A landmark of Vienna, Schonbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the imperial house of Austria, is among the most important tourist attractions of the city. Be sure to reserve a whole day for a complete tour of the 1442 (!) rooms palace, the zoo garden, the famous labyrinth, the botanical garden, and all the alleys of the vast domain.
Schonbrunn was built at the end of the 17th century, at the orders of Leopold I, with the ambition to compete with the French iconic Versailles. The architect was Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, but his project was practically reshaped by Nicolo Pacassi, at the orders of Maria Theresa. Emperor Franz Josef of Austria was born and died in this castle, his long life putting its mark on the castle as we see it today.
On the outside, we can see a French Garden, a maze, and some important monuments. On the two sides of the Great Parterre, the main garden, are 32 statues of virtues. The Well of Neptune is a fountain representing the Roman god of the sea. A panorama of Schonbrunn and of Vienna can be admired from the loan on the hill that has on top the Gloriette. It is a pavilion and a monument glorifying the Austrian monarchy and the “Just War” that leads to peace.