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The Palaces of Vienna - Belvedere and Schonbrunn

After experiencing the wonders and glory of Imperial Vienna, we proceeded to visit some of the other homes of the Habsburg monarchs. Seeing as how the Family at one point ruled ALL of continental Europe, save for France, their homes around Vienna are extravagantly and gloriously decorated.

Belvedere

* The Belvedere is this beautiful, historic building complex that once served as the summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. A brilliant commander and statesman, Eugene fought wars against the French and Ottomans, and was referred to by Napoleon himself as one of the seven greatest commanders in history.


Belvedere

* After Prince Eugene's death, the Palace was absorbed by the Habsburg monarchy and became a museum which currently houses the greatest collection of Austrian art in the world.

Schonbrunn Palace

* The Schonbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs, many of whom shuttled back and forth from Hofburg Palace.

Schonbrunn Palace

* "Sure honey, we can probably afford to build a place this grand.. in about 500 years!"

Schonbrunn Palace

* Built in 1548 by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, the Schonbrunn is one of Vienna's most important cultural and historical landmarks, and a major tourist attraction.

Schonbrunn Palace Gardens

* With its vast gardens full of sculptures, ornate fountains, and landscaping, the Schonbrunn was also where most of the Habsburg children grew up, including the infamous Marie Antoinette.



Schonbrunn Palace

* While pictures are not allowed inside the palace, I can tell you that it is extremely lavish, with over a thousand ornately decorated rooms in the Baroque style. 

Schonbrunn Palace

* See, now from this angle, building a home like this seems doable... in about 100 years!

Schonbrunn Palace Mars and Minerva

* 32 Greek-inspired sculptures stand erect all around the gardens. This one is of Mars (Ares, God of War) and Minerva (Athena, Goddess of Wisdom).

Schonbrunn Palace

* Some people say that the Schonbrunn is even more grand than the Versailles in Paris, and I'm inclined to agree!
Schonbrunn Palace Gardens

* We could definitely see why Marie Antoinette turned out the way she did. She was just born into it and grew up with this luxury!

Schonbrunn Palace Neptune Fountain and Gloriette

* What really stunned me while walking around the gardens was the awesome looking Neptune Fountain and Gloriette. I just knew that I had to take a closer look!

Schonbrunn Palace Neptune Fountain and Gloriette

* Very cool! They say that there's a cafe at the Gloriette (the building with the eagle). Sadly we didn't have enough time to visit and enjoy a cup of warm brew amidst this beautiful view.

Schonbrunn Palace

* Heading back to the Palace from the Neptune Fountain. I wish I had a trusty steed.

Schonbrunn Palace Horse Carriage

* For tourists who are feeling sassy, horse-drawn carriage rides are available to take you around the Palace grounds, all for the good price of 60 Euros (yeah, Vienna is pretty expensive compared to other cities in Europe).

Schonbrunn Palace

* Today, the Palace is used as a museum, classical music recital grounds, and venue for top-level state meetings such as the one with American President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1961.

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