18 April 2009

Schonbrunn Carriage Museum

We took the kids to see the Wagenburg, the Imperial Carriage Museum that has over 100 carriages from the former Imperial Court. Back when there was an Imperial Court, the court had over 900 carriages. And they are all very ornate.


Elora especially like this gold plated carriage. Yes that's real gold leafing they apply to the wood. Elora thought it was Cinderella's carriage.



The even decorated the the horses. That's a fancy plume.



This saddle was very interesting, because I've never seen a saddle like this. Notice the slipper for a stirrup. It belonged to the beloved Empress Sissi. She loved riding horses. It's also interesting to see the leg mounts at the top. She rode side saddle as all ladies did. Their legs hooked around each of those horns sticking out at the top. We read that she actually preferred to ride this way. She tried to ride the "normal' way and didn't like it. Funny because you'd get the impression that it wasn't viewed as "lady like" but after going an on overnight horseback camping trip back in Utah I'm thinking, from experience, that it just made her butt, hips, back, and knees sore! Side saddle is probably much more comfortable. And she actually could ride pretty fast in this saddle, we saw some paintings of women jumping over barriers while riding side saddle. The bodice of her "riding habit" (dress?) was so fitted she had to be sewn into it.



This black carriage was originally plated gold, but when Sissi died, they painted it black for the funeral. They even painted over the colorful paintings in the middle, and no one knew the paintings were there until the 1920s when someone discovered them underneath a layer of paint. They've since been restored.

Elora really enjoyed the carriage museum, but even more she enjoyed playing in the gardens outside afterwards!

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