Ruling the Austrian Empire for 600 years allowed the Habsburg family to build up a lot of wealth.  Marrying their daughters ( and there were a lot of daughters) to nobles, kings and other wealthy families for centuries helped them create powerful alliances which in turn avoided many costly wars.

The result is Vienna, a city of wealth, and art, and architecture. Their are grand palaces, and small palaces and none is more impressive then Schoenbrunn, the summer palace. The building itself is impressive, but it is the grounds which blew me away.

the palance

Everywhere you turn there are manicured gardens, rows of trees and simply open fields.  Their greenhouse features flowers and exotic plants collected from around the world.  It also features a heating system which allows fragile tropical plants to survive the Austrian winters.

There is a zoo. It is one of the oldest in the world, and at the top of a hill, a building which gives you an amazing view of the grounds, and the city of Vienna behind it.

schonenburn palance