Sisi and Emperor Franz Joseph spend their honeymoon at Laxenburg Castle, the “imperial residence before the gates of Vienna.” These are lonely weeks for the young lady whose husband pursues his work of reigning even during this time. Just as Franz Joseph came to love Laxenburg in his childhood, Sisi cherishes the surrounding gardens, parks and forests. The spacious areal is a showpiece of botanical artwork of international rank. The castle complex is a favorite spring and summer residence of the Habsburgs since the 14th century.
Here Elisabeth brings two of her children into the world, one being Rudolf, crown prince and only son of the imperial couple. Owned by the imperial family since the Middle Ages, the castle park presents an impressive example of garden art of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 19th century, Peter Joseph Lenné, the most distinguished garden architect of his time who also designs Rose Island in Lake Starnberg, refurbishes the garden even more. Under the rule of Emperor Franz I and his palace bailiff Michael Riedl, unique pleasure gardens, grottoes and temples and even an arena are created. The picturesque landscape designed during this time with precious trees and shrubs, meadows and bodies of water has led the castle park of Laxenburg to advance to one of the most significant, beautiful and historical garden landscapes of Europe today.
Franzensburg, a true-to-the-original reproduction of a medieval knight’s castle, is the heart of the castle park and stands on an artificial island in the middle of the castle pond. This “garden house in old German style” is one of the principal creative works of romantic classicism in the Danube Monarchy of that time. Protected as a historic monument, the imperial railway station “Kaiserbahnhof” is the oldest maintained station of Biedermeier style in Austria and reflects the time of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
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