Our hotel in Vienna was wonderful! It was right across the street from Schönbrunn Palace and the Schönbrunn Zoo. The grounds are lovely to walk around, and we were able to spend a couple hours there on 2 different days. The Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in 1743 for Empress Maria Teresa. As the largest palace in Austria, Schönbrunn Palace is the most visited tourist attraction in Vienna.
The interior of the palace was amazing, but no photographs were allowed in the staterooms. [sad face] I had especially hoped to take a photo in the Hall of Mirrors, famous for 6 year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister playing a concert for Empress Maria Teresa and her family there. All of the rooms were extravagantly elegant, as expected. As disappointed as I was for not being able to take photos in the state rooms, it allowed me the opportunity to relax and take things in more…or at least to focus on trying to keep my toddler from screaming. After the tour, I was able to get a photo in the entryway of the most amazing black marble statue.
The Palace Gardens are sprawling. Much of the garden design was done by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg and carried out in the late 1770s. Fountains, pathways, and statues break up the vast expanses of shrubbery and flowers.
Behind the palace is the Gloriette. It was built to be the crowning glory of the palace-notice it even looks like a tiara to me! There is a café and gardens behind the Gloriette.
The Obelisk Fountain is an interesting piece full of symbolism. Greek and Egyptian influence are prevalent here, from the obelisk carved with hieroglyphs and cartouches to the garlands of grapes and river gods pouring water out of the jugs into the pool below.