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Schönbrunn Palace Garden Gloriette

Schönbrunn Palace Garden Gloriette: Our most recommended tours and activities

Half-Day History Tour of Schönbrunn Palace

1. Half-Day History Tour of Schönbrunn Palace

The astonishing High Baroque Schönbrunn Palace was built to rival Versailles. Begin your 2.5-hour guided tour with a walk through the magnificent formal gardens, based on the Baroque landscaping principle of interlaced nature and architecture. Approaching the Gloriette, a huge triumphal arch situated on a hilltop with panoramic views of Vienna’s woods, your guide will tell you about the military victories that made Empress Maria Theresa’s reign (1740-1780) a highpoint in the Hapsburg Dynasty’s political and cultural dominance in Europe. The park was opened to the general public in 1779, a populist gesture that reveals Maria Theresa’s canny charm offensive. Indeed, it was under Maria Theresa’s direction that Schönbrunn Palace became the focal point of Austria’s imperial policy and the center of court life, in addition to functioning as the summer residence of a reigning family with 16 children! You’ll see that next generation of Hapsburg rulers also put their stamp on Schönbrunn. The Franz-Joseph and Elisabeth Apartments tell the story of a couple torn apart by the burdens of state. In 1854, Emperor Franz Joseph married the Bavarian princess known better under the affectionate nickname Sisi, who despised the rituals of court life and the ornate environment of the summer palace. She commissioned a spiral staircase leading from her official rooms to a private entry from which she could flee from the palace to the gardens. Visiting one lavish room after another will give you a sense of the opulence that the country girl Sisi fled. Marvel at the unique Millions Room that owes its name to its price. It features antique Indo-Persian miniatures in Rococo frames and wall hangings of carved rosewood from the Antilles that make the Millions Room one of the most accomplished combinations of Oriental and European decorative art from the Rococo era.

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What people are saying about Schönbrunn Palace Garden Gloriette

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 34 reviews

We were lucky enough to take part in an extremely private - just the two of us - tour with Ilse. Ilse is by far the best tour guide I've ever seen in "Action". As far as the quality of the tour is concerned, Ilse is friendly and attentive beyond all measure, with a lot of detailed knowledge and "nice-to-know" information and acted well throughout the tour and answered questions very extensively. Extremely flexible, she has the rare ability to deviate from rigid constructs and customize the tour to suit her guests. With Ilse you like to walk through the imposing garden of Schönbrunn - even at 32 degrees Celsius - sweat in the rooms of the numerous Marias and Josephs and Ferdinands who lived there, and would even acclimate to a cold Heurigen in the beer garden afterwards. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Our guide, Biljana, was terrific. We are lucky to have a small group of four, so our tour was more personal. Biljana took us through the Schonbrunn gardens and palace, all the while explaining the history of the Habsburg dynasty. She was very engaging and informative. The palace is jaw-dropping, both inside and out! A must see

Our wonderful guide, Katerina, made this a very personable tour through the palace. She set the historical context and gave us educated insights into the people, objects and rooms that we explored. What a terrific way to appreciate all that Schönbrunn represents! Kiddos to Katerina for taking such good care of us!

Excellent guide, Lena has managed to introduce us in the atmosphere of the royal family and shared some interesting facts that you will not find in the history books. Thank you Lena!

The palace is exceptional and the guide was knowledgeable, and accommodating. It wads a real pleasure and very informative spending three hours with her.