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Gloriette, Schoenbrunn Pallace, Vienna, Austria Photo
Gloriette, Schoenbrunn Pallace, Vienna
SOURCE: Osterreich Werbung/Diejun, courtesy of Austrian National Tourist Office, used with permission.

Schonbrunn Palace, a former royal residence in Vienna, is one of the most important cultural monuments in the country, and one of its major tourist attractions. Scheduled as a listed monument, the whole ensemble, including the palace, the park with its numerous architectural features, fountains and statues and not least the zoo the oldest of its kind in the world was placed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 1996.

Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II purchased a large floodplain of the Wien river beneath a hill to use as recreational hunting ground. In the Turkish siege of 1683, all existing buildings were destroyed, and never restored. A new palace was built by Emperor Leopold I beginning in 1696 and after three years the first festivities were held in the newly built middle part of the palace.

Subsequent modifications and construction took place under Maria Theresa of Austria and Emperor Franz Josef I, who was born there, spent the majority of his life there and died there on November 21, 1916 in his sleeping room.

The Gloriette, a building on a site that is 60 meters higher than the surroundings, forms an impressive termination to the central axis of the extensive grounds, and offers a panoramic view of the palace area and the city of Vienna. From the top of the external stairway of the garden facade of the palace the broad tangential avenues offer an unobstructed view to the Obelisk Fountain in the Meidling side of the park and to the Menagerie Pavilion to the west and are additionally accentuated by formal pools.


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