Imperial palaces of Austria-Hungary

Prague Castle

Prague Castle, dating from the 9th century, is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying an area of almost 70,000 m2. ...
Founded: 870 AD | Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace is a former imperial summer residence located in Vienna. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs. The site of the Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn is o ...
Founded: 1740 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Belvedere

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), an accomplished general and art connoisseur, built the Belvedere palace as his summer residence. Today, the Belvedere, one of the most important baroque buildings in Austria, is located in Vienna’s third district. However at the time of its construction, the palace was located outside the city gates. Belvedere palace consists of two seperate buildings: the Upper and Lower Belveder ...
Founded: 1712 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle has been a dominant feature of the city for centuries and it is the national monument of Slovakia. The castle, like today's city, has been inhabited for thousands of years, because it is strategically located in the center of Europe at a passage between the Carpathians and the Alps and at an important ford used to cross the Danube river. Early History The people of the Boleráz culture were the first k ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

Buda Castle

Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, and was first completed in 1265. Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District, which is famous for its medieval, Baroque, and 19th-century houses, churches, and public buildings. The castle is a part of the Budapest UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first citi ...
Founded: 1247-1265 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Wawel Castle

Wawel Hill – a Jurassic limestone rock, a dominant feature in the landscape of Kraków, have provided a safe haven for people who have settled here since the Paleolithic Age. It is supposed that the Slav people started living on Wawel hill as early as the 7th century. Early medieval legends tell stories about a dreadful dragon that lived in a cave on Wawel Hill, about his slayer Krakus, and about the latter&rs ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Kraków, Poland

Hofburg Palace

Hofburg Palace is the former imperial palace in the centre of Vienna. Part of the palace forms the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. Built in the 13th century and expanded in the centuries since, the palace has housed some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including monarchs of the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was the principal imperial ...
Founded: 1279 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Hetzendorf Palace

Schloss Hetzendorf is a baroque palace in Meidling, Vienna that was used by the imperial Habsburg family. The building was originally a hunting lodge. It was refashioned by the architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt. Empress Maria Theresa had it enlarged in 1743 by Nicolò Pacassi for her mother, Empress Elizabeth Christine, who lived here from 1743 until her death in 1750. A prominent feature of the palace is the e ...
Founded: 1743 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Hofburg

The Hofburg is a former Habsburg palace in Innsbruck, and considered one of the three most significant cultural buildings in the country, along with the Hofburg Palace and Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. The Hofburg is the main building of a large residential complex once used by the Habsburgs that still includes the Noblewomen"s Collegiate Foundation, the Silver Chapel, the Hofkirche containing Emperor Maximilian& ...
Founded: c. 1460 | Location: Innsbruck, Austria

Mirabell Palace

Mirabell Palace with its gardens is part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was built about 1606 on the shore of the Salzach river north of the medieval city walls, at the behest of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau. The Archbishop suffered from gout and had a stroke the year before; to evade the narrow streets of the city, he decided to erect a pleasure palace for ...
Founded: 1606 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Gödöllo Palace

The Royal Palace of Gödöllő is one of the most important, largest monuments of Hungarian palace architecture. Its builder, Count Antal Grassalkovich I (1694–1771) was a typical figure of the regrouping Hungarian aristocracy of the 18th century. He was a Royal Septemvir, president of the Hungarian Chamber, and confidant of Empress Maria Theresa (1740–1780). The construction began around 1733, under the direction of ...
Founded: 1733 | Location: Gödöllő, Hungary

Schloss Hof

Schloss Hof is a palace located in Austria near the border of Slovakia. At more than 50 hectares, Schloss Hof is the largest country castle complex in Austria. It once belonged to Prince Eugene of Savoy who purchased it late in his life in 1726, He had it enlarged in the Baroque style by the architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt in 1729, and used it as an elaborate hunting lodge. He left it to a niece in his will, and i ...
Founded: 1729 | Location: Schloßhof, Austria

