Hofburg Palace is a palace located in Vienna, Austria, that has housed some of the most powerful people in Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria. It was the Habsburgs’ principal winter residence, as the Schönbrunn Palace was their preferred summer residence.The Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government since 1279 for various empires and republics. The Hofburg has been expanded over the centuries to include: various residences (with the Amalienburg), the chapel (Hofkapelle or Burgkapelle), museums (the Naturhistorisches Museum & Kunsthistorisches Museum), the Imperial Library (Hofbibliothek now the Prunksaal), the treasury (Schatzkammer), the national theatre (Burgtheater), the riding school (Hofreitschule), the horse stables (the Stallburg and Hofstallungen) and the Hofburg Congress Center. The Hofburg faces the Heldenplatz ordered under the reign of Emperor Francis Joseph, as part of what was to become a Kaiserforum that was never completed. Numerous architects have executed work at the Hofburg as it expanded, notably the Italian architect-engineer Filiberto Luchese (the Leopoldischiner Trakt), Lodovico Burnacini and Martino and Domenico Carlone, the Baroquearchitects Lukas von Hildebrandt and Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach (the Reichschancelry Wing and the Winter Riding School), Johann Fischer von Erlach (the library), and the architects of the grandiose Neue Burg built between 1881 and 1913.
Schönbrunn Palace – Schloss Schönbrunn, is a former imperial 1,400-room Rococo summer residence in Vienna, Austria. One of the most important cultural monuments in the country, since the 1960s it has been one of the major tourist attractions in Vienna. The palace and gardens illustrate the tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.
The sculpted garden space between the palace and the Sun Fountain is called the Great Parterre. The French garden, a big part of the area, was planned by Jean Trehet in 1695. It contains, among other things, a maze. The complex however includes many more attractions: Besides the Tiergarten, the world’s oldest existing zoo (founded in 1752), an orangerie erected around 1755, staple luxuries of European palaces of its type, a palm house (replacing, by 1882, around ten earlier and smaller glass houses in the western part of the park) is noteworthy. Western parts were turned into English garden style in 1828–1852. At the outmost western edge, a botanical garden going back to an earlier arboretum was re-arranged in 1828, when the Old Palm House was built. A modern enclosure for Orangutans, was restored besides a restaurant and office rooms in 2009. Lining the Great Parterre are 32 sculptures, which represent deities and virtues. The Schloss is Vienna’s most popular tourist destination, attended by 2,467,000 visitors in 2009. The whole Schönbrunn complex with Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Palmenhaus, Wüstenhaus and the Wagenburg, accounted for more than five million visitors. At the official website tickets can be purchased in advance for tours. In addition to tours and tour packages, many classical concerts featuring the music of W. A. Mozart and his contemporaries can be enjoyed with the added benefit of more time in the spectacular halls, Orangerie, or Schlosstheater.
The Belvedere is a historical building complex in Vienna, Austria, consisting of two Baroque palaces the Upper and Lower Belvedere, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the 3rd district of the city, south-east of its centre. It houses the Belvedere museum. The grounds are set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The Baroque palace complex was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Belvedere was built during a period of extensive constructions in Vienna, which at the time was both the imperial capital and home to the ruling dynasty. This period of prosperity followed on from the commander-in-chief Prince Eugene of Savoy’s successful conclusion of a series of wars against the Ottoman Empire.
On 30 November 1697, one year after commencing with the construction of the Stadtpalais, Prince Eugene purchased a sizable plot of land south of the Rennweg, the main road to Hungary. Plans for the Belvedere garden complex were drawn up immediately. The prince chose Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt as the chief architect for this project rather than Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, the creator of his Stadtpalais. Hildebrandt (1668–1745), whom the general had met whilst engaged in a military campaign in Piedmont, had already built Ráckeve Palace for him in 1602 on Csepel, an island in the Danube south of Budapest. He later went on to build numerous other edifices in his service. The architect had studied civil engineering in Rome under Carlo Fontana and had gone into imperial service in 1695–96 in order to learn how to build fortifications. From 1696 onwards, records show that he was employed as a court architect in Vienna. As well as the Belvedere, Hildebrandt’s most outstanding achievements include the Schloss Hof Palace, which was also commissioned by Prince Eugene, the Schwarzenberg Palace (formerly known as the Mansfeld–Fondi Palace), the Kinsky Palace, as well as the entire Göttweig Monastery estate in the Wachau Valley. At the time that the prince was planning to buy the land on the outskirts of Vienna for his Belvedere project, the area was completely undeveloped – an ideal place to construct a landscaped garden and summer palace. However, a month before the prince made his acquisition, the imperial Grand Marshall Count Heinrich Franz Mansfeld, Prince of Fondi, purchased the neighboring plot and commissioned Hildebrandt to build a garden palace on the land. To buy the plot, Prince Eugene was forced to take out a large loan secured against his Stadtpalais, which was still in the process of being built. He bought additional neighboring areas of land in 1708, 1716, and again in 1717–18 to allow him to expand the garden in stages. Records indicate that the construction of the Upper Belvedere had started by 1712, as Prince Eugene submitted the request for a building inspection on 5 July 1713. Work proceeded swiftly, and Marcantonio Chiarini from Bologna started painting the quadratura in the central hall in 1715. The Flemish ambassador visited the Lower Belvedere, as well as the Stadtpalais, in April 1716. Extensive work was carried out on the grounds at the same time as construction went ahead on the Lustschloss, as the Lower Belvedere was described on an early cityscape. Dominique Girard changed the plans for the garden significantly between January and May 1717, so that it could be completed by the following summer. Girard, who was employed as fontainier du roi, or the king’s water engineer, in Versailles from 1707–15, had started working as a garden inspector for the Bavarian elector Max Emanuel from 1715 onwards. It was on the latter’s recommendation that he entered Prince Eugene’s employ. The Lower Belvedere and the Orangery have been specially adapted to stage special exhibitions. After winning an invitation-only competition, architect Susanne Zottl turned the Orangery into a modern exhibition hall whilst still preserving the building’s original Baroque fabric. This venue opened in March 2007 with the exhibition Gartenlust: Der Garten in der Kunst (Garden Pleasures: The Garden in Art). A few months later the Lower Belvedere reopened with the show Vienna—Paris. The redesign of the building was carried out by the Berlin architect Wilfried Kühn, who moved the entrance back to its place in the cour d’honneur, thereby once more freeing up the original line of vision from the main gate of the Lower Belvedere via the Marble Hall to the garden facade of the Upper Belvedere. The various sections of the original orangeries annexed to the Marble Hall were returned to their original condition and now provide space for the new exhibition rooms. The magnificent Baroque state rooms – the Marble Gallery, the Golden Room, and the Hall of Grotesques – remain unchanged and are open to the public.
More than 210 discounts and unlimited free travel by underground, bus and tram for 72 hours. Available in hotels and at the tourist information centre on Albertinaplatz (open daily from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm) and the tourist information point at the airport (open daily from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm), at sales and information points of the Vienna Lines (e.g. Stephansplatz, Karlsplatz, Westbahnhof, Landstraße/Wien Mitte) or by credit card on tel. +43-1-798 44 00-148.
The information, and photos, on our Vienna pages has been compiled with the help of Wien Tourismus – http://www.wien.info/en– to ensure quality, up-to-date information on the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria.
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