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Austria’s Fair Spring

By Linda Tancs

Dating to the Middle Ages, Schönbrunn Palace is one of Austria’s top tourist attractions. Originally called Katterburg, its current name was adopted in 1642, derived from Emperor Matthias’s alleged discovery of the schöner Brunnen (“fair spring”) during a hunting expedition in 1612. A former hunting lodge, the grand estate seen today was used as a summer residence by the imperial family beginning in 1745. The tour of the imperial apartments and the magnificent state rooms includes the residential suite of rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth in the west wing, the state rooms in the central section of the palace, the imperial apartments of Maria Theresa and Franz I Stephan and the Franz Karl Apartment, which was occupied by Franz Joseph’s parents, Archduchess Sophie and Archduke Franz Karl. The property is easily reached at Schönbrunn station in Vienna via underground, bus or tram.

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