Austria //

Schönbrunn

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The biggest attraction in the city suburbs is the imperial summer palace of Schönbrunn , designed by Fischer von Erlach on the model of residences like Versailles. To visit the palace rooms or Prunkräume there’s a choice of two tours: the “Imperial Tour”, which takes in 22 state rooms, and the “Grand Tour”, which includes all forty rooms. The shorter tour misses out the best rooms – such as the Millions Room, a rosewood-panelled chamber covered from floor to ceiling with wildly irregular Rococo cartouches, each holding a Persian miniature watercolour. The palace can become unbearably overcrowded at the height of summer, with lengthy queues – it’s a good idea to buy tickets in advance online. The splendid Schlosspark is dotted with attractions, including the Gloriette – a hilltop colonnaded monument, now a café and terrace from which you can enjoy splendid views, fountains, a maze and labyrinth and Vienna’s excellent Tiergarten or zoo.

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