Today for our Saturday outing my family and I went with another family to what is quite possibly my favorite spots… Laxenburg, Austria.
As I said last weekend we live in South Vienna. Lower Austria is closer to us than the City. There is a palace about 15 minutes from where we live. Schönbrunn was the Summer residence of the Habsburgs. Laxenburg was the residence they went to when they needed to get away from Schönbrunn.
Very early on some of our Austrian friends took us to Laxenburg. They told us a few things about it as we walked around. At the end of that trip we went for ice cream. To this day the ice cream in Laxenburg is my favorite. Lately I always order Mozart and Raffaelo flavors. They both taste just like the candy. Even the textures are great.
Ok, so I bet you are wondering what is so interesting about Laxenburg. It’s history actually starts in the 13th century. The Habsburgs are said to have come into possession of it in 1333.
It used to be a Marktgemeinde (a special kind of village). In 1780 the gardens were updated as inspired by English gardens. There are several ponds and an artificial island that Maria Theresia and her grandson Franz Joseph expanded it. We always walk around and then take the little ferry over to the island and walk back the rest of the way. The ferry ride costs .50 cents per person.The island is called Franzenburg. There is a little castle built on it named after Franz I. It was inspired by a medieval knights castle. There is a museum there that you can visit. There is also a little restaurant.
Today we saw several swans, as we walked near the water. They were taking off and landing repeatedly. I was amazed how loud the sound of their flapping wings were.
If you are a kid, you will be interested in the playgrounds, waterfalls and water fountains.
If you are interested in sports there is more than enough room to play ball on the grass, you can ride boats on the ponds and climb trees. They are 200+ years old according to our friend who is a horticulturist.
Photographers will be in heaven here as well. Between the wildlife, old buildings and luscious gardens there are more than enough things to capture in your lens.
If history interests you there are plenty of interesting things to learn here. Franz Joseph and Sisi celebrated their honeymoon here. Sisi enjoyed riding and loved to go out in these woods. I can totally see why! Crown Prince Rudolf (Who even has an apple named after him) was on of the members of the Imperial family that was born here in Laxenburg.
Here is an interesting thing for those who love horses like Sisi. When Maria Theresia and Franz Joseph expanded the property they added a tournament site. This is another one of my favorite spots. They horses that you often see around the park, must come and train there still. We often find fresh hoof prints in the ground, and jousting sticks.
If you are planning a trip to Vienna, this is a great place to spend the day! There is a small entrance fee.
More information can be found here:
Schloss Laxenburg Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H
Linking up here: