Discover Vienna: The Imperial Apartments at Hofburg Palace

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ESCToday in collaboration with Vienna Tourist Board (Wien.info) will be bringing you a series of articles leading up to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in order to showcase and introduce the 2015 Eurovision host city Vienna to our readers. Today we will have a look at the State Apartments at Vienna’s Hofburg Palace.

If you love history and royalty then you must visit the Imperial State Apartments where you will surely be mesmerised and enchanted with the grandeur and glitz of the Austrian Imperial court and its architecture. The Imperial State Apartments at the Hofburg Palace are treasure for royalty fans and history lovers.

The Imperial State Apartments are housed at the Hofburg Palace complex. You can purchase the Sisi Ticket which will enable you to visit, the Sisi Museum at Hofburg Palace, The State Apartments at Hofburg Palace, The Silver Collection at Hofburg Palace, Imperial Furniture Collection and the Imperial Grand Tour at Schonbrunn Palace.

With the Sisi Ticket you will be able to visit the Silver Collection, the State Apartments and The Sisi Museum at the Hofburg Imperial Palace, all of which are adjacent to each another.

Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife  Empress Elizabeth aka Sisi lived here with their children and the entire royal household. From this location they represented the realm of the Habsburg and directed its politics.

At the Imperial State Apartments you will be able to see the rooms for the officers of the imperial household, the large Audience Hall (with a painting by the Biedermeier painter Peter Krafft) and the Conference Room, where ministers and the crown council held their meetings. You will also be able to view the office of Emperor Franz Joseph as well as the living room and bedroom of his wife, numerous salons and an old-fashioned bathroom.

The rooms are in the Rococo style, with rich stucco work and valuable tapestries from Brussels (17th and 18th centuries), chandeliers made from Bohemian crystal and tiled stoves made from porcelain. The furniture, added in the nineteenth century, is in the Louis XV and Empire styles.

The Hofburg Palace and The Habsburgs

The Hofburg Palace was the residence of the Habsburgs for over 600 years and thus the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Apart from its function as the seat of government and administrative centre, the Hofburg was also the winter residence of the imperial family. From the 18th century onwards the court spent the summer at Schönbrunn Palace.

Court ceremonial dictated that each member of the family had their own apartments or suites in one of the numerous palace wings. Whereas most of these apartments today house a range of museums as well as offices, government ministries and the presidential chancellery, the Imperial Chancellery Wing and the Amalia Residence, which contained the apartments of Franz Joseph and Elisabeth, are today open to the public.

The fittings and furniture mostly date from the second half of the 19th century, but the majority of the ceramic stoves are part of the original 18th-century fittings. These stoves were fired by court stove-stokers from special parallel heating passages in order to avoid making the rooms dirty. From 1824 pipes for heating the stoves with hot air were installed. The chandeliers of Bohemian lead crystal were made by the firm of Lobmeyr and held candles until the end of the 19th century, when electricity was installed in the palace.

The Imperial State Apartments at Hofburg Palace are located at 1 Michaelerplatz and you can access it via U-Bahn: U1 and U3 and get down at Stephansplatz/ U1 and get down at Herrengasse.

For more information on Vienna you can visit Wien.info and for the latest news on ESC 2015 in Vienna  ORF’s Eurovision website in German.

You can follow our forthcoming series of Discover Vienna articles with photographs and videos on ESCToday.com and on our official Esctoday Instagram and ESCToday Facebook pages.

Stay tuned to ESCToday for the latest news on Vienna, Austria and 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

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