Wednesday, September 11, 2013

5 Fun Facts about the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna

Shonbrunn Palace in Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna

Schönbrunn is a national treasure and a European tourist hotspot, located in the city of Vienna, the palace’s history stretches back for centuries. Its walls have seen more than their fair share of action, and the gardens are just as interesting. Schönbrunn Palace is certainly worth a visit, but before you go, take a look at some interesting palace facts.
1.    Schönbrunn means ‘Beautiful Spring’ 

The name has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court. Once a floodplain, it became a designated hunting area before turning into a full time residence.

2.    The grounds have a maze, AND a labyrinth!

The great maze in Schönbrunn took over 40 years to complete and has 4 parts to it. If you make it to the centre, you can watch people get lost from an elevated platform. The labyrinth is a separate space, reconstructed according to the original designs, it covers a huge area and contains a plethora of games, challenges, and even riddles!

Schönbrunn Gardens
Schönbrunn Gardens at Summer

3.    You Can Find the Palace on a Coin

That’s right, the Austrian 10-euro coin, minted in 2003. The obverse shows the central part of the palace façade, behind one of the great fountains. These coins sell for prices upwards of €40 (£30) today!

4.    The Palace Was Once Headquarters for a British Military Garrison

Between the years of 1945–1955, Schönbrunn Palace, which had been lying empty, became the Headquarters for the British Military Garrison in Vienna. It was later to host the historical meeting between President Kennedy and Khrushchev in 1961.

5.    The Palace Had 2.82 million Visitors in 2012

The palatial complex is considered to be a European jewel, in 1996 it was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the palace and grounds are the most visited attractions in Austria. Schönbrunn is closely followed by Hallstatt village, Grossglockner Alpine Road, St Anton am Arlberg Ski Resort, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna State Opera, and Melk Abby.