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Parks and Gardens in Warsaw

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Poland
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Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanow
Wilanów Palace is a true pearl of Baroque architecture in Warsaw. Learn about King Jan III Sobieski, who successfully fended off the Turks in the battle of Vienna and who lived in Wilanów with his beloved Marysieńka. Take a walk in the park and tour the palace interiors; see the portrait gallery and listen to stories of great romances. The building and the park have both kept their original form, despite the partition, war, and occupation. See the home of King Jan III Sobieski, the vanquisher of the Turks at Vienna, who in 1683 stopped their march through Europe. The ruler, who gained the nickname of the fearless Lion of Lechistan, lived in the palace with his beloved wife, Maria. In the palace, you will see the king’s apartments and the suites of Queen Maria Kazimiera, which include the Chinese, Dutch and Antiquities rooms and the Potocki Museum. Stop for a moment in the White Room to see images of other palace owners and people associated with it. Wilanów Palace is a must-see when visiting Warsaw. In the wintertime, the venue, illuminated with thousands of lamps, transforms into the Royal Garden of Lights.
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Royal Lazienki Museum
This vast park is a favourite place for Varsovians where they go for long walks amid beautiful nature and architecture to rest from the hustle and bustle of the city. At the heart of the park is the summer residence of the last king of Poland – Stanisław August Poniatowski. The name of the complex comes from the seventeenth-century bathhouse of a Polish nobleman, rebuilt in the 18th century into a palace. Here, in the Palace on the Island, King Stanisław August Poniatowski hosted his famous Thursday dinners, to which he invited scholars and poets to discuss the issues of the day. Today it is a museum where you can admire paintings from the royal collections. In the grounds of Łazienki you will also see an orangery, an amphitheatre, an eighteenth-century court theatre, the Museum of Hunting and Horse-riding, the Myślewicki Palace and numerous free-standing sculptures.
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Orunia Park
This is one of the oldest parks in Gdańsk, second largest after the Oliwa Park and located in a completely different part of the city than the first one. It is less known but as charming and worth seeing. In the park there are two ponds and the Park itself is surrounded with hills to which local legends are attached. In the Park we can admire ponds, waterfalls and beautiful alleys with interesting tree varieties. The linden alley and the view of weeping willow trees over the pond add to the charm of the place. Right by the Park there is a historic 19th century manor house. Recently a large playground for children was built in the nearby. That is why it is a place not only for walks but also a place to spend time with the whole family.
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Botanical Gartens
The Botanical Gardens are a research and teaching division of Adam Mickiewicz University, considered to be one of the most modern and beautiful gardens of its type in Europe. Covering more than 22 hectars, it contains an imposing cillection of over 7,000 species and varietes of plants from almost every climate zone of vegetation around globe.
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The Neptune Fountain
The Neptune Fountain has stood in front of the Artus Court since 1633 and is a symbol of Gdańsk. It was built on the initiative of the Mayor of Gdańsk, Bartłomiej Schachmann.
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Westerplatte
The monument was build to preserve the unique historical values, spatial tangible and intangible, symbolizing the heroism and bravery of Polish soldiers during the Second World War - the largest of the wars of the twentieth century.
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Oliwa Park
Adam Mickiewicz Park also referred to as the Oliwa Park is one of the best known places in Gdańsk. The extraordinary location of the park, beautiful flora and small climatic paths of the Park create a unity that is irresistible. The park itself dates backs to the Cistercians who started a vegetable and herb garden by their monastery. Starting your stroll in the Park from the entrance at ul. Grunwaldzka following the longitudinal pond we can see the Botanic Garden created after World War II and where the visitors can also enter the enchanting Palm House. The main path of the Park, stretching from the entrance from ul. Opata Rybińskiego leads to the French part of the Park where you can see the Abbot Palace and further on the path leads to the Oliwa Cathedral. The Abbot Palace now houses a branch of the National Museum in Gdańsk, exhibiting contemporary art. In the Cathedral in the Oliwa Park one may listen to organ concerts and participate in the Organ Music Festival which is organised every summer. In the Park there are many sculptures to admire like: Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture of Gdańsk, Swietopelk the Great and Mestwin II monuments and the bust of Adam Mickiewicz. The National Museum has another branch in the Oliwa Park - Branch of Ethnography located in the Abbot Granary. Now the Oliwa Park has been expanded with new gardens, e.g. a Japanese garden where you can have some rest during a steady walk and admire the beauty of one of the former city gardens in Gdańsk.
