A riotous ensemble from Greek mythology, this extraordinary garden folly at Schloss Schönbrunn was commissioned by Maria Theresia in the 1770s. Neptune, towering aloft in a shell-shaped chariot, trident in hand, is flanked by nymphs, sea goddesses, frolicking half-man, half-fish Tritons, and seahorses. Its symbolic intent – that of a monarch's absolute dominion – would have been obvious to its 18th-century audience.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Vienna attractions

1. Schloss Schönbrunn Gardens


Within the sprawling, partially forested Schlosspark, the beautifully tended formal gardens of the palace, arranged in the French style, are a symphony of…

2. Roman Ruins

0.14 MILES

Sitting at the foot of Schönbrunn hill, these quaintly artificial Roman ruins, with their arches, friezes and busts, were created as a folly in the…

3. Schöner Brunnen

0.18 MILES

The original Schöner Brunnen fountain, from which Schloss Schönbrunn gained its name, now pours through the stone pitcher of a nymph near the Roman ruins.

4. Schloss Schönbrunn

0.24 MILES

The Habsburgs' opulent summer palace is now a Unesco World Heritage site. Of its 1441 rooms, 40 are open to the public; the Imperial Tour takes you into…

5. Gloriette

0.25 MILES

From 1772 to 1780 Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf added some of the final touches to the Schloss Schönbrunn palace park under the instructions of Joseph II…

6. Kindermuseum

0.26 MILES

On the ground floor of the western wing at Schloss Schönbrunn, the palace's children's museum showcases imperialism. Activities and displays help kids…

7. Wagenburg

0.33 MILES

The delightful Wagenburg displays carriages ranging from tiny children’s wagons up to sumptuous vehicles of state, but nothing can compete with Emperor…

8. Kronprinzengarten

0.37 MILES

With its ornate parterres, octagonal pools and pergolas, the Kronprinzengarten at Schloss Schönbrunn is a replica of the original baroque garden created…