Friday, August 13, 2010

Schloss Tour

We finally received an official tour of the Schloss this morning including the normally off-limits areas. I've written about the history of Schloss Laxenburg back in June but now I have previously unseen photos to show.

Our tour started with a building no longer connected to the Schloss, the Orangarie (Winter Garden) that housed the oranges and plants in the Winter months and provided fresh fruit to the castle when the royals were in residence.
As we walked back you have a nice view of one of the wings of IIASA with the Belvedere (tower). The next stop on our tour took us through the Conference Centre that used to belong to IIASA and was sold off in the 80s when IIASA had some financial difficulties. The conference area has a stunning entrance way and stands outside the old stables for housing carriages.

The conference centre has a series of rooms all painted or wallpapered in lavish splendour, perfect for a ball. Pity about the price tag though. With reductions the hire of the 2 rooms in the venue (no services or catering) is 3000 euros.

The conference centre also houses a small concert hall that has been altered a fair bit from the original design. The photo below shows the royal box which is now directly over the stage when previously it was in fact facing the stage.

All the buildings were in terrible disrepair about the world wars and Nazi and then Soviet occupation (there was a mini battle in Laxenburg Park) and the everything had to be restored from photos and notes. All the chandeliers, paintings and furniture are imports from museums or were stored somewhere else during the wars.

One area that is strictly out of bounds normally is the Directors Office and Breakfast Pavilion. While the director was out for lunch we snack in to see the famed picture of Maria Theresa in the Elisabeth Room. Snazzy office :)

The view of the park and conference centre from the pavilion is beautiful to behold. I'm told the people with offices in the Park Wing (APD) get to see weddings in this area on a regular occasion.

The last photo is taken from the top of the Belvedere and if you look closely enough you can see Vienna.

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