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Park Szczytnicki
The park with an area exceeding one hundred hectares is outstretched between Różyckiego, Paderewskiego, Kopernika and Olszewskiego streets. The first park in this place was established by L. Hohenlohe, the commander of the city garrison, in the area of the then-existing village of Szczytniki in the suburbs of Wrocław in 1783. The park with an area of 16 hectares was maintained in English style, but it was heavily destroyed by Napoleon’s soldiers in 1806. In 1833, the recreational areas in this part of the city were enlarged – not only did the park become bigger, but also a racing track was created south of it and functioned there till the beginning of the 20th century. The current appearance and richness of Park Szczytnicki owes much to Peter Joseph Lenne – a royal gardener who arrived in Wrocław from Berlin. At the end of the 19th century, a dyke system was established. Later, at the turn of the 20th century and on the occasion of the Exhibition of the Century in 1913, Park Szczytnicki was enriched with objects that have remained interesting till today and are important points of sightseeing routes. In 1913, the wooden church of Jan Nepomucen was moved to Wrocław and established in the eastern part of the park. Built at the turn of the 17th century, the building had been previously located in Stare Koźle.
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Wroclaw Japanese Garden
It is one of the most popular places for walks. Apart from a few hundreds of original plants, trees, bushes and flowers, there are also Japanese buildings: the gate and the tea pavilion. One of the attractions of the Garden is a pond with enormous carps and other species of fish. The Garden often hosts events like tea perking, concerts and open-air happenings. The Japanese Garden was created in the beginning of the 20th century, on the occasion of the Global Exhibition in 1913. It was an initiative of count Fritz von Hochberg, who employed a Japanese gardener Mankichi Arai. After the Exhibition it was dismantled but the plants and the arrangement of alleys and the pond remained the same. The idea of renewing the Japanese Garden in Wrocław appeared in the 90s. The reconstruction lasted three years, the specialists from Japan came to assist, but the Garden did not survived for long. Two months after the inauguration, the Garden was destroyed by the flood. 70% of the plants were lost. The next opening of the Japanese enclave took place in October 1999.
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Wroclaw Zoo
The Zoo in Wrocław was created in 1865 and had a dozen hectares of surface. Today on 33 ha live 10,000 animals. Zoo in Wrocław is the oldest and the richest in fauna in Poland. It is possible to see the animals from every continent and environments, for example in Madagascar, Sahara or Europe Pavillons. In the last few years many new enclosures have been built, for example for bears and wolves. There are also new animals, among which very rare species like okapi.
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Stryiskyi Park
The Stryi Park is the largest one in the city and is reckoned among the oldest and the most picturesque parks not only in Lviv but in the whole Ukraine. Rightfully recognized as one of the best samples of landscape art, it is the most visited place in the city. Park’s neat lanes are always crowded by people willing to rest from urban fuss and admire magnificent sceneries. The Stryi Park was designed by the prominent European architect, renowned master of the landscape art, and was laid out in the late 19th century. It occupied the territory of the namesake cemetery that was closed fifty years earlier. After construction’s end, the park was immediately equipped with necessary amenities. More than 40 thousand bushes and trees, including both usual for these latitudes and exotic ones (ginkgo, red oak, tulip tree, and Japanese lilac), were planted there. The Stryi Park is famous for its very rich collection of rare and valuable trees; more than 200 species of plants grow there, greenhouse and rock garden are equipped, and lime and plane alleys are laid out.
