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.
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.
PHOTO: 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.
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.
PHOTO: 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“.
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”.
Address: Vienna 1010, Austria
Official website: Hofburg-Wien.at
From Hofburg, you’ll also find the Vienna Spanish Riding School, which organizes performances of traditional horse riding art.