I am a palm tree savant. Show me a landscape, and I will find the palm tree before you even realized that one was there. So it is difficult for me to pass up a palm house.
In the 1700’s, palms were an exotic plant, carried by European explorers from tropical lands back to Europe, where they built greenhouses and cultivated these plants for their own enjoyment. I like to think of them as 19th century tiki bars where Jimmy Buffett’s royal ancestors would sit with their mango iced teas and Mai Tais in their velvet regal housecoats. As a native of Illinois, where white oaks outnumber palms (surprised?), I can understand the need for a palm house.
The Palm House at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna was built in 1882, after Archduke Maximilian circumnavigated the globe, according to Tanglewood Conservatories. It is the largest Palm House in Europe. It is part of the Schönbrunn Palace grounds in Vienna. Is a palm house worth your time. I say yes, for how often do you get to walk through the emporer’s personal conservatory. But if you’re not a palm tree savant, you can skip it and head to the cafe instead for a Sacher Torte.