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Zebracka
Žebračka is an example of a floodplain forest, which has been preserved to the present as a type of hard meadow in the Bečva river basin. It has a size of 235ha and is located on the outskirts of Přerov. In this locality, the most typical wood species are oak, lettuce, hornbeam and ash. The northern part flows through the artificial canal Strhanec, which during its existence has gained a nature close to nature.
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Kromeriz Gardens
During the summer, Kroměříž is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden. The local gardens, which are included in the UNESCO world heritage list, represent a perfect symbiosis of light, plants, water, art and architecture. The Castle and Gardens are some of the most beautiful in Europe.
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Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens in Liberec comprise 9 pavilions that offer carnivorous plants, orchids, camellias, ferns, Australian flora, cacti growing upside down, a pavilion with aquariums and vivariums, and many other rare plants.
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Moravsky Kras
The largest and most beautiful karst area in central Europe is a place where visitors have their breath taken clean away. The main attraction here is the famous Macocha Abyss, some 138m deep and steeped in terrifying myths and legends. Without doubt the Moravian Karst is one of the natural wonders of the Czech Republic, which will wow every visitor.
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Park Branitz
Branitz Park near Cottbus represents the life’s work as well as the later work of the eccentric landscape gardener Hermann Prince von Pückler-Muskau (1785–1871) and is a masterpiece of the eccentric landscape gardener.
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Luzanky Park
Lužánky Park was established in 1786 as one of the first public parks in Central Europe. In the middle of the park, you can visit the Renaissance Revival pavilion from 1855 by Viennese architect Ludwig Förster, which has held balls, concerts, celebrations, and various expositions over the years. Today, the building goes by the name Kasino and serves mainly as a leisure-time centre for children. The park as we know it was created in 1840 by city gardener Antonín Šebánek. In addition to the park’s precious trees, visitors may enjoy watching colourful fish in the stream and cute piglets – a favourite attraction for the park’s youngest visitors. There’s also a playground for children to enjoy and get some energy out. Lužánky is an ideal place for sporting as well as social activities, as locals come here to jog, play tennis, pétanque, and volleyball, exercise in an outdoor gym, or get a bite to eat at one of a number of nearby restaurants. Visitors can also use a public grill for barbecuing.
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Brno Reservoir
A popular recreational resort and an ideal place for all kinds of water sports. The banks are lined with sport facilities, restaurants, pubs and kiosks. The regular water transport line serving the route Brno - Veverská Bítýška is in operation every year from April to September. The visitors coming from the city centre can get to the reservoir by public transport.
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Yaremche
Situated in the picturesque Prut River valley, this little town is one of the most famous tourist centers of the Carpathian region. First and foremost, Yaremche is a popular ski resort. Its numerous visitors are attracted by its breathtaking mountain landscapes, pure air, unique Guzul character, and variety of leisure activities. During the winter, Yaremche is populated with skiers and snowboarders. Winters here are a skier’s paradise: it is not too cold, and there is very little wind, but a lot of snow. The mountain slopes especially good for beginners, but are unlikely to impress professionals. Thus, more experienced skiers often choose to visit neighbouring ski resorts - Bukovel, Vorohta and Yablunitsa. But you can admire Yaremche’s unique architecture of all year round! You will find many interesting churches, monasteries, and landmarks in the town. Yet perhaps the town’s main attraction is the Probiy waterfall. It is certainly not the highest (it is only 8 meters – 26 feet – high), but it is the most powerful and picturesque waterfall in all the Ukrainian Carpathians. The torrents of the Prut River, which find their way through the stones, create an unforgettable show, which you can watch from a small footbridge that crosses the river. Not far from the waterfall lies a well-known souvenir market, which has already become one of Yaremche’s most popular attractions. You can buy original handicrafts of local craftsmen, at the same time getting acquainted with the distinctive Guzul culture.
