Built from the 13th century, the Hofburg complex is located in Vienna, in the district of Innere Stadt, and has been the center of Austrian power for more than six centuries. Part of the palace is today the residence and place of work of the President of Austria. The Hofburg covers 240 000 m² and consists of 18 wings, 19 courtyards and 2,600 rooms, in which about 5,000 people still live and work.
Hofburg (Wien) History
The main facade of the Hofburg overlooks the Josefsplatz, where the statue of Joseph II stands. The building that overlooks it houses the National Library, in the Prunksaal or Hall of Honor. Looking at the complex from the Josefsplatz, the left side consists of the Augustinerkirche, in Gothic style, where the hearts of the Habsburgs are kept and where you can admire the funeral monument to Maria Cristina by Antonio Canova; and from the "Albertina", which houses a vast collection of prints, watercolors, drawings and photographs including works by Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo and Picasso. The right side is made up of the Stallburg, now part of the Lipizzan Museum, and the Maneggio in winter, where the sovereigns trained Lipizzan horses (but of Spanish origin and the Kingdom of Naples), and where they kept the equestrian exercises. The vast park of the complex, which extends behind the buildings that make up the facade and behind the guts of the structure constituted by the core of the Schweizerhof, was built after Napoleon Bonaparte, during the occupation of Vienna, had the city walls demolished. The park is enriched by statues of Francis I and Mozart, and a complex of greenhouses built in the early twentieth century in Jugendstil. The inner courtyard is instead occupied by the Heldenplatz (piazza degli eroi), overlooked by the wing of the Neue Burg: at the center of the two circles that form the square are the statues of Prince Eugene of Savoy and Archduke Charles.
In the Hofburg's innermost buildings you can visit the state apartments and the collection of imperial treasures, one of the richest and most evocative collections in the world
The preserved apartments are those belonging to the Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, the Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria called "Sissi" or "Sisi", as well as the rooms where the eccentric Tsar Alexander lived during the Congress of Vienna for about a year. Sissi's apartments are the ones that attract the most attention of visitors for their curious eccentricities, including the gymnastic equipment with which the empress trained daily.
The remarkable collection of state treasures includes treasures from the Austrian Empire, from room 9 to 12, from treasures from the Holy Roman Empire, from room 13 to 16, from room 13 to 16, the treasures of the so-called "dowry of Burgundy". Room 5 is dedicated to Napoleon, with portraits of the French emperor and his wife Maria Luisa and the sumptuous cradle of his son. Pieces of exceptional historical and artistic value are the Crown of the X century with which the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned, the symbols of the Hapsburg power (imperial scepter and sphere used during the coronations), the "golden fleece" belonging to the order of the same name.