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Let it snow!

April 7, 2017
contest: “Old versus New architecture” - photography challenge
€ 100
Let it snow! /media/flashcomm?action=mediaview&context=normal&id=35743
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Bistra Stoimenova Female
Bulgaria
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Schönbrunn palace, Vienna

Schönbrunn palace is one of the most famous palaces in Europe - the favourite residence of Maria Theresa, the most famous empress (by birth, not by marriage) of the Austro-Hungarian empire. She turned the former hunting lodge into a spectacular palace modeled on Versailles (most probably). She just hated Hofburg palace - the Habsburg residence in the centre of Vienna which dates back to the 13th century and is cold, dirty and windy in winter. The name Schönbrunn comes from a well with drinkable water that used to be within the grounds.

Today Schönbrunn houses the oldest zoo in the world - started by Maria Theresa's husband - a collection of carriages and wagons and a few other pavilions that are definitely worth a visit. You'll need at least a full day to see the palace and the grounds (and it would probably not be enough). if you can choose - buy the full ticket to the palace - it's amazing in there.

Some bad news for photographers - taking pictures inside is ABSOLUTELY forbidden. There isn't a pay and shoot option either. I've checked, they allow pictures to be taken inside the palace ONLY outside visiting hours (which means - very early in the morning and late in the evening) AND only if you have a PERMIT from the Austrian ministry of culture. So your chances of taking any picture of the insides legally are slim. Taking pictures illegally won't work either because there are curators in every room and they watch you for that (even for smartphones).

The story behind the shot:
Vienna is cold in winter. I mean, really cold. By the time I took this photo, I had been around Schönbrunn for around a day. It was snowing - I love snow but I hate it when it starts getting on my camera and trying to freeze it up - and my hands (despite the gloves) were frozen already. My mood was going from bad to awful (because of the total lack of animals in the zoo - can't exactly blame them for not being outside at minus 10 Celsius). The ground was slippery (because snow easily turned to ice) and after almost falling flat on my face (twice!) I headed back to the main entrance. And then the miracle happened - they lit the lights!

Shot handheld (no tripod around at the time) and hoped to have caught the snowflakes. I did - at least snow served for something in this shot. To me this picture is dreamy - the essence of winter.

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