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Rundale Palace and Museum
The Rundale Palace is set amidst the fertile Zemgale Plains in the south of Latvia. Most of the interior decorations were created between 1765 and 1768 when a sculptor from Berlin Johann Michael Graff, and Italian painters from St. Petersburg Francesco Martini and Carlo Zucchi worked at the palace.
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Carpathian National Nature Park
This is the first and the largest national park in Ukraine, created in 1980 to protect the unique natural riches of the Carpathian Mountains. Majestic mountains, picturesque valleys, mountain pastures, crystal lakes, pure rivers, healing springs, valuable monuments of archaeology, history and architecture - all of them make the Carpathian Natural Park desirable to many travellers from all over the world. Located in the mountains of the Prut River basin, the park occupies a territory of over 50 thousand hectares. It amazes not only with its fantastic landscapes and unforgettable scenery, but also with the variety of its flora and fauna. A large number of various plants grow in the part, many of which are on the endangered species list, and almost 200 species of animals and birds live here. Nine hundred meters (2950 feet) above sea level, the Guk waterfall is considered to be the park’s gem, as are the glacial lakes Maricheika (on the mountain Shurin-Gropa) and Nesamovyte (on the mountain Turkul). It is said that sinners’ souls live in the Nesamovyte lake, so one should not swim and throw stones into it. If its waters are disturbed, the sky will fall down in a hailstorm. To judge from the frequency of storms in the region, the park’s guests frequently break this taboo.
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Hortobagy
Proudly bearing its title of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hortobágy National Park is the perfect archetype of pristine natural landscapes. This is the place where everyone longs to find refuge from the monotony of modern human existence. The feeling of unfettered freedom, encapsulated in the spectacle of the endless horizon, mirages, grazing herds of cattle and horses, and sweep-pole wells, will capture your imagination and soul during a horse-and-carriage ride or “puszta” safari. A picturesque trip to the fishponds on the small narrow-gauge train, combined with some birdwatching, will serve unique experiences to both young and older adventurers. Here the breeze wafts the scent of fragrant chamomile, mint, and artemisia from wild fields, gently touching your nose just like the waves of the ocean rhythmically splashing on the shore. It is a place where you will reinterpret the meaning of silence. It is a place where you might even reach celestial bodies during the special night treks in Starry Sky Park. In Hungary’s oldest and largest national park, awarded the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) prize, hundred-year-old herdsman’s traditions are still part of people’s means of subsistence and not mere promotional gimmicks.
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Vrtba Garden
This terraced Baroque garden in the Italian style is situated on Petřín hill. Although just a few steps away from Lesser Town Square and Charles Bridge, finding it requires a great deal of attention. Passers-by tend to miss the garden’s entrance, however, if you make the Vrtba Garden your destination and pay attention to the signposts, you will find it. A bit of looking around is certainly worth it . This Baroque beauty is cut off from the hustle and bustle of the nearby tourist destinations by high walls and buildings. Thanks to them you will feel as if you were in a different, grand, ornate and perfect world.
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Petrin Hill
Overlooking the glorious city of Prague is the equally beautiful Petřín Hill, one of the former vineyards of King Charles IV. This is the place to go and relax under a blooming cherry tree during a clear spring day or smell the fragrant beauties in the lovely rose garden on a lazy summer night, and it is also the perfect place to capture the wonder of Prague via your camera. It is a steep walk up Petřín, so if you wish, you can take the cool funicular up to the summer restaurant or all the way to the top of the hill. Petřín Hill also features a miniature Eiffel Tower (built for the for the 1891 Prague Exposition), Petřín Lookout Tower, one of the best observation points in Prague, a mirror maze for children and adults alike, mysterious walking paths that lead to secret gardens, fountains, a traditional Ukrainian wooden church, and even a small waterfall by the adjoining Kinsky garden. A perfect place for a day of relaxing or even a picnic, Petřín Hill is busiest on May 1st, when lovers go and kiss under cherry trees to seal their romance forever.
