Orangeries - Worlds for plants and fine arts
Most orangeries, consisdng of the building and garden as a complete art work, were erected at the beginning of the 18th Century together with Baroque Architecture and the French garden.
It was not the architecture that was the focus of the pre-Baroque buildings but rather the admiration of the "Seville orange trees" from foreign countries, Not until the Baroque period did the possession of Orange trees become a metaphor of princely virtue. Oranges and citrus fruits were equated with the golden apples from the mythical Garden of Hesperides at the end of the world which the hero Hercules brought as a prize for his virtue and as a symbol of eternal life on earth having killed the dragon which guarded the trees.
In Versailles these symbolic orange trees were even set up in the chambers of Louis XIV. Baroque orangeries were thus not only used as the winter storage for sensitive plants but also frequently became the setting for courtly feasts and events. They were an important element of the palace.
The orangery of the Trautson Palace in Vienna (architect: J.B. Fischer von Erlach, built 1710) or the orangery of the Schoenborn country palace in Goellersdorf (architect: J.L. von Hildebrandt, huilt; 1716) are examples of Baroque orangeries. Vienna's Belvedere Palace was unusual in keeping the Seville orange trees in their place all year. A wooden orangery was built over them in Autumn and removed again in Spring.
The Orangery Schoenbrunn is, with its 189 meter length - longer than the palace - and 10 meter width, the largest orangery after Versailles. Both orangeries are the only ones still in operation.
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