Hesperia and Arethusa

Tour through the park

Also the boskets were decorated with statues by Christian Willhelm Beyer and Johann Baptist Hagenauer.

Hesperia and Arethusa

The Hesperides were daughters of Hespera, the goddess of the West, and Atlas, the giant who bore the skies on his shoulders. According to legend, they lived at the western edge of the world, and the goddess Juno had entrusted them with a tree bearing golden apples, which only the gods were allowed to eat. Juno also placed a serpent called Ladon in their garden to guard the tree. He was overcome by Hercules, who brought three of the golden fruit to Earth.

From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century oranges were regarded as the apples of the Hesperides. The Hesperides in the park at Schönbrunn thus make it a ‘garden of the gods’.

Adorning the narrow end of the feature known as the Fan in the western boskets is a statue of the divine huntress Diana which corresponds with figure of the sun god Apollo, located at the centre of the curving hedged passage in the facing bosket known as ‘At the Archer’. The twins Apollo and Diana represent the elemental phenomena of sun and moon/day and night. Both statues were executed by Hagenauer after the famous classical figures of Apollo in the Vatican Museum in Rome and Diana at Versailles, today in the Louvre.

Map of the park

Hesperia und Arethusa © Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. / Alexander Eugen Koller

Hesperia und Arethusa. Sculpture by Johann Baptist Hagenauer, 1773/1780. Sterzing Marble

Diana (by J. B. Hagenauer)
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