Going Green: Public Parks in Vienna - Part II
5.) Vienna Botanical Gardens &
Formal Gardens of Schloss Belvedere
Vienna′s most impressive formal gardens aside of those in Schloss Schönbrunn are the ones surrounding Schloss Belvedere. They are public and truly impressive. If you prefer an educational touch to your greens and more diversity, go to the Botanical Gardens that start pretty much where the Belvedere ends. They will grant you with an opportunity to learn about Alpine flowers and vegetation from different areas of Austria. These two are no parks for picnics and wild ball games, though.
6.) Schlossgarten of Schönbrunn Imperial Palace
As I have described the gardens extensively in the article on the palace of Schönbrunn, I will not go into details again. Only that much: The gardens are vast, diverse and free for the public to access. I was locked in once late at night and tried to escape by climbing a wall, when a kind person on the outside pointed out to me that the main gate at the palace remain open. There is also a non-public part of the park, which is occupied by the Palmenhaus, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn and the Tiroler Garten ("Tyrolean Garden", a fake-alpine landscape park).
7.) Augarten Park
This is the largest of the central parks in Vienna. It is home to a massive concrete tower, one of those that the Nazis built to defend the city against bomber attacks. Beyond that, the famous manufactory of porcelain lives in the Augarten ("Augarten Porzellan"), as well as the most famous boarding school of Austria: The one of the Vienna Boys Choir.
8.) Prater: Amusement Park with extra Green
If one refers to the "Prater", Austrians typically think of the tacky funfair with the Riesenrad Ferris wheel. In fact, this is the Volksprater or Würselprater - the term "Prater" refers to a large area south of the Volksprater and consists of woods and greens. Popular with joggers, roller bladders, Nordic walkers and aficionados of illegal prostitutes.
9.) Donaupark - Danube Park
A big park with lots of open space ideal for ball games, but rather unimaginative in its design. Here you will find Vienna′s highest spot, on the Donauturm tower. The Donaupark lies directly next to the UNO City, the local branch of the United Nations (sort of a franchising chain).
10.) Kurpark Oberlaa
Famous for its Kurcafe Oberlaa, the park was designed and developed into its current shape only in 1974. The spa activities date back to the 18th century, though, when hot springs were discovered. With the general appearance feeling increasingly shabby and 1970ies-ish, the Kurpark is currently redeveloped with significant financial efforts. In the end, the entire area should provide modern spa and recreation facilities.
Directly next to the agricultural university ("BOKU"), the Türkenschanzpark is finally what I call a proper park. The name means "Turk′s Trench Park" and is somewhat self-explanatory: It occupies a site on which a Turkish trench was found after the Second Siege of Vienna in 1683. Its current appearance was developed in the 1890ies. Today, it covers an area of impressive 150,000 square metres and is popular with people in quest for real green, ponds, trees and more trees.
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