The Incredible Fountain With The Obelisk English Language Essay

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Vienna is known for her beautiful buildings, most of which are within the ring around the center of the city. Schnbrunn meaning: beautiful spring is an exception on this rule, it's outside the ring. This palace was the summer residence of princess Elisabeth and her family and servants. Schnbrunn has been put on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in December 1996.

Since almost everyone was planning to go to inside the ring, me and three friends (Sandra, Erik and Stan) decided to go somewhere else, namely to the beauty that Schloss Schnbrunn beholds. \cite[schoen]

\subsection{Caching}

First there is something I must explain, namely the concept of geocaching. Geocaching is an online GPS-based game. Players try to seek boxes (which are called caches) which other players hided in some place. On the basis of only coordinates and, sometimes, hints, you must try to find the place in which it is located (this process is called caching). And here comes the nicest part: the whole world participates! You'll have to get into a really obscure place not to find any caches in a radius of ~1km.

This has been a hobby of mine for some time, and being in Vienna is like being in cache-heaven. Caches are spread all over a place, with a separating distance of less than 500m. We arrived around 1pm at the hostel, where we could drop our luggage. After loading some coordinates on our devices, the playtime could begin!

We made ourselves a route which passed several caches to our final destination: the Schnbrunn palace (which garden contains as many as nine caches). We would soon find out that caching in Vienna was kind of difficult, the caches were mostly hide on hard and non-trivial places. However, luckily on our way we had found all caches we aimed for and we could enjoy the magnificence of the palace.

\subsection{Dropping mouths}

The first thing you'll see if you'll ever get near the palace is a tremendous long wall. We had approached the palace from the east-side and after some minutes we even wondered if the wall would ever end. And then, suddenly, a gate popped up in front of us. Not some gate, it was an all decorated black gate with two enormous pillars next to it with the golden imperial eagles on top.

The next thing we would do is walk through the gate, and suddenly we were surrounded by the palace. Everywhere one looked was this great building. Our mouths dropped open from amazement. The beauty and power it beholds is just impossible to describe, so I won't give it a shot.

After just staring and 'oh-ing' for five minutes or so, telling each other how imposable the palace is, we went on looking for an entrance to the garden. Our search for the caches had to be continued...

It was actually kind of a hard task to find the entrance to the gardens. This was because we weren't sure whether we'd had to pay for it and, because we all have Dutch blood in our veins, we wanted to get in for free. After a sort search we luckily found the entrance, without a fee, and we went in. We walked on and on until we finally came to the, we thought, central plane, where a huge fountain faced us. We stared at it for some minutes, watching the little ducks play in the water.

\placefigure

{Roads leading to the fountain}

{\externalfigure[fountain][width=0.5\textwidth]}

\subsection{Squirrels vs. joggers}

From this fountain we had to choose out of seven different paths, and on the end of each one some statue could be seen in the distance. You can imagine the hard choice we faced. Eventually we picked the second junction to continue on our road of amazement. We went into a big lane with really gigantic trees which were perfectly trimmed, so that every tree looked exactly the same. Some now and then a somewhat terrified squirrel would quickly pass our path. These little creatures are actually spread pretty much all over the place. And some of them are quite impertinent too! They would get closer to a human than your average squirrel to get to their food. I guess they have learned that human equals food.

How many squirrels we saw, they could never conquer the number of joggers! It looks like everyone in Vienna comes to this place to jog. And all they run in this easy pace which I could never ever reach... While we're discussing all of our experiences so far, we suddenly stand before another huge fountain, which, sadly, was turned off. But that couldn't take away our pleasure. The name of this thing that was in front of us is the Obelisk fountain. This fountain was build in 1777 by a famous architect (Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg, which actually designed most of the other features in the park). The basepool of the fountain is surrounded by many persons which pour water into the pool. In the middle there is a mask, of which's mouth can flow water too.

