Hofburg Palace

Hofburg palace in Vienna is a former royal residence, as well as a symbol of the historical power and wealth of Austria.

The place is also one of the historical evidences of the 600-year-long reign by the Habsburg dynasty…

…as the building was their official administrative residence, up until the end of monarchy in Austria (in 1918).

The palace complex contains several sections, most famously ‘Neue Burg’ and its Heldenplatz (‘Heroes Square‘).

Heldenplatz contains equestrian statues (from mid-19th century) for Archduke Karl and Eugen, Prince of Savoy, both monuments to Austrian military’s victorious history.

Hofburg Palace - Neue Burg Vienna Austria

PHOTO: Neue Burg in Hofburg is one of most impressive parts of the palace, an addition to the palace complex from 1881-1913. Today, Neue Burg contains museums and the Austrian National Library.

Neue Burg Eugen Prince of Savoy statue Vienna AustriaPHOTO: Heldenplatz (Neue Burg’s ‘Heroes Square‘) is a field dedicated to Austria’s military victories and its heroes. One of the highlights at the square is the (pictured) equestrian statue of Eugen, Prince of Savoy, a national hero.

Hofburg palace inner courtyard gate Vienna AustriaPHOTO: Amalienburg gate on the palace’s inner courtyard. Going through the gate, you’ll find the famous ‘Sissi Museum’ and an exhibition of imperial residences in the palace.

Swiss court gate Hofburg Vienna Austria

PHOTO: One of the most famous highlights at the palace is the pictured Swiss Gate. Going through the gate, you’ll find the Hofburg Treasure museum, as well as the Hofburg palace church. The gate’s name comes from Empress Maria Theresia’s personal Swiss guards in the 18th century.

Swiss court lion statue Hofburg palace Vienna AustriaPHOTO: Lion statue guarding entrance to the Swiss Gate. Historically, lion statues were added to sides to palace entrances to keep bad spirits out, a tradition dating back to ancient Mesopotamia.

Hofburg palace inner courtyard Francis II statue Vienna AustriaPHOTO: A monument for Emperor Francis II, located on the Hofburg inner courtyard. The monument contains the emperor’s final words (as were written in his will): “My life is for my people“.

Michaelertrakt Hofburg palace Vienna AustriaPHOTO: Hofburg’s Michaelertrakt facade, facing Vienna’s historical city center.

Neptune fountain Hofburg palace Vienna AustriaPHOTO: A dramatic Neptune-themed fountain within the Michaelertrakt facade.

Horse carriage tour Hofburg palace Vienna AustriaPHOTO: One way for you to tour the palace is with a horse carriage ride. While on the tour, the driver will share his knowledge of the palace’s history.

VIDEO: A tour of Neue Burg.

VIDEO: InYourPocket publication’s tour of Hofburg.

Because it was built over the centuries in many waves, Hofburg palace consists of several different architecture styles…

…ranging from Gothic to the Viennese ‘Ringstrasse’ style.

First buildings were, in fact, added to the complex even before the Habsburg period, starting with Bohemian King Ottokar II, who had the Swiss Court built in 1275.

Today, the hofburg buildings are used by several organizations and institutions, including…

  • the Austrian president,
  • Museum of Ethnology,
  • Hofburg Art Museum (Vienna Art Museum collection of old weapons and musical instruments),
  • Ephesus Museum,
  • Treasure Room (from Habsburg collections),
  • Austrian National Library, and
  • Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

The Habsburg collection of secular and religious treasures is one of the best in the world, and it contains items up to Emperor Maximilian I’s reign.

Highlights at the Royal Treasure Room include:

  • Holy Roman Empire’s crown jewels, and
  • Rudolf II’s Coronial crown (the imperial Austrian crown since 1804).

You’ll find the Treasure Room at the Swiss Court building, a building named after historical residences for Empress Maria Theresia’s personal Swiss guards.

Other popular sections at the Hofburg include Emperor Franz Joseph I’s residential rooms (‘Kaiserappartements’), and its “Sisi Museum”.

Hofburg Palace

Address: Vienna 1010, Austria
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Official website: Hofburg-Wien.at

Sisi Museum provides a look into the everyday life and residences of Emperor Franz Joseph’s famously beautiful and popular wife, Empress Elisabeth, nicknamed by the people as ‘Sissi‘.

From Hofburg, you’ll also find the Vienna Spanish Riding School, which organizes performances of traditional horse riding art.