Augarten Palace

Palais Augarten was constructed in the late 17th century by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach on the site of a hunting château and gardens. In 1780 this palace came into the possession of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor. Until the beginning of the twentieth century it remained in the possession of the Habsburg family. During this period, and especially in the nineteenth century, many balls were held in the palace, an ...
Founded: 1692 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Royal Villa of Monza

The Royal Villa (Villa Reale) lies on the banks of the Lambro, surrounded by the large Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. It was originally built by Giuseppe Piermarini between 1777 and 1780, when Lombardy was part of Austrian Empire, for the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Following the establishment of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, the building was used as a Royal Palace and became home to the V ...
Founded: 1777-1780 | Location: Monza, Italy

Neugebäude Palace

Neugebäude Palace is a large Mannerist castle complex in the Simmering dictrict of Vienna, Austria. It was built from 1569 onwards at the behest of the Habsburg emperor Maximilian II on the alleged site of Sultan Suleiman"s tent city during the 1529 Siege of Vienna and apparently modeled after it. It fell into disuse already in the 17th century and today stands in ruins. Under monumental protection since the 19 ...
Founded: 1569 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Miramare Castle

Miramare Castle and its park were built by order of Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg (1832–1867). He was the younger brother of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria and later the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. In 1850, at the age of eighteen, Maximilian came to Trieste with his brother Charles and, immediately afterwards, he set off on a short cruise toward the Near East. This journey confirmed his intention ...
Founded: 1856-1860 | Location: Grignano, Italy

Kaiservilla

The Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl was the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria, known as Sisi. Originally the palace was a Biedermeier villa belonging to a Viennese notary named Josef August Eltz. In 1850 it was purchased by Dr Eduard Mastalier. After Franz Joseph"s engagement to Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria in 1853, Franz Joseph"s mother, Princess Sophie of Bavaria, purchased ...
Founded: 1860 | Location: Bad Ischl, Austria

Hermesvilla

Hermesvilla is a palace and a former hunting area for the Habsburg nobility. Emperor Franz Joseph decided to build the Villa Hermés in the summer of 1881. Ostensibly, the Emperor hoped it would encourage his wife, who traveled widely, to remain in Vienna. It was designed by architect Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer, and construction lasted 1882 until 1886. The Empress herself commissioned the sculptor Ernst Herter from ...
Founded: 1882-1886 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Altes Schloss

The Altes Schloss or old castle, originally – since the 13th century – the heart of an extended hunting ground, surrounded by moats and equipped with numerous ancillary buildings, today forms an important visual motif in the gardens. It became a Habsburg possession in 1333 and was extended in the 17th century by Lodovico Burnacini. After an attack by the Turks in 1683, this building was reconstructed in 1693 ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Laxenburg, Austria

Blauer Hof

There are several imperial palaces in Laxenburg, outside of Vienna. The castles became a Habsburg possession in 1333 and formerly served as a summer retreat for the imperial Habsburg dynasty. Blauer Hof Palace was the birthplace of some members of the royal family, including Crown Prince Rudolf. Another castle nearby is named Franzensburg castle. There are two imperial palaces in Laxenburg, outside of Vienna. The castles ...
Founded: 1333 & 1745 | Location: Laxenburg, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Bouillon Castle

Bouillon Castle was mentioned first in 988, but there has been a castle on the same site for a much longer time. The castle is situated on a rocky spur of land within a sharp bend of the Semois River.

In 1082, Bouillon Castle was inherited by Godfrey of Bouillon, who sold it to Otbert, Bishop of Liège in order to finance the First Crusade. The castle was later fitted for heavy artillery by Vauban, Louis XIV's military architect in the late 17th century.

The castle is entered over three drawbridges. The main courtyard then leads to the ducal palace with its 13th century Salle Godefroy de Bouillon. From there visitors climb up to the top of the 16th century Tour d’Autriche for a breathtaking panorama of the town and river, before they way back via the torture chamber, citerns and dungeons, and past the 65m deep well Shaft.