Ehem. kaiserl. Lustschloß Schönbrunn. Wien.
Schoenbrunn, the Old Imperial Castle of Pleasure.
Ancien château de plaisance impérial de Schoenbrunn. Vienne.
Publisher (artist): Johann Jaunbersin
Schönbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The name Schönbrunn (meaning “beautiful spring”) has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court. The 1,441-room Rococo palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. . . . The Schönbrunn Palace in its present form was built and remodelled during the 1740–50s during the reign of empress Maria Theresa who received the estate as a wedding gift. Franz I commissioned the redecoration of the palace exterior in the neoclassical style as it appears today. Franz Joseph, the longest-reigning emperor of Austria, was born at Schönbrunn and spent a great deal of his life there. He died there, at the age of 86, on 21 November 1916. Following the downfall of the Habsburg monarchy in November 1918, the palace became the property of the newly founded Austrian Republic and was preserved as a museum.
After the death of Emperor Ferdinand II in 1637, the estate became the dower residence of his art-loving widow, who needed the appropriare architectural setting for her busy social life. She therefore had a château de plaisance built around 1642, which was accompanied by the renaming of the Katterburg to Schoenbrunn, a change of name first documented in the same year. In 1683 the château de plaisance and its deer park fell victim to the depredations of Turkish troops during the siege of Vienna. From 1686 the estate was in the possession of Emperor Leopold I, who decided that he would make the estate over to his son and heir Joseph, and have a splendid new residence built for him.
Soon afterwards the architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, an architect who had received his training in Rome and had been recommended by patrons from the nobility, arrived at court. In 1688 he presented the Emperor with a preliminary set of designs for a new palace, the so-called Schoenbrunn I-Project, and in 1693 Leopold I commissioned concrete plans for the construction of a grand hunting lodge, on which work started in 1696. The new edifice was partly built on the existing foundations of the château de plaisance that had been destroyed by the Turks. The construction of the lateral wings was delayed from 1701 owing to the War of the Spanish Succession and the attendant financial constraints, and came to a complete halt after Joseph’s sudden death.
Schönbrunner Schlossstraße Knozerta
To either side of the Small Gallery are the East Asian Cabinets, until recently known erroneously as Chinese cabinets. Only the right-hand cabinet can correctly be termed Chinese in reference to the Chinese porcelain displayed there, while the left-hand east cabinet should be referred to as the Japanese Oval Cabinet. Both rooms have a distinctly intimate character and were used by Maria Theresa for small social gatherings, for example for playing cards. Before the rooms were decorated as we see them today, the Round Cabinet was used as a small conference room, in which the so-called ‘tables de conspiration‘ took place. These were secret conferences at which meals were served to the participants by means of a moveable table winched up from the room on the floor below, so that they would not be disturbed or eavesdropped upon by the servants.