UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna
Arriving in Vienna from the west, either by road or by train, one of the first major attractions no visitor can miss is Schönbrunn Palace, the former residence of Habsburg rulers.
Schönbrunn Palace is the finest example of a baroque palace and gardens in Austria. The palace and gardens served as the centre of a huge empire for more than 300 years; in the 18th century Empress Maria Theresa had 16 children, 12 of whom reached adulthood and needed their own apartment so the palace underwent several phases of rebuilding and extension. The organisation of life at Schönbrunn was the biggest service industry in the monarchy. Now, it is a major magnet in cultural tourism and even on a cold, damp day in the middle of winter about one thousand people make their way to visit Schönbrunn Palace to find out about Austria’s imperial history; in the summer that figure increases to about eight thousand a day. Schönbrunn Palace has been on the World Heritage List since 1996.
Report: Elizabeth Mortimer