Franz I –
the last Holy Roman emperor and first Austrian emperor. Napoleon Bonaparte
crowned their son, Napoleon Franz (1811-32), king of Rome. Following
Napoleon’s defeat in 1814, the young Napoleon Franz returned to Vienna and spent
the rest of his life in virtual isolation in Schloss Schönbrunn. The boy was
given the title Duke of Reichstadt in order for him to take an appropriate place
at Vienna’s protocol obsessed court. (Napoleon Franz’s very impressive rocking
cot is in the in the Hofburg.)
Further rooms have exquisite decorations and show off the Rococo art that
Maria Theresa favored. It is somewhat ironic that despite centuries of
hostilities, this more French interpretation of the heavier Italian baroque won
the most favor in Austria. The Millionenzimmer (Millions Room) is particularly
impressive and named after the expensive rosewood paneling with Indian and
Persian miniatures. The only surviving ceremonial bed of the Habsburg court is
in the Reichenzimmer. The bed was originally used in the Hofburg and dates from
1736 to the last years in which the emperor still went to bed in public.
The almost 9€ admission fee to Schönbrunn is not cheap, but it is definitely
false economy to save the additional 2.60€ that the admission to the Maria
Theresa apartments require.
From journal Schloss Schönbrunn – The Viennese Versailles
The Schönbrunn area functioned as hunting forest to the Habsburg family for
centuries. It was a convenient half-day ride outside Vienna, and only a small
hunting lodge served as accommodations. Things became more gentile in the
mid-17th century, when the widow of Ferdinand II had a small pleasure
palace erected here. The palace was soon destroyed by the Turks, but after they
were finally defeated by
Prince Eugene, the future Joseph I instructed that a palace to rival
Versailles should be erected. His successors suspended the work, and it took a
feminine touch to see completion of the palace as we know it today.
After her marriage in 1736, Princess Maria Theresa received the palace as a
summer residence and promptly had it renovated and enlarged. Nikolaus Pacassi
received the commission to complete and enlarge the palace. He followed a strict
baroque architectural layout, but, upon Maria Theresa’s orders, the interior
decorations are a more feminine and relaxed Rococo. He also changed the exterior
color of the palace from its white, blue, and pink to the now familiar
Schönbrunn yellow. Ever since, Schloss Schönbrunn had been a favored summer
residence of the Habsburg family.
The Imperial Tour of the palace interior includes 22 rooms, mostly those used
by Austria’s penultimate emperor, Franz Joseph, and his wife Elizabeth, better
known as Sisi. Although these rooms are not plain or simple by any stretch of
the imagination, they are a lot less opulent than other palaces of lesser nobles
from the same period. This is particularly noticeable in the apartments of the
emperor. Kaiser Franz Joseph was known for his almost Spartan lifestyle and used
a small, simple iron bed for most of his life. He actually died in the one in
his bedroom here on November 22, 1916.
Things are slightly more luxurious in the apartments of the empress, which
also included the first and only separate toilet room in the palace – still one
more than at Versailles! The dining room table is laid out as it would have
been in the early 20th century. When dining with family, Franz Joseph would
set aside at most 40 minutes. He was a famously hard worker, but, unfortunately,
it took more than hard work to successfully rule an empire.
A highlight of the tour is the 40m long Großen Galerie (Great Gallery). This
ballroom’s finest moments were in 1814-15, when it was the primary setting for
the balls accompanying the Vienna Congress, which decided the fate of most of
Europe following the defeat of Napoleon. More recently, it was the setting for
the meeting in 1961 between John F Kennedy and Nikita Chruschtschow
Using the audio guide included in the admission fee, touring these rooms take
around 40 minutes. The ever-present group tours are ultimately the main
determinant at how fast or slow one can progress through the rooms.
Mont Albert North, undefined, Australia
August 20, 2004
The palace exceeded the size of the palace of Versailles on which it was modelled. Having also visited the palace of Versailles, this is no mean feat! It would take more time than we had availale to fully tour this palace and its grounds. Unfortunately, when we were there they were renovating. Why do all historic buildings sprout scaffolding when I visit?
From journal Vienna Visit
August 13, 2003
From journal Vienna, Starving Student Style