Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Winter in the Vienna Woods

All pictures are clickable

I spent the last weekend in the countryside 30 miles southwest of Vienna in an old castle which is now used as a seminar hotel.
We had snowfall all day, the English garden with the mighty old plane trees was soon covered under a soft blanket of snow,
and the rocks behind the building with the pine trees and the old ruins on top looked very romantic.

You can see from my smiling face how much I enjoyed the winter atmosphere!


The castle
Hernstein was acquired by the Hapsburg Archduke Rainer in 1830. 25 years later, his son Leopold Ludwig engaged the famous architect Theophil Hansen to remodel it as a hunting lodge in the English gothic style. While the facade was finished only after two years, the interior took 25 years! Hansen designed every detail, the furniture as well as the doorhandles and the silverware.
Many of the ideas he developed in Hernstein, Hansen later used as a model for his famous buildings at Vienna's Ringstraße, e.g. the Parliament or the Stock Exchange Building.

In the Second World War, the roof of the Hernstein castle was destroyed by a bomb, but fortunately the marvellous interior remained intact. Between 1945 and 1955 (when Austria was divided into four zones of occupation by the Allies) Hernstein was the seat of the military commander of the Russian Zone. After Austria's souverenity was restored in 1955, the castle was bought by the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, profoundly renovated and since then used as a seminar hotel. In 1976, a hotel in a very functional style was built at the western side of the castle to accommodate the seminar guests.

Please follow the link below for more information and some pictures from the interior of the castle:
Schloss Hernstein


Arija said...

Maria what a wonderful respite for you even with the seminar.

I should think that after the Russians occupid the castle, it really needed major renovations!

Donna said...

How beautiful! And it looks positively COLD! LOL. The picture of the lone bench out in the snow is especially wonderful. And there is your sweet face too! One of these days, we're going to see Vienna!

jeannette stgermain said...

I forgot about that time that Austria was divided in four! The castle looks so stately in the snow! Glad you enjoyed yourself and thanks for sharing the pics with us!

Deb said...

cool place to stay...looks really cold outside....

Lady Di Tn said...

I wanna go. What a marvelous experience. The snow made it more enchanting and btw that color on you looks great and enhances the snow in the background. Love the history. Thanks for sharing. Peace

Maria said...

Hi Maria!
I always say, the white of snow is brings brightness to winter's cold and dark. I really appreciate the crisp cold and sparkle of snow~
joyfully ~ Maria

Wienermädel + Co said...

So kann man den Winter auch geniessen - Wintertraum in Hernstein!
Wie immer schöne stimmungsvolle Fotos, liebe Maria

Janie said...

I love the photos from your winter adventure. The castle and surrounding area are beautiful.
Love your new header with D'Ora.

antigoni said...

Amazing photos! I'm sure you had great time. Your smile tells us about that.

Lara Neusiedler said...

einfach herrlich!!!