There is also a huge pillar, the obelisk, rising out of the fountain, on top is which is again the imperial eagle. The eagle was believed to be 'the only creature that can approach the sun without coming to harm'. This means in the old times that it could also approach heaven, so the eagle was a sign of the gods. This eagle thus is a symbol of the emperor. The obelisk rusts on four turtles which represent stability and eternity. \cite[obelisk]

\placefigure

{The incredible fountain with the obelisk on top}

{\externalfigure[obilisk][width=0.5\textwidth]}

After this we decided to go into the 'forest' in the back of the garden. This was a very quiet place. While the whole garden was filled with people, this place was quiet and lonely. We heard absolutely nothing, only the sounds of the trees and animals which live in them.

\subsection{Gloriette}

After about half of an hour we got tired of the quietness and decided to go look for the main road again. This turned out to be, surprisingly, a somewhat difficult task. Apparently we had traveled many side roads and was the way to the main road not so trivial anymore. Luckily, after some time, we found the exit of the forest. Hurray, we wouldn't be trapped forever.

We walked down the road and stumbled upon the gloriette (French word meaning 'little glory'). This is the main building of the park, a belvedere for the Schnbrunn hill. Also this building was designed by Hohenberg. The building has a central section which is accompanied by two wings. On top of the flat roof is a balustrade, which can be accessed with a stairway. Within the gloriette is a dining room. In 1945 one wing was destroyed by a bomb. Luckily this has been rebuild. \cite[gloriette]

The gloriette is one big thing that catches your sight for a few moments, that is for sure. But it wasn't till we turned around that our mouths dropped open, again. Because what you're facing is a beautiful look over the whole city of Vienna. It was getting dark by the time we stood there, and you could see a line of car and street lights which directly pointed at the center of the palace. It was really peaceful to just stand there and enjoy the view over the gardens of Schnbrunn.

After this we went on and into the gloriette to look at it more closely. There were a few magnificent statues on the building, which really must have costed millions to build. The precision is really great. Behind and in front of the gloriette were also two pools, in which ducks (and little children) were playing with and in the water. It was nice to see this contract, nature vs. human wealth. I wonder which one is more precious.

\placefigure

{The gloriette in twilight}

{\externalfigure[gloriette][width=0.5\textwidth]}

\subsection{Neptune fountain}

It was getting quite dark (and we were getting quite hungry) so it was time to leave the gardens. We took the road down hill and walked along. While our journey to the exit, we crossed the Neptune fountain, another great structure in the gardens of Schloss Schnbrunn. This fountain is at the foot of the hill. This thing took four years to build, and was finished just before the death of the empress. This fountain has a main base with a balustrade on top of it too, just like the Obelisk fountain. On this balustrade God Neptune stands imposingly with his trident in his left hand, looking down at his worshipping sea-goddess Thetis. At the foot of the balustrade there are half creatures which hold shell trumpets, with which they could fear the people.

Neptune is a symbol for monarchs controlling their nations. What is interesting, is that the whole fountain is surrounded by a group of trees. These were added later during the 19th century to provide some protection. The fountain is very sensitive to harsh weather conditions, and the trees could catch some of the damage. \cite[nep]

Then suddenly an alarm bursted out, telling us to get out of the garden. It was closing time.

We continued our way until we stand just on the backside of the palace. Even the staircase was really huge. It's unbelievable that this was a residence to just one family and their servants. It could house a whole city! The golden finishing touches of all the important symbols, doorways and frames are really unbelievable too. How could one family possess this amount of money. It is a grateful thing that this place hasn't harmed much during the World Wars, it would have been a pity to the world.

We weren't quite ready to leave this imposable place jet, so we took one side road more. We came into a little garden right next to the entrance of the park. This little garden on itself would have been great if I could have had this in our backyard. Then we continued our way out of the park, nine caches and a tremendous feeling richer, and we peered one more time at the whole enlightened place. Then to think of the fact that his palace was just their summer residence...

\placefigure

{The summer residence in the dark}

{\externalfigure[summerres][width=0.5\textwidth]}

\section{Sources}

\placepublications

\stopcomponent

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