Palaces, manors and town halls in Austria

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

Salzburg Residenz

For centuries the Archbishops of Salzburg resided at the Salzburg Residenz and used the palace to present and represent their political status. Today the Salzburg Residenz palace is a museum and one of the most impressive attractions in the city. The earliest recorded reference to the bishop"s palace was in a document dated 1232. Construction began under Archbishop Konrad I. In the 16th century, several changes and ...
Founded: 1596 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

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

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

Austrian Parliament Building

The Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna is where the two houses of the Austrian Parliament conduct their sessions. The foundation stone was laid in 1874 and the building was completed in 1883. The architect responsible for its Greek Revival style was Theophil Hansen. He designed the building holistically, aiming to have each element harmonizing with all the others. He was therefore also responsible for the interior dec ...
Founded: 1874-1883 | 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 Belvedere, w ...
Founded: 1712 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Hellbrunn Palace

Between 1612 and 1615, Salzburg’s prince-archbishop Markus Sittikus commissioned the building of a summer residence at the foot of Hellbrunn mountain, a location already abundant in naturally flowing waters. Based on Italian models and in a relatively short period of time, an architectural jewel had been created, still reckoned amongst the most magnificent Renaissance buildings north of the Alps. Hellbrunn was only mean ...
Founded: 1612-1619 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Edmundsburg

Edmundsburg spans over three floors and is cubic with a small, central dome. It can be spotted easily from about anywhere in the old town, especially the Salzburger Dom. Abbot Edmund Sinnhuber of St. Peter′s Abbey built the Edmundsburg Castle in 1696 and it remained the property of the abbey until 1834. After that, it became the site of a well-known school for boys. Until 2008, the Edmundsburg Castle held some offi ...
Founded: 1696 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Eggenberg Palace

Eggenberg Palace in Graz is the most significant Baroque palace complex in Styria. With its preserved accouterments, the extensive scenic gardens as well as some additional collections from the Universalmuseum Joanneum housed in the palace and park, Schloss Eggenberg counts among the most valuable cultural assets of Austria. With its construction and accouterment history, it exhibits the vicissitude and patronage of the o ...
Founded: 1625-1636 | Location: Graz, Austria

Schloss Esterházy

Schloss Esterházy was constructed in the late 13th century, and came under ownership of the Hungarian Esterházy family