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The castle at Schlosshof is a true baroque gem, shining even more brilliantly now after the completion of extensive restorations. The product of that master designer and architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, who in 1732 reconstructed the four-sided castle into an elegant U-shape building, the Schloss opens up on the eastern side to a marvelous baroque formal garden that gives way toward the river. The famed landscape painter Bernardo Bellotto, noted for his Canaletto-like vistas of scenic landmarks, captured the view before the reconstruction. His three paintings were used as a guide for restoring the gardens to their baroque appearance. The castle was once owned by Empress Maria Theresa, mother of Marie Antoinette. You can visit the suite the empress used during her royal visits, faithfully re-created down to the tiniest details, as well as the two-story chapel in which she prayed. For kids there's a manor farm with a menagerie and petting zoo featuring exotic wild animals and old breeds of gentle pets. The complex includes a restaurant and pâtisserie, both with indoor and outdoor seating. Guided tours and audio tours of the castle and the garden are available in English, but it's also possible to saunter around the buildings and grounds on your own. The castle is about 8 km (5 miles) south of Marchegg.
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