Palm House & Desert House

Schönbrunn Palm House

Commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph I, the Palm House was constructed by the engineer Ignaz Gridl between 1880 and 1882 according to plans by the court architect Franz Xaver Segenschmid. With a footprint of 2,500m², some 4,900m² of glass and more than 5,500 plants, this floral palace has retained the title of mainland Europe’s largest palm house since it first opened its doors on July 19, 1882.

Desert House

This fascinating desert environment was created in 2003 beneath the glass roof of the former Sundial House. Located in the grounds of Schönbrunn palace, it was designed by Alfons Custodis in the Viennese Jugendstil art nouveau style and completed in 1904. The project to create the Desert House was a collaboration between Schönbrunn Zoo and the Federal Gardens agency. A desert experience trail through authentic desert landscapes takes visitors on a journey from Central America to Madagascar. The botanical and zoological focus is on the survivalists from the world’s most arid regions, including cacti and succulents as well as selected specialists from the animal kingdom.