Thursday, June 10, 2010

Schloss Laxenburg

Laxenburg lay on the Roman road from Vienna to Soporn, Hungary. The Germanic people settled there sometime in the 11th century. Laxenburg has been connected with the rulers of Austria since 1306 via some Duke.

The Old Castle (Altes Schloss) is the oldest known building in Laxenburg, located in the Schloss Park (250 hectares). The park boasts a waterfall, a lake that one can take a paddle boat on and a gorgeous bridge guarded by some very proper knights in armour. Its an ideal place to go running or to take a stroll during lunch.

Laxenburg was originally favoured by Habsburgs (royal family) for hunting. The Schloss Laxenburg was acquired as the summer residence of the Habsburgs under Maria Theresia's reign. During the World Wars the buildings were used for the War Victim's Fund and a German tank regiment. After the wars the palace fell into disrepair and was only restored starting in 1962.

That was the abbreviated history, its actually a lot more complicated and involves prisoners and parties and politics.

Walking through the Schloss you can find the most amazing arches, stairways, art but the coolest thing is the Swarovski crystal chandeliers (they're sparkly) in some of the offices.

The other amazing feature is the Belvedere, the children's playroom that is reached after three spiral staircases. There are frescos on all the walls and the view from the highest point in the Schloss is beautiful (people actually get to use it as an office).

There are many other beautiful things about the Schloss like the courtyards and meeting rooms but I'll save that for another post.

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