Hofburg Wien

Imperial palace vienna

The relevance

Ever since its creation around 1240 (according to latest findings), the building complex of the Hofburg has been important both for Austrian and European history. On the one hand, its significance is due to its role as a constant seat of governments and emperors, as the target of failed Ottoman expansion, as the point of depart of the counter-reformation, as the target of Napoleon’s multilateral policy and as the place where Europe’s frontiers would be redefined after the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815). On the other hand, it is due to its relevance of a multi-ethnical capital and a multi-religious empire which – as such – anticipated many of the goals and ambitions of the European Union.

As testified by numerous conferences and congresses as well as meetings of European and international politicians which have been held in the Hofburg Wien, the Hofburg has not ceased to be a centre of action, where Europe would be shaped and further developed even after the end of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

Throughout a period of 100 years, the Habsburg residence in Vienna would be transformed into one of the most incredible exhibition centres worldwide (e.g. Museum Quarter): 16 museums, three churches, one of the most important libraries in the world, one congress centre for international meetings and ceremonial halls where balls take place testify to the democratic reinterpretation of the former imperial government district. This is also expressed by the fact that the President of the Republic of Austria has his offices there. Counting 18 wings, 54 stairs, 19 courtyards and 2600 rooms and halls, the Hofburg area is one of the world’s largest mundane residence districts. In combination with the Museum Quarter, the area of the Hofburg counts more than 500,000 square metres. It is, therefore, one of the biggest cultural sites as well.