The Imperial Gardens of Vienna
The Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria, was the residence of the Habsburg emperors from the 18th century to early 20th century. During the reign of Empress Maria Theresa, an impressive baroque garden was laid around the palace: a symbol of imperial power and a homage to nature. The grounds of Schönbrunn cover 160 hectares including the world’s first zoo, a Great Parterre with patterned flower beds, a Palm House with exotic specimens from all over the world, and an Orangery of one hundred and eighty-nine metres long and ten metres wide. Today these gardens are part of Schönbrunn’s UNESCO World Heritage and provide a popular recreational amenity for the Viennese and international visitors: from taking a walk, visiting the zoo or the Palm House to picking wild garlic in the woods at spring time. “These gardens, altogether with the woods, meadows and parks, cover more than half of the entire city. It is largely thanks to these huge green lungsthat Vienna boasts an excellent quality of life” points out Ulli Sima, Councillor, City of Vienna.