A Summer Visit to the Summer Palace

Schonbrunn Palace

A busy summer day at the Summer Palace

This is the Summer Palace outside Vienna, the Schonbrunn Imperial Palace.  It’s the summer palace of the Hapsburg family, and the land has been in their family since 1569.   The wife of the Emperor Ferdinand had a palace built here in 1696, and nowadays it is a very popular tourist attraction, with some of the rooms in the palace open to the public, together with the magnificient maze, the gloriette, amazing sculptures and waterfalls like the photo below, with Neptune and his nymphs enjoying the waters

Schonbrunn Palace

One of the sculptures of Neptune

There are so many different and interesting buildings and sculptures to see at the Gardens that we spent almost a whole day wandering around, taking lots of photos, enjoyed a gelato and coffee at the cafe in the Gloriette and caught a tram home, happy to sit and rest our aching feet at the end of the day.

Norm’s Thursday Doors : 09 June 2016

My doors this week come from two different countries, Austria and Greece.   They are both old, ornate and have seen many people pass through them over the years.     Check out some more doors over at Norm’s Thursday Doors.

Vienna Austria,

Ornate door in Vienna

Meganisi door

Old building on Greek Island of Meganisi

Also linking to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, check it out here

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Danube at Night

The Danube Canal

The photo above was taken at the Danube Canal in Vienna, which is about 17 km long, and meanders around the city of Vienna, before joining the river further along.    There were many pleasure boats and small cruise ships berthed there, waiting to take people on some night time cruises.

Danube Canal, Vienna

Cruising on the Canal

Visit Narami for more Tuesday photos

Wordless Wednesday : Escalating to Freedom!

The Graben, Vienna

Escalator in Vienna

It’s Almost Summer, Let’s Go to The Summer Palace!

The Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens was the summer residence of the Imperial Family of Austria, and is only a short tram ride from Vienna.  The project to build the palace was started in 1695, and only completed in the mid 18th century.    The Baroque palace is surrounded by extensive gardens, even with a zoo, and many fountains and statues on either side,with walkways and pathways in between.

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

The Gloriette

This is the Gloriette, or summer house – not the type of summer house that would fit in my back garden!    In front you can see Neptune’s Fountain, a very detailed piece of sculpture.

The Roman Ruins at the Schonbrunn

The Roman Ruins

You will also find some Roman Ruins in the garden, not really from Rome, but copied in 1778 for the Empress Maria Theresia by the same architect who designed the park’s Gloriette: Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg.  Nevertheless, even though they are copied, they are still interesting and impressive.

Roman Ruins at the Schonbrunn,

For me, the most interesting part of the garden was the Obelisk, with its fountain and river gods.  There were so many  different creatures and symbols here, and the obelisk itself rests on the back of four turtles, which is meant to be a symbol of stability.    The main god, with water spewing from his mouth into three basins, and then into the main pool, with his long hair made from leaves and flowers, is really something worth seeing.


The Horses are Plentiful in Vienna!

When we visited Vienna we saw many horses, both real life ones and statues.    The famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna is where you will find Lipizzaner horses, which were bred exclusively by the Hapsburg monarchy for use during times of war and peace, from the end of the 16th century.   These horses are white, and are very light on their feet, and nowadays usually used for dressage events and concerts.

You can watch a video of these horses in action here

There are also some horses and carriages on the streets of Vienna, mainly to bring tourists around the Hofburg Complex, where you will find the former Imperial apartments, the Austrian National Library, The Riding School, and the President of Austria’s Offices, and the offices of many other organisations.

Driving through the entrance to the Hofburg Palace

                           Driving through the entrance to the Hofburg Palace

In the gardens in and around the Palace are several statues of men on horseback, commemorating the great and the good of Austria

IMG_6337Another one, preparing to go to battle


And more horses and carriages showing people the many sights.


We also visited Schonbrunn, the summer residence of the Imperial family (sadly they were not at home!) and saw more horses, this time in the Neptune Fountain.    You will notice that these horses and riders, which were sculpted in 1780, all have webbed feet in keeping with Neptune and the Sea.  I did notice that the riders weren’t wearing any clothes, I suppose this was because of being in the water!

Schoenbrunn Palace

                                                                    Neptune’s Fountain

Neptune's Fountain, Schoenbrunn Palace

There were so many interesting places in Vienna, it’s impossible to fit everything into one post, so I will get some more photos together and let you see some wonderful buildings.    I very much enjoyed seeing the famous Klimt paintings in the Belvedere Museum, but unfortunately no photos were allowed – I did take out my camera at one stage, but the very observant security guard wagged his finger at me, so I thought it was better not to be too brave and break the rules!!


Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge : Week 22 : Group

Graben, Vienna

Stephensplatz, Vienna

Vienna on a Saturday is the place to see groups of people, making music, having coffee, singing, strolling around, or just people watching.    We were staying in an apartment right above the square, which was the perfect place for watching all the different groups below us.

Jewish Synagogue, Budapest

Tourists in Budapest

Outside the Jewish Synagogue in Budapest, there were lots of people waiting to go inside and enjoy the beautiful building.

Visit Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge for more photos.

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