Schloss Schonbrunn and Vienna City Tour
My first full day in Vienna I took a small group tour of the City and Schonbrunn Palace. I enjoyed visiting with a young newlywed couple from Baltimore who had been given the trip to Vienna as a wedding gift.
Our City Tour included the highlights of Vienna, but it was difficult to see several of the sites because trams or buses were often blocking our view. Our first stop was a short photo stop at Schloss Belvedere. We then proceeded to the Schonbrunn Palace for our guided tour. The name Schonbrunn means beautiful spring and originates from an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court. The Baroque Schloss Schonbrunn, a former imperial summer residence, consists of 1,441 rooms. The palace in its present form was built and remodeled during the 1740-50s. Maria Theresa had received the estate as a wedding gift. Her son, Franz Joseph, was born in the palace and was the longest-reigning emperor of Austria, dying there at the age of 86, on 21 November 1916. The state-owned palace is one of the most important architectural and historical monuments in Austria. The palace history covers over 300 years and reflects the life of successive Habsburg monarchs.
Our tour guide was excellent and skilled in maneuvering our way past several large tour groups leaving time for a visit to the gardens and the large Christmas Market on the grounds. Once again, we weren’t allowed to take photographs of the palace interior, but I was able to get lots of photos of the exterior and the Christmas Market.