A Wonderful Surprise

IMG_2395Before I write about the surprise let me tell you about Schloss Schönbrunn. It is one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria. Built as as a palace and summer residence for the Hapsburg family, construction started 1696 and completed 1749 with the final touches coming from Empress Maria Tersia. During her reign it was considered to be Austria’s “golden era”. The grounds holds an extensive park and a zoo that is the oldest of its kind in the world.

It was constructed in 1751 by order of Kaiser (Emperor) Franz I Maria Tersia’s husband. At the time it consisted of 12 enclosures inhabited by the appropriate sized animal.

About 20 years ago Steve and I along with our two little ones visited the zoo. We walked away feeling very sad for the animals especially the elephants (were chained). This experience left me wondering why the city of Vienna had not closed down the Zoo.

Fast forward 20 years Steve and I enjoy the surprise of our life. We had over the years heard that tremendous changes had occurred at the zoo and we should go see it. But our past memories kept haunting us, this time there was a hook. Artists had come into the zoo and constructed environmental messages within some of the enclosures.

(notice Canada tattoos on shoulder on ankle)

IMG_2396 Naturally we had to see what this was all about, we walked through the gates with apprehension only to receive a wonderful surprise especially when we saw the enclosure for the elephants.

OUTSIDE ( Hut with snow on message Should There Be Snow in Winter?)



(Indoor enclosure for elephants it also as an viewing gallery from above, what a change!)

I recently checked the world ranking for the zoo, many sights have ranked it number one and not too far behind is the Berlin zoo ranked number 3. Looks like we maybe checking out another zoo.IMG_2401


Lions, tigers and bears oh my.IMG_2445


Trouble In ParadiseIMG_2452

Shy Pandas, photo the right is of the little baby panda that was born two years ago at the zoo, the mother is on the left.


Steve’s favourite animal Rhino with it’s armor on.IMG_2457


Going to the zoo, zoo how about you, you, you!

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  

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