Flora & Fauna & Royalty

Vienna’s history and buildings are amazing, but this week we’ve been seeing a lot more flowers. A lot more.

Of course, everything here has historical/cultural significance, so even those flowers tell some kind of story.

Kahlenberg, Vienna Woods

Vienna basically has everything, including mountains and a forest. We went for a short jaunt up one of the small mountains (Kahlenberg) and got a lovely view of the city from the top.

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Kahlenberg was the home of St. Josef’s church, a cloister, and a vineyard (at least portions of both are still there). At several different points in the hill’s history, the royals decided name changes were in order. So, this small mountain has been called Schweinsberg (originally, after all the wild pigs thay used to live there), Josephsberg, Leopoldsberg, and Kahlenberg. During the Siege of Vienna, the King of Poland launched his attack on the Turkish army from this mountain. After enjoying the view, we went into the woods.

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Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace was the hunting lodge and eventually summer home of the Habsburg royalty from 1569 to 1918. It’s had a bit of a tumultuous history, just like the royalty who resided in it. The palace has seen about 400 years of history, and the rise and fall of many Emporers (+one Empress). It’s  too much to document here (but look it up it’s super interesting).

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Schönbrunn Front Courtyard
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Back Courtyard
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View of the Back Courtyard from the Palace

No pictures were allowed inside, sorry.

Now, for the flowers.

People flock to Schönbrunn to see the history of Vienna and the Austrian Empire, but just as many come to see the lavish gardens and beautiful flowers. And I mean hundreds and hundreds of flowers.

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For a person with a slight fear of bees, it was a pretty scary place.

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Clearly the Habsburg royalty enjoyed a lavish style of living, even in the gardens of their summer home; and even that has a story behind it.

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