Austria has rich cultural heritage, which has contributed a lot in the fields of architecture, art and history. The region was inhabited right in the beginning of human history and in course of time, it developed in all aspects of life. Fine arts like architecture, music and dance witnessed tremendous development with the passage of history. Heritage in Austria has always attracted the lovers of history, art and architecture.
Austria has an array of medieval structures, known for their architecture. Most of these structures can be found in Vienna and Graz. Austrian architecture represents several periods and styles, ranging from elaborate baroque architecture to twentieth century innovations. Major Vienna architecture destinations are Majlika Haus, Schonbrunn Palace, the Hofburg and the Ringstrasse. Graz hosts attractions like Lock Mountain. Fortress of Kufstein is a major landmark in Tyrol city.
From the 18th century to 1918, Schönbrunn was the residence of the Habsburg emperors. It was designed by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nicolaus Pacassi and is full of outstanding examples of decorative art. Together with its gardens, the site of the world’s first zoo in 1752, it is a remarkable Baroque ensemble and a perfect example of Gesamtkunstwerk
The site of the Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn is outstanding as one of the most impressive and well preserved Baroque ensembles of its kind in Europe. Additionally, it is a potent material symbol of the power and influence of the House of Habsburg over a long period of European history, from the end of the 17th to the early 20th century.
It is impossible to separate the gardens from the palace, of which they form an organic extension: this is an excellent example of the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk, a masterly fusion of many art forms.
A small hunting lodge and later summer residence of the Habsburg family was rebuilt after total destruction during the last Turkish attack in 1683. During construction work the project was expanded into an Imperial summer residence of the court. As such it represents the ascent and the splendour of the Habsburg Empire. At the peak of Habsburg power at the beginning of the 18th century, when imperial Vienna following the Turkish reflected its regained significance in spectacular examples of newly developing Baroque art, Schönbrunn was one of the most important building projects of the capital and residency.
The ample Baroque gardens with their buildings (Gloriette, Roman ruins etc.) and statuary testify to the palace's imperial dimensions and functions. The original intention, when they were laid out in the 18th century, was to combine the glorification of the House of Habsburg with a homage to nature. The Orangery on the east side of the main palace building is, at 186 m, the longest in the world. The Great Palm House is an impressive iron-framed structure, 114 m long and divided into three Sections, erected in 1880 using technology developed in England.
Criterion (i): The Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn are an especially well preserved example of the Baroque Princely residential ensemble, which constitute an outstanding example of Gesamtkunstwerk, a masterly fusion of many art forms.
Criterion (iv): The Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn are exceptional by virtue of the evidence that they preserve of modifications over several centuries that vividly illustrate the tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.
With the exception of some minor alterations dating from the 19th century, the property includes all elements of the Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn. The property is of such a size it offers a complete representation of Imperial Palace features. None of the attributes within the property are under threat. However the visual integrity of the property is vulnerable to high-rise developments in Vienna.
The original building has been expanded and modified considerably since it was built, to suit the tastes and requirements of successive imperial rulers. No significant changes have been made to the structures themselves since the work on the facades commissioned by Franz I at the beginning of the 19th century. The furnishings and decoration of the Imperial apartments, the theatre, the Chapel, and other important components are wholly authentic.
The structure of the Baroque park layout is also virtually untouched, and traditional 18th century techniques are still used for trimming its trees and bushes. Schönbrunn became, as it were, frozen in time in 1918 when it became the property of the Republic of Austria. Since that time, the form that it possessed in 1918 has been faithfully retained, both in the original fabric and decoration and in the restoration following wartime damage. The complex of the Palace and park may be considered to be an outstanding example of Gesamtkunstwerk because of the way in which it has preserved intact the originality of its architecture, the design and furnishings of the Palace, and the spatial and visual relationship of the buildings to the park.
The Belvedere is a historical building complex in Vienna, Austria, consisting of two Baroque palaces the Upper and Lower Belvedere, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the 3rd district of the city, south-east of its centre. It houses the Belvedere museum. The grounds are set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The Baroque palace complex was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy.
The Belvedere was built during a period of extensive constructions in Vienna, which at the time was both the imperial capital and home to the ruling dynasty. This period of prosperity followed on from the commander-in-chief Prince Eugene of Savoy's successful conclusion of a series of wars against the Ottoman Empire.
The construction of the Upper Belvedere began as early as 1717, as testified by two letters that Prince Eugene sent from Belgrade to his servant Benedetti in summer 1718, describing the progress of work on the palace. Construction was so far advanced by 2 October 1719 that the prince was able to receive the Turkish ambassador Ibrahim Pasha there. The decoration of the interior started as early as 1718. In 1719 he commissioned the Italian painter Francesco Solimena to execute both the altarpiece for the Palace Chapel and the ceiling fresco in the Golden Room. In the same year Gaetano Fanti was commissioned to execute the illusionistic quadratura painting in the Marble Hall. In 1720 Carlo Carlone was entrusted with the task of painting the ceiling fresco in the Marble Hall, which he executed from 1721–23.
The building was completed in 1723. The Sala Terrena, however, was at risk of collapsing due to structural problems, and in the winter of 1732–33 Hildebrandt was forced to install a vaulted ceiling supported by four Atlas pillars, giving the room its current appearance. Salomon Kleiner, an engineer from the Mainz elector’s court, produced a ten-part publication between 1731 and 1740 containing a total of ninety plates, entitled Wunder würdiges Kriegs- und Siegs-Lager deß Unvergleichlichen Heldens Unserer Zeiten Eugenii Francisci Hertzogen zu Savoyen und Piemont("Wondrous war and victory encampment of the supreme hero of our age Eugene Francis Duke of Savoy and Piedmont"), which documented in precise detail the state of the Belvedere complex.
The Hofburg Imperial Palace was the seat of one of the most powerful families in Europe - the Habsburgs. This family ruled much of Europe from the 12th century right up until the first World War. It served as the family's headquarters, and as their winter residence.
The Imperial Palace itself was initially a castle built in the 13th Century. The building was continually added to and renovated by successive Habsburg rulers as their power increased through the years.
As such, it is possible to see many different architectural styles in the construction of the Palace, from Gothic to Baroque to Art Nouveau.
The Imperial Palace is mammoth in size, consisting of over 2600 rooms. Rather than get overwhelmed by this, it is generally a good idea to focus of the following sections - the New Palace, the Imperial Apartments (Albertina), the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer), the Spanish Riding School, the Sisi Museum and the Kaisergruft.
The Hofburg Palace is also the home of the Vienna Boys Choir. It is possible to hear them sing at Sunday Mass in the Palace's medieval Cathedral, although tickets for the event must be purchased months in advance. It is also possible to line up to get a standing place inside, although it is necessary to start queuing quite early to get in. Even without a standing place inside, the choir can still be heard in the courtyard outside as well as on a large TV screen in this area.