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Podyji National Park
Even though it is the smallest Czech national park, the Podyjí National Park is among the most important natural sites in Central Europe. Here you will find an exceptionally well-preserved river valley in a richly wooded landscape full of breathtaking scenery.
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Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park
Open all year round, the Debrecen Zoo is home to some 900 individuals of 170 species from all five continents. Besides permanent exhibits, there are a number of daily events and activities involving close visitor encounters with fascinating animals as part of the Animals in Action program, as well as a number of seasonal events such as summertime Evening Walks or Animal Christmas. A full member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) since 1994, the Zoo also reflects the current need for the protection of biodiversity by contributing to coordinated conservation efforts like European Endangered Species Programs (EEPs) through managing healthy and productive populations of various endangered species like the leopard cat, the reticulated giraffe, the African penguin, and the ring-tailed lemur. Integrated into the Zoo and Amusement Park, the ever-growing botanical collection currently features around 650 species, including ones from the Great Forest biotope and other parts of Hungary as well as ones native to various exotic corners of the world. There is also a Scent Garden section, home to a wide variety of aromatic herbs, enabling visitor interaction through the sense of smell.
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Teplice Spa
The oldest spa in Czechia and one of the oldest spas in Europe is located in the valley between the Central Bohemian Mountains and the ridges of the Krušné Mountains. Come visit the “little Paris of Bohemia” with attractively built spa buildings, parks, gardens, fountains, a long pedestrian zone and a Baroque Marian column.
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Karlstejn Golf Resort
What golfer could resist playing a renowned 27-hole golf course with the romantic backdrop of the majestic Karlštejn Castle? A rolling landscape with forests and limestone rocks is the ideal setting for a leisurely game of golf. The Karlštejn Golf Resort is also within easy reach of the capital city of Prague. Test for yourself the accuracy of the course architects’ motto: “An easy bogey but a difficult birdie.” The prestige of the course is underscored by the fact that it was a venue for the European PGA Tour in 1997. Perhaps you won’t break the record of Patrik Sjöland, who finished in just 61 strokes, but you’ll certainly never forget the golf course and scenery here.
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Margaret Island
Walking the length of the island takes about 20 minutes, but most visitors spend time at the Hajós Alfréd and the Palatinus outdoor pools. The Palatinus water park is a popular place in the summer, especially on the weekends. The 11 outdoor pools, including two for children, are in a beautiful setting. If it is too cold to go for a swim, an island tour introduces relics hailing back to the island's religious origins, including a 12th century convent and ruins of a Franciscan and a Dominican church. During summer months, bicycles, inline skates and 'bringóhintó', a four-wheeled bike for four, are available for rent. Since vehicles are prohibited, the island is a fantastic escape from the bustle of the big city and a great place to work out, swim a few laps, or go for a run. Other attractions on the island include the Centennial Memorial which commemorates the 100th anniversary of Budapest, a Japanese Garden, a tiny zoo, a music fountain, and an octagonal water tower, built in Art Nouveau style in 1911. The outdoor theater hosts operas, concerts and plays during summer. The thermal water on Margaret Island is famous for its healing effects. The natural, thermal water running beneath the island was first brought to the surface in 1886. In addition to its healing power, a day at the Danubius Health Spa is also a great way to relax and unwind.
