Vienna Photos: Schloss Hetzendorf Palace

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Schloss Hetzendorf, a Baroque palace that now serves as a school

Here we go, a real hidden gem in Vienna: Schloss Hetzendorf is a small but very charming palace in Vienna and absolutely off the beaten track. It can be found behind the Imperial Palace of Schönbrunn - the most heavily visited tourist attraction of Austria. Nevertheless, Schloss Hetzendorf belongs to the locals, almost no tourist ever makes it there.

The palace is not open to the general public, since it houses a school for fashion and design. However, the chapel of Schloss Hetzendorf is open during the day and term and - the main reason for going to the palace in summer - there is a nice pub and restaurant in the entrance courtyard of the palace.

The design of Hetzendorf is typical for the period of Empress Maria Theresia; it was transformed into a private extension for the Habsburg family to withdraw from Schönbrunn palace, and the trick still seems to work well. Getting there is relatively easy - if you are up for a bit of a hike, walk through the parks of Schönbrunn. Otherwise, a tram takes you directly to the entrance of Hetzendorf. Unfortunately, the parks of the palace are not open for visitors. This is despite of them being well-preserved; alas, they belong to the fashion school. In-joke for German speakers: In Vienna, the palace is often called "Fetzendorf" ("Rag Village"), referring to the fashion design school.