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January 9, 2024

The Landscape Murals and Beautiful Interiors of the Bergl Rooms in Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Bergl Rooms, Schonbrunn PalaceSchonbrunn Palace, the opulent former summer residence of the powerful Habsburg rulers from the late 17th to the early 20th century, is one of the cultural highlights of private touring in Vienna, Austria. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex of exquisite Baroque architecture, magnificent interiors—including the celebrated Bergl Rooms—and vast landscaped gardens are a testament to the imperial family’s grandeur, elegance and artistic patronage.

Artisans of Leisure takes travelers on our private Vienna tours to explore Schonbrunn’s gilded state apartments and sumptuous salons filled with incredible fine and decorative arts.

A highlight is an appointment to see the magnificent interiors of the Bergl Rooms, known for their beautiful floor-to-ceiling murals. Originally the summer quarters of Empress Maria Theresa, the suite of four rooms is one of the palace’s artistic treasures for its exquisite fusion of fine and decorative arts.

Executed by Johann Wenzel Bergl in 1769, the paintings extend across the ceilings and doorframes in a trompe l’oeil (“deceive the eye”) technique that creates the illusion of walls dissolving to reveal vistas of fantastical landscapes.  Bergl also incorporated tiled stoves decorated with motifs from the natural world. Painted console mirrors and tables with garlands of fruit and flowers complete the visual theater.

The landscapes change through the rooms, taking visitors through a transformation of lush untamed tropics to orderly formal gardens. Beginning with the antechamber, where vivid tropical vegetation and exotic birds fill the walls while baskets of fruit, draped silks and garlands of flowers adorn the formal reception room.

The empress’s private bedchamber appears to open onto scenes of formal Baroque gardens with fountains and trellises. The final room, thought to have been a small private office, resembles the inside of a pergola, similar to the pavilions in the gardens at Schonbrunn.

Schonbrunn PalaceThe Bergl Rooms open onto the palace gardens, creating the effect of extending the illusory landscapes on the walls to the natural greenery and flowers outside. During the heat of the day, the empress would have been able to take respite in her rooms that recreated the surrounding gardens.

Other highlights of Schonbrunn Palace include the Great Gallery, an ornate banqueting hall; the Hall of Mirrors, a Rococo-style room adorned with large mirrors; the Round Chinese Cabinet, where Chinese and Japanese porcelain pieces are displayed in gilt and lacquered panels; and the renowned gardens.

Open to the public since 1779, the vast park and gardens of Schonbrunn include notable features such as the Palm House, formal Baroque gardens, fountains, follies and the Schonbrunn Zoo.

Contact Artisans of Leisure to begin planning a private Austria tour that features Schonbrunn Palace and other cultural and design highlights of Vienna.

Destinations:  Austria, Europe

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