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Gellert Hill
The hill was named after bishop Gellért (Gerard), who was thrown to death from the hill by pagans in the fight against Christianity in 1046. His statue, which faces Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsébet hid) and holds a cross, can be seen from many parts of Pest. At the top of the hill is the Citadel (Citadella), a fortress built by the Habsburgs after defeating Hungary's War of Independence in 1849. It was a prime, strategic site for shelling both Buda and Pest in the event of a future rebellion. In the 18th century, the slopes of Gellért Hill were covered with vineyards. The Tabán district at the foot of the hill was an important center of winemaking in Buda. Gellért Hill was a strategic military position in the Second World War as well as the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, when Soviet tanks bombarded the city from here. Budapest's Statue of Liberty stands on top of the hill, and she can be seen from all parts of the city. Liberty was erected during the Communist era, commemorating the liberation from Nazi rule. Now a residential area, private homes and embassies line the streets winding up the hill. Since 1987, Gellért Hill has been listed as a world heritage site, as part of "the Banks of the Danube" area. The famous Hotel Gellért and the Gellért Baths can be found in Gellért Square at the foot of the hill.
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Prater
An amusement park for many, place of nostalgic dreams for some, oasis of greenery for almost everyone – and the location of the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of Vienna’s most famous symbols. The Vienna Prater is in season from March to October. But the world-famous Giant Ferris Wheel and a few other attractions are open all year round. The Vienna Prater is entertaining and exciting, but it can also be relaxing and quiet. One part of it contains attractions ranging from a nostalgic merry-go-round to an ultra-modern roller coaster. In the other area, known as the “Green Prater,” one finds widespread meadows to lie on, shady trees, and quiet paths. The motto is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Today, the Green Prater is a paradise for walkers, runners, bicyclists and horseback riders, and is highly appreciated as a large leisure area within the city limits. To get an overview of this green oasis in the city of Vienna, one best takes the Liliputbahn, a miniature railway spanning more than three miles.
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The Garden Tulln
From April to October, Garden Tulln is the main attraction in town for gardening enthusiasts. Garden Tulln opened as a garden show for the province in 2008 and continues to be a showcase project in Europe today with its 70 ecologically maintained extravagant model gardens! Garden Tulln provides ideas for amateur gardeners, an excursion destination for nature lovers and an adventure land for families. It is a green paradise ideal for strolling and marvelling, playing and entertaining, relaxing and rejuvenating! Besides the diversity of its individual model gardens, this garden show also has the following attractions in store for all generations: Treetop trail: View of model gardens and the Danube landscape from 30 meters in the air; Tips and tricks: Help and advice from gardening pros and nature-in-the-garden experts; Nature playground: Playing and exploring on the biggest natural adventure playground in Lower Austria.
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Schoenbrunn Palace
The former summer residence of the Habsburgs impresses with imperial ceremonial rooms and magnificent gardens. Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph, Empress Elisabeth and others once resided here. Schönbrunn Palace is one of Europe's most beautiful Baroque complexes and has been in the possession of the Habsburgs since 1569. The wife of Emperor Ferdinand II, Eleonore von Gonzaga, had a pleasure palace built on the site in 1642 and called the property "Schönbrunn" for the first time. The palace and garden complex created from 1696 onwards following the siege of Vienna was complete redesigned under Maria Theresa after 1743. Today, due to its historical significance, its unique layout and magnificent furnishings, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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Chateau Breznice
Originally a water keep, converted in the 16th century into a Renaissance chateau. A renaissance garden, a herb garden, and an English park surround the buildings.
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Orangery and its grounds
The Orangery is known for its rich collection of plants, its size and its variety of green houses. The Eisenstadt Orangery is among the most important ones in Europe. The plant collection used to be one of the most impressive collections around, and is mentioned in numerous reports of contemporaries. The ravages of war and the destructions of 1969 only spared the Orangery house and its central octagonal pavilion, the biggest and most prominent buildings of the grounds. These parts are only a portion of the original greenhouse grounds that have evolved over many decades and at different stages. A number of Mediterranean plants, such as pomegranates, olive trees or figs but mainly citrus fruits were being cultivated north of the Alps as early as the middle of the 16th Century C.E. The name Orangery (ital. "Limonaia") originally only denoted the plant collection itself, shows the outstanding ranking of the oranges within the framework of any plant collection.