Small-Group Schönbrunn Palace Half-Day Tour with a Historian Guide
This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Schonbrunner Gardens, Maxingstrasse 13b, Vienna 1130 Austria
We begin our encounter with the astonishing High Baroque Schönbrunn Palace (built to rival Versailles) with a stroll through the magnificent formal gardens, exploring the Baroque landscaping principle of interlaced nature and architecture that is illustrated everywhere in the layout of the grounds. Approaching the Gloriette, a huge triumphal arch situated on a hilltop with panoramic views of Vienna’s woods, we recall the military victories that made Empress Maria Theresa’s reign (1740-1780) a highpoint of the Habsburg dynasty’s political and cultural dominance in Europe. The park was opened not only to the court but to the general public from 1779, a populist gesture that reveals Maria Theresa’s canny charm offensive towards her subjects. Indeed, it was under Maria Theresa’s direction that Schönbrunn Palace became the focal point of Austria’s imperial policy and the centre of court life, in addition to functioning as the summer residence of a reigning family counting not less than 16 children! Several of this teaming brood of young royals did not survive to adulthood but the palace preserves the memory of their infancy, childhood summer activities, illnesses and early loss.
Duration: 30 minutes
Stop At: Schonbrunn Palace, Schlosstrasse 47, Vienna 1130 Austria
Generations of Habsburg rulers put their stamp on Schönbrunn. The Franz-Joseph & Elisabeth Apartments tell the story of a couple torn apart by the burdens of state. In 1854, Emperor Franz Joseph married the Bavarian princess Elizabeth (known better under the affectionate nickname Sisi) who despised the rituals of court life and the ornate environment of the summer palace. Visiting one lavish room after another gives us an ample sense of the opulence which country-reared Sisi fled: The dining room with precious tableware and “imperial napkins” in the form of a “fleur de lys” witnessed countless state dinners; the Hall of Ceremonies records the pompous Baroque celebrations it hosted, such as the wedding of Crown Prince Joseph, depicted in a series of scenes by court painter Martin van Meytens; the so-called “Porcelain Room” (office of Maria Theresa), completely done in imitation of precious china with orientalist drawings drafted by the imperial children. The unique “Millions Room” owes its name to a fabulous price in gold ducats paid for it: antiquated Indo-Persian miniatures with rococo-frames, wall hangings manufactured of carved rosewood from the Antilles make the “Millions chamber” one of the most accomplished combinations of Oriental and European decorative art from the Rococo era.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Schönbrunn Palace & Park ticket - Individual: 20 EUR and Students (19-25) 18 EUR
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Entry/Admission - Schonbrunner Gardens
- Entry/Admission - Schonbrunn Palace
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Your guide will help you to purchase your Schönbrunn Palace & Park entrance tickets
Our guide was excellent. There was some confusion however with who our guide was to be and confusion on our guide’s end with the information she received. Once we had it worked out though the guided tour was excellent .
While our guide was very knowledgeable about the Hapsburgs and had many stories to make our viewing of the palace much more enlightening he could not overcome the logistics of the tour. The palace was overwhelmingly crowded, airless and overly warm. The swell of tourists all anxious to see and understand was just too much to make us ready to recommend this tour.
Wonderful time with guide who had an in-depth knowledge of the location, the people, and the history.
Our small tour turned into a very private tour when my wife and I were the only folks to register. Our gain and everyone else's loss. Our tour guide Georg was amazing. Georg earned his PhD in Political Science and History at the University of Vienna. Absolutely no one could have delivered a better, more enjoyable tour for us. We have toured the Palace of Versailes and Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and Georg's knowledge of Schonbrunn made this our best tour of the three. Passion and knowlege of Viennese history and the Palace made this tour a wonderful experience. He was the first tour guide of the big 3 that brought to life the personalities of the emperors and empresses. We highly recommend this tour and suggest if you do that your request Georg to be your tour guide!
Wolfgang was an awesome tourguide! He was very knowlegable so he was able to give us an overview of the history of Austria since it was our first day. He explained how the monarchs has lived, how the palace came to be and other trivias about the royals.