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Listed under Visitor Attractions in Vienna, Austria.

  • Photo of Hofburg
  • Photo of Hofburg
Photo of Hofburg
Photo by flickr user Jaume Meneses
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Marie Antoinette’s birthplace, the Hofburg housed the Habsburgs in winter and is now the official home of Austria’s President. Many architects have added their signatures to the building since it began to grow in the 13th Century and it’s had many wings, rooms and chapels added as the Habsburgs added annexes for family members, galleries for their art collections, stables, a library and a riding school. The Habsburgs left in 1918, but their accumulated possessions and marks of their wealth and power are the main attractions for visitors. The treasury and royal apartments, left as they were in Franz Joseph’s time are open to the public and there are other exhibitions on the grounds. The Spanish riding school still survives.

Today the Vienna Boys Choir perform during Sunday Mass in the Gothic Imperial Chapel, so it is far from a shadow of its former glorious self. But the ballrooms and courts of Franz Joseph have largely been replaced with offices for the President and his ministers. So popular and quintessentially European, one of the Hofburg’s Gates is depicted on the 20 euro coin.

Hofburg Homepage.

Written by  Graeme Harwood.

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