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Orangery and Citron House

Tour through the park

As far back as the time of the dowager empress Wilhelmine Amalie an orangery garden was established at Schönbrunn which included a hothouse for overwintering the tender citrus trees. In 1754 Franz I Stephan instigated the building of the Orangery by Nikolaus Pacassi, probably to designs by Nicolas Jadot.

Orangery and Citron House

One hundred and eighty-nine metres long and ten metres wide, the Schönbrunn Orangery is one of the two largest Baroque orangeries in the world, the other being at Versailles. 
The south façade is articulated by an alternating series of large and smaller round-arched bays separated by rusticated pilasters decorated with masks. The interior has a rhythmic sequence 
of shallow vaults and is heated by an underfloor hypocaust system which ensures a temperature in which citrus trees and other tub plants can be overwintered. The adjoining semicircular Citron House at the eastern end of the Orangery Garden was probably used for cultivating tropical plants that were less suited to the climatic conditions in the elongated hall of the Orangery.

The Orangery was also used for glittering court festivities. Joseph II was especially fond of arranging banquets in the plant-filled Orangery, 
emulating those he had experienced on his journey to Russia in the winter garden of the imperial palace in St Petersburg. 
One such occasion was the ‘Spring festival on a winter’s day on 6th February 1785.’

Vineyard in Schönbrunn

Until 1744, there existed a historic vineyard named ‘Liesenpfennig‘ right in front of the Orangery Garden at the magnificent site of Schönbrunn Palace. The most dedicated Viennese growers‘ group WienWein resurrected this vineyard and started growing grapevine on an area of 1000 square metres. The vineyard has been designed according to the great traditional field-blend of Vienna, namely ‘ Wiener Gemischter Satz‘ – this means that grapevines of all sorts are bedded out at the same time.

This wine produced from grapes grown in the Schönbrunn Park is offered via an online-auction every year. All sold bids go to SOS Kinderdörfer, an organisation providing homes for childreen in need.

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