Schönbrunn Castle is a significant part of Austrian culture. Since the 1960s, it has been one of Vienna's most visited tourist sites. Schönbrunn Castle has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The castle is located in Hietzing, west of Vienna's city center. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, several buildings stood on this site.
In 1569, Maximilian II of the Holy Roman Empire bought the land where the parks and various buildings are today. He showed some interest in the zoo that had just been created, and tried to bring in more plantations of rare plant species. The name Schönbrunn is attributed to the emperor Matthias (1557-1619), who would have discovered during a hunting excursion a particularly beautiful spring (in German, schöner Brunnen "beautiful fountain"). During the following century, the imperial family used it as a summer residence, but the Turkish invasions led to its near-destruction. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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