Hofburg Palace Vienna

Until the end of the monarchy in 1918, the Hofburg Palace (Wiener Hofburg) was the residence of the Habsburgs in Vienna. Before that, the Hofburg had become the centre of European politics. Here Emperor Joseph II drafted his legendary reform program; here the Viennese Congress met and danced; here numerous emperors granted audience. But even today the Viennese Hofburg holds a central political position: Since 1945, it is the official seat of the Austrian Federal President.

History of the Hofburg Palace – A complex of buildings of various art epochs

The original construction of the Viennese Hofburg Palace goes back to the Babenberg dynasty, which began to build a medieval castle in the 13th century at its current location. After the seizure of power by the Habsburgs, the Hofburg has been expanded continuously in the over 600-year-long reign period. This resulted in the asymmetric complex of today which extends over 240.000 m2 and 18 wings, 19 courtyards and 2.600 rooms. The design of the extensions since the 16th century gives an outline of the development of art history. In the Viennese Hofburg Palace tracts of different art epochs- including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque & contemporary interior designs- combine to an impressive art work.

Attractions within the Hofburg complex

The building complex of the Viennese Hofburg today is home to numerous cultural institutions. In the legendary Imperial Silver Collection, the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments visitors are offered impressive insights into the history of the Hofburg and the world of the Habsburgs. In addition, also the Spanish Riding School is based here, which offers visitors guided tours and impressive performances of their famous Lipizzaner stallions. Moreover, also the freely accessible Austrian National Library can be found within the building complex.

The Burggarten - The imperial park as a source of recreation

To the south of the “Neue Burg” (“New Castle”) follows the imperial park named “Burggarten”, which was in earlier times only accessible for members of the imperial family. During the 1920’s the Burggarten was finally opened to the public and has since become a popular site of Vienna to escape the bustling city life and enjoy leisure time.