Summer carriages of the nobility
A summer breeze from 1900 can be felt while visiting “Go Cabrio!” at the Museum of Carriages in Schönbrunn: carriages of the nobility, some hidden in depots for almost 100 years, have been especially restored for this exhibition, and show that even the ancestors of our modern convertibles were pretty chic.
Apart from riding horses, driving in open carriages was one of the most important pleasures during the summer season. Elegant summer equipages gave the opportunity to “see and be seen”, while offering the ladies the possibility to present their new wardrobes and the gentlemen to impress with their elegant horses and carriages and the perfectly attuned liveries of their servants. Year after year the opening of the season was celebrated with the famous “Spring Festival” at the Prater: crowds of riders and pedestrians swarmed into the park to get a first glimpse of the new equipages of the emperor and the nobility which rolled through in a long procession of “wonderful double rows of carriages”. In the following weeks these carriages shaped the image of the whole city.
What’s more – there were specific types of vehicles for all activities in fair weather: the transport fleet of noble families included elegant promenade carriages with or without a coach box, sportive carriages that were driven by the owners themselves, practical hunting carriages which also offered space for dogs and large leisure carriages that could hold many passengers, which were used for picnic tours to the countryside and also as stands at horse races.
Among the many equipages at the Museum of Carriages, one can see a large hunting carriage, which Sisi’s hunting friend Count Franz Clam-Gallas rode to win the carriage race at the Viennese Prater park; the elegant “Prater carriage” of Princess Eleonore zu Schwarzenberg and the sports carriage that Sisi’s sister Helene von Thurn und Taxis (the first bride of Emperor Franz Josef) drove herself.
1 May 2012
to 30 September 2012
jeden Sonntag 11 Uhr
Führungsbeitrag € 3.-