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Schloß Schönbrunn - The State Rooms and Imperial Apartments on the piano nobile

By Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.

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Back in the 17th century, the Habsburgs had a small summer palace on this site. However, this was destroyed during the second Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683. After the defeat of the Turks, Emperor Leopold I commissioned the Austrian Baroque architect Fischer von Erlach with the construction of a hunting lodge. Fifty years later Maria Theresa had Schönbrunn remodelled in the Rococo style by her court architect Nicolaus Pacassi. Here she spent the summer months together with the court household, which numbered more than 1,500 individuals. The imperial family also contributed personally to the furnishings and decoration of some of the rooms in the palace. This is just one of the features that make the history of the palace come alive today, telling the story of the changing fashions for interior design and the everyday life of the Habsburgs. Maria Theresa’s successors also left their mark on the palace, above all her great-great grandson, Emperor Franz Joseph, who was born in the palace and died here in 1916, after a reign lasting 68 years. When you get to the first floor, turn to the right, into the Herringbone Room. Through the window on the left you can look into a courtyard called the Grosser Kaiserhof, which is now part of the Children’s Museum. There you can find out about everyday life at the imperial court and try out some of these aspects for yourself. Through the open door you can look into the Aide-de-Camp’s Room. The main duty of the aide-de-camp was to ensure that the emperor was supplied with the latest military intelligence, which is probably why he was accommodated in close proximity to the imperial apartments.