Vienna Schönbrunn Palace

The Schönbrunn Palace has an interesting history.  In the middle ages. the estate used to be known as Katerburg and belongs to the abby of Klosterneuburg.  Over time, the property was enlarged and eventually became a large country estate.  Maximilian II bought the estate in 1569, the property had a house, windmill, stable, orchard, large garden.

History or legend says that in 1612 while hunting, Emperor Matthias discovered the ‘fair spring’ or Schöner Brunnen.  It was in 1642 that it became officially known as the Schönbrunn.  In 1683, the place was destroyed during the Turkish siege, in 1686 Leopold I decided to have a new residence built for his son, Joseph.  It was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and was built in 1696 as a hunting lodge.

The palace was not turned into a full royal residence until Maria Teresa ascended the throne in 1736. She hired architect Nikolaus Picassi and the home was transformed with a series of expansions into the building that you see today.

After Maria Teresa’s death, the palace remained unoccupied until Franz II used it as his summer residence.  Napoleon twice occupied the residence.  It was also ruing his rein that the outside facade was replaced with a plainer design and painted in the famous ‘Schönbrunn yellow’.


The gardens were the last project of Maria Teresa and were contracted int he 1770’s.  The layout was supervised by court architect Johann Ferdinand Herzendof von Hohenberg.  The Gloriette, Neptune Fountain, the Roman Ruin,  and the Obelisk.


My favorite room in the palace is the Porcelain Room.  It is a white room decorated in blue.  It included 213 pen and ink drawings done by Franz Stephan and his children.  The palace is full of wonderful stories and interesting pieces of history.  Enjoy what it has to show and tell you.

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