There’s more to Vienna than the Christmas markets! Vienna is home to one of the largest and most beautiful Imperial Palaces in Europe – Schönbrunn Palace. It was built in 1548, added onto from 1638-1643, and then added onto again later.
The palace has over 1,400 rooms – and was the home of the Hapsburg monarchs (and also a zoo, the oldest zoo in the world). It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the gardens there). You can also see an orangerie, a palm house, a Roman ruin folly, and the zoo.
- Watch this video on the history of Schönbrunn Palace, and then read a bit more from the UNESCO site. Why do you think leaders try to surround themselves with extraordinary buildings? Is it fair to the people, or did they historically expect more glamour from their leaders/locations of power?
- Head through the Palace through this clickable map, and read and listen to facts about various rooms. What did you discover? Gather in small groups and each share your favorites. Did you find something about Mozart? Where Emperor Franz Joseph was born?
- The Hapsburg Dynasty was long-lasting, running from 1250-1950. Check out this awesome timeline of the Hapsburgs. Break into small groups and research different rulers from this dynasty. Reconvene and share what you’ve found, including facts that make this history come alive!