Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists line up to view the tree, which was 44 years old when it was moved indoors in 1882 and named in honor of Sisi, the wasp-waisted wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
They also line up to tour the Sisi Museum in Vienna's Hofburg Palace, which is devoted to the empress' life and untimely death. She was fatally stabbed in 1898 by an Italian anarchist.
The imperial couple enjoys a cult following among Austrians and foreigners alike. Last week, local media were abuzz with reports that a Hollywood film, "Sisi," is in the works starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as Sisi and Tom Hanks as Franz Joseph.
The beloved palm — a seedling in 1838 — is part of an imperial tradition.
But modern botanists knew the palm would run into problems. Its fate was sealed in 1990, when workers transplanted the tree from a giant urn to a hole in the ground dug deep below the Palm House floor — meaning it could not be moved. Mang and Gerhard Tichy, the master gardener at Schoenbrunn, said officials delayed until virtually the last moment their decision to cut down the Sisi Palm next month.
Austrian officials say it's the continent's largest glass greenhouse, and at 364 feet long, 92 feet wide and 82 feet high, the pavilion's green iron curves and 45,000 panes seem straight out of a Jules Verne novel.