Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna
Schoenbrunn Palace, or Schloss Schoenbrunn, together with its ancillary buildings and extensive park belongs by virtue of its long and colourful history to the most important cultural monuments in Austria. Scheduled as a listed monument, the whole ensemble, including the palace, the park with its numerous architectural features, fountains and statues and not least the zoo - the oldest of its kind in the world - was placed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List late in 1996.
In the possession of the Habsburg rulers since Maximilian II, the ownership of the palace passed at the end of the monarchy to the Republic of Austria and was administered by the Schlosshauptmannschaft Schoenbrunn.
Since 1992 Schoenbrunn (with the exception of the palace gardens) has been run by the Schloss Schoenbrunn Kultur- und BetriebsgesmbH. as a modern, private company which has successfully ensured both efficient management and an extensive program of renovation and conservation.
The majority of the surrounding parkland has been enjoyed by the citizens of Vienna as a recreational area since the time of the monarchy, and Schoenbrunn has been one of Viennas most important monuments since the 1960's when the palace was opened to the public. The palace itself attracts approximately 1.5 million visitors each year from all over the world, while the rest of the palace complex and the park attracts a further 5.2 million visitors each year. The inclusion of Schoenbrunn in the list of World Heritage Sites drawn up by UNESCO, first established in 1972, confirms the importance of the palace complex in its entirety as an example of integration of the arts of the Baroque period.