together with its auxillary buildings and extensive park belongs to the most important cultural monuments in Austria. 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 late in 1996.
In 1569 the estate came into Habsburg possession through Maximilian II. The Habsburg dynasty is descended from a line of Alemannic counts from the Aargau (today in Switzerland). After Rudolf I of Habsburg had been elected Roman-German King in 1273, he enfeoffed his sons with the former Babenberg archduchies of Austria and Styria in 1282. This date marks the beginning of Habsburg hegemony in Austria, which was to last more than 630 years from the late13th century to the end of the First World War in 1918.
The Gloriette and viewing terrace
Fischer von Erlach's designs had included a belvedere for Schönbrunn Hill intended as the crowning touch to the palatial Baroque ensemble, but it was not until Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg remodelled the park that this project was finally realised. The Early Classicistic colonnaded Gloriette was built to Hohenberg's designs on the crest of the hill in 1775.
The structure consists of a central section in the form of a triumphal arch, flanked by arcaded wings with lofty semi-circular arches. The central section, which was glazed during the last year of Maria Theresa's life, is crowned with a mighty imperial eagle perching on a globe and surrounded by trophies. The flat roof with its retaining balustrade was already being used as a viewing platform by the beginning of the 19th century. It can be accessed today via a stairway.<<
For more information about Schoenbrunn please click here!