Schonbrunn Palace Tour Guide:
Set amidst lush beautifully landscaped gardens, the Schonbrunn Palace with its 1,441 rooms is like a piece of art in itself. Its exquisite baroque architecture with Rocco features boasts elaborately painted ceilings, gilded mirrors and wall frescoes combined with luxurious textiles and especially themed rooms make it one of the most magnificent palaces in Europe and the finest example of Imperial residences in Austria.
Walk the pages of history as you explore the richly appointed apartments, staterooms and salons of the Schonbrunn Palace. See Emperor Franz Joseph’s Audience Room; get a glimpse of the emperor’s personal tastes at his personal study and bedroom; check out the treasures of Empress Elizabeth’s rooms and her exercise equipment, which are in contrast to the courtly tastes of the day and reflect on the empress’ desire for independence from courtly restrictions.
Continue the tour to the Mirrors Room, one of the most magnificent rooms of the palace, featuring crystal mirrors positioned to reflect each other, giving the room an illusionary appearance. It was in one such room that the six-year old child prodigy, Mozart gave his first concert performance.
Midway on the tour, you enter the Great Gallery, an astounding 40×10 metres ballroom hall with white and gold stucco decoration, an ornately painted ceiling and large windows that reflect their views on the crystal mirrors placed right opposite them. Equally beautiful is the Small Gallery, which was used for smaller, intimate family celebrations.
Other rooms you visit during the tour include the Napoleon Room, where Napoleon resided when married to the daughter of Emperor Franz II(I) and the Millions Room, which features magnificent rosewood panelling and gilded surrounds that framed several Mughal Miniature paintings from India and similar painting by court artists in the ceilings. Later, visit the Rich Bedroom, the original bedroom of Archduke Franz Carl and Archduchess Sophie and the room where Emperor Franz Joseph entered the world. You can also see the only surviving bed of state from the Viennese court in it.
Artwork in the Porcelain room and Miniatures Cabinet reveal the interest of the Imperial family in fine arts. Do not forget to take your kids to the specially designed Children’s Museum, where they can play with toys from the imperial era, lay the table for an imperial banquet and even dress up as an imperial prince or princess.
Out in the Schonbrunn Palace Gardens, even more attractions await, albeit of a different kind. Find your way through a maze; unravel the secrets of the labyrinth and have a blast at the Labyrinthikon Playground. Enjoy magnificent views of the Palace and its grounds from the Gloriette; wander through the Botanic Garden and the Palm House; visit giant pandas, Siberian tigers, orang-utans and seals at Zoo Schönbrunn, the world’s oldest zoo. Other highlights include the Carriage Museum, the Orangery and the Desert House.