Schonbrunn Palace, located in Vienna, (Austria) is a Late Baroque summer residence, currently one of the most important cultural buildings in Austria. The name Schonbrunn means “beautiful spring” and refers to the origins of the structure, when it was initially a hunting and recreation place for the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Maximilian II and later for the second wife of Ferdinand II, Eleonora Gonzaga.
The structure and development of the gardens illustrate the concepts and ideas of the following Holy Roman Emperors, and most importantly by the imperial couple Franz Joseph and Sisi, who were fascinated by the Palace, which was build to match the French Versailles in Baroque beauty and significance. The surroundings include the Roman Ruin, which is a set of follies that was created by the architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg and designed as an fully new architectural feature in 1778, made up of a rectangular pool, surrounded on all sides by a massive arch with lateral walls. Today the Schonbrunn palace also includes a palm house that has three climate zones and rare plants coming from rain forests in other continents.
The Vienna Zoo is also situated inside the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace and it is officially the oldest zoo in the world. The building also displays the biggest and probably most well-known gloriette in the world, built back in 1775. The Gloriette’s decorative sculptures were created by the renowned Salzburg sculptor Johann Baptist von Hagenauer and it was damaged during the Second World War, yet it was immediately restored by the end of 1947.
As a result of its historical significance, its beautiful area and the magnificent gardens, the Schonbrunn Palace is one of the most visited sights in Vienna. In addition to this, it is listed by the UNESCO as a place of special cultural and physical significance.