|Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn *|
|Region **||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||1996 (20th Session)|
|* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List
** Region as classified by UNESCO
Schönbrunn Palace is a former imperial 1,441-room Rococo summer residence in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most important cultural monuments in the country. Since the 1960s it has been one of the major tourist attractions in Vienna. The palace and gardens show the tastes and interests of Habsburg monarchs.
Early history [change]
In the year 1569, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II purchased a large floodplain of the Wien river. It was between Meidling and Hietzing. The emperor had the area to be fenced and put game there such as pheasants, ducks, deer and boar. This was the court's recreational hunting ground. In a small separate part of the area, "exotic" birds such as turkeys and peafowl were kept. Fishponds were built, too.
The name Schönbrunn (meaning "beautiful spring") is from an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court.
During the next century, the area was used as a hunting and recreation ground. Eleonora Gonzaga, who loved hunting, spent much time there. She was given the area as her widow's residence after the death of her husband, Ferdinand II. From 1638 to 1643, she added a palace to the Katterburg mansion. In 1642 it was called "Schönbrunn" for the first time. The start of the Schönbrunn orangery seem to go back to Eleonora Gonzaga as well.
Lining the Great Parterre are 32 sculptures, which represent deities and virtues.
Recent history [change]
After the end of the monarchy in 1918, the new Austrian Republic became the owner of Schönbrunn Palace. They made it a museum.