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Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn Austria

From the 18th century to 1918, Schonbrunn was the residence of the Habsburg emperors. It was designed by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nicolaus Pacassi and is full of outstanding examples of decorative art. Together with its gardens, the site of the world's first zoo in 1752, it is a remarkable Baroque ensemble and a perfect example of Gesamtkunstwerk. The site of the Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn is outstanding as one of the most impressive and well preserved Baroque ensembles of its kind in Europe. Additionally, it is a potent material symbol of the power and influence of the House of Habsburg over a long period of European history, from the end of the 17th to the early 20th century.

Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn Austria
Continent: Europe
Country: Austria
Category: Cultural
Criterion: (I)(IV)
Date of Inscription: 1996

Palace Gardens

It is impossible to separate the gardens from the palace, of which they form an organic extension: this is an excellent example of the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk, a masterly fusion of many art forms. A small hunting lodge and later summer residence of the Habsburg family was rebuilt after total destruction during the last Turkish attack in 1683. During construction work the project was expanded into an Imperial summer residence of the court.

As such it represents the ascent and the splendour of the Habsburg Empire. At the peak of Habsburg power at the beginning of the 18th century, when imperial Vienna following the Turkish reflected its regained significance in spectacular examples of newly developing Baroque art, Schonbrunn was one of the most important building projects of the capital and residency.

Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn
Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn

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Dimensions and Functions

The ample Baroque gardens with their buildings and statuary testify to the palace's imperial dimensions and functions. The original intention, when they were laid out in the 18th century, was to combine the glorification of the House of Habsburg with homage to nature.

The Orangery on the east side of the main palace building is, at 186 m, the longest in the world. The Great Palm House is an impressive iron-framed structure, 114 m long and divided into three Sections, erected in 1880 using technology developed in England.

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