Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn (1996)
Back to index
From the 18th century to 1918, Schönbrunn was the residence of the Habsburg emperors. It was designed by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nicolaus Pacassi and is full of outstanding examples of decorative art. Together with its gardens, the site of the world's first zoo in 1752, it is a remarkable Baroque ensemble and a perfect example of Gesamtkunstwerk.
Owing to it's long and fairly eventful history, the imperial grounds of Schönbrunn Palace with it's adjacent buildings and sprawling park is one of Austria¿s most important cultural monuments. Under official protection as a historical landmark, Schönbrunn in it¿s entirety - encompassing the palace, the gardens with their numerous monuments, fountains and sculptures, as well as the zoo which is the world's oldest - was placed on UNESCO¿s World Heritage List in 1997. Schönbrunn's history and that of it's preceding buildings dates back to the Middle Ages. The estate was called Katterburg from the beginning of the 14th century.
Emperor Matthias used the area for hunting and according to legend discovered the beautiful fountain during one of his outings in the year 1612 that eventually gave Schönbrunn it's name. Under possession of the Habsburg family of rulers since Emperor Maximilian II, the palatial grounds were brought under custody of the Republic at the Monarchy's end and were subsequently managed by the Schönbrunn Palace Corps. A company was formed in 1992 (known as the Schloss Schönbrunn Kultur- und BetriebsgesmbH) which was entrusted with overseeing the palace and gardens, whose owner continues to remain the Republic of Austria.
Other World Heritage Sites in Austria (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Austria section, for more information about the individual properties.
Back to index
Revised 18 aug 2007