Hofburg Palace stands out as one of the most impressive historic palaces of the Austrian capital. It is of course located within the first district, the historic center of Vienna. The city of Vienna is identified historically with its first district, or Innere Stadt, also known as the Old town (Altstadt), which up until the mid-19th century & the reign of Francis Joseph I was confined within the city walls.
In 1857 the Emperor decided to raze the walls to the ground & create what is today the monumental boulevard of Ringstrasse that surrounds the first district today. The most prominent attraction in the Historic center & one great way to start your acquaintance with the city is of course the Imperial Palace complex of Hofburg.
Hofburg’s Palace’s position right in the center of the Old town means that to reach the palace one must walk across many of its popular tourist attractions. In other words, starting your Vienna tour from Hofburg means you start seeing the city from its historic heart.
Hofburg (Imperial Castle) has been the seat of power for Austrian rulers, Holy Roman Emperors, and Austrian Emperors for more than 6 centuries. From Medieval to Gothic, to Baroque & finally, to Neoclassical the palace has followed all the architectural styles & transformations of the Imperial city from its first establishment by the Bohemian King Ottokar II in 1276 to the dusk of the Habsburg dynasty in 1918.
Today the vast palatial complex engulfs the Imperial Apartments that house more than 165.000 pieces of original furniture in the 19 rooms that were occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph & his wife Sisi. The Imperial Silver Collection or the former Silver & Table Rooms where 7.000 of the 150.000 silver & gold objects of the Imperial household are exhibited.
Sisi’s museum with more than 300 personal items of the iconic Queen, the National Library, one of the grandest & most lavishly decorated libraries in the world, the Winterreitschule or Winter riding school where one can attend one of the performances given by the Lippizaner horses & their riders.
The complex is visited by more than 600.000 people every year & is today the house of the Federal President, the ministers of the chancellor’s office & the secretaries of the state.Very difficult to see everything in one day so depending on your time frame it is advisable to plan your visit accordingly in advance. More