Discover Germany, Issue 29, August 2015

Page 73

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Special Theme

Discover the magic of butterflies Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Vienna’s Butterfly House is a great place to discover, observe and admire over 500 exotic butterflies in the heart of the city.

Adventurous Austria

TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: STEPHEN FRIED

The building itself is impressive, being one of Europe’s finest Art Nouveau palm houses ever created. Measuring 128 metres in length and a floor area of around 2,000 square metres, it is part of the Hofburg Royal Palace Burggarten grounds, which once served as an oasis of calm and tranquility for Emperor Franz Josef I and his wife Sisi, the iconic Austrian Empress. Founded in 1990 the Butterfly House moved into the Palm House a few years later and until today does not fail to impress visitors of all age groups. Inside a paradise of tropical plants allows the butterflies to live freely in their natural habitat resembling their countries of origin such as Costa Rica, Belize, Suriname, Thailand and the Philippines. A constant 26 degrees and a

humidity of around 80 per cent plus plenty of sunlight make sure that the flying creatures are exposed to the highest level of well being. “All of our butterflies are produced by us, or for us, at recognised butterfly farms in various tropical countries. None of the butterflies are taken from the wild and there are no endangered species in the exhibition. We do not sell the butterflies we produce to collectors, only to other live exhibitions,” owner Stephen Fried points out. Often dubbed as nature’s flying flowers, butterflies come in the most amazing shapes, sizes and colours. All butterflies undergo a complete metamorphosis during their life cycle. From egg to larva to pupa they only emerge as a fully-grown butter-

fly after having gone though all the stages. They live from a few days up to a year, depending on the species and the little beauties are quite picky when it comes to choosing a home. “The Owl butterfly generally lays her eggs on banana leaves, the Heliconius species on passion flower leaves and the Monarch only on milkweed,”Fried explains. Whatever the weather and regardless of age, the Butterfly HouseVienna is certainly a place not to be missed while being in town. The Butterfly House is also available as an event location, being a most romantic backdrop for a wedding or other oncein-a-lifetime moments. www.schmetterlinghaus.at

Issue 29 | August 2015 | 73