Join us for a visit to one of the best parks, just 20 km south of Vienna in Laxemburg, Lower Austria.
The Habsburgs took over Laxenburg in 1333. Their first building was a hunting lodge known today as Altes Schloss. There was no artistically designed garden, but the areas were covered by a dense alluvial forest. The only designed element was a “mail track”, which served as a ball court for the nobles. You can still find it today under the name “Palamaygang”.
After long century of decay the lodge was restored in the 17th centiry in a Baroque style and became the centre of a great park.
Later, a Neues Schloss or Blauer Hof (Blue Court) was completed in 1710. After Empress Maria Theresa acquired it in 1756, it soon became her favourite residence. She had the castle parks rearranged as an English garden containing several artificial ponds and the Franzensburg Castle on an island. Her son Joseph II transformed Laxenburg into a landscape garden while partially retaining the unique Baroque design. To the south of the Forstmeister Canal, he had a romantic landscape garden created with the Temple of Concordia - still preserved today.
Sisi and Empereror Fancis Joseph spent their honeymoon in Laxenburg in 1854. Two of their kids, Gisela and Crown Prince Rudolf were born in the castle, too.
After WW II, the castles and park were seized by the Soviet occupation forces and one can imagine the state in which they were in 1955 when they were returned to the state of Lower Austria following the 1955 Austrian State Treaty.
Plans to hold the 1967 World Fair in Laxenburg did not materialise. Instead, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis now occupy a part of the castle. In the Altes Schloss, you can find Filmarchiv Austria. With its over 260,000 film titles, 2,000,000 photographs and stills, 48,000 cinema programmes, 16,000 film posters, 30,000 books, and an extensive collection of apparatus, documents and costumes, it is the largest film organisation in Austria and significant in the entire world. The Laxenburg Castle Park is one of the 56 gardens in Austria that are under state monument protection due to their garden artistic ideas.
There is a wheel chair accessible loo and all park entrances are accessible. There are parking places for people with disabilities.
The small museum shop sports the compulsory cards and books with some gift items for the umpteenth cousin.
There are several options for a quick bite or a bigger lunch. Restaurant “Café Meierei” – Franzensburg provides a historical ambience in the old walls of Franzensburg with a view of the pond. The pond buffet is right next to the boat rental for a small snack or drink. Restaurant Flier & Flieger offers down-to-earth cuisine in a pleasant environment.
Schlossplatz 1, 2361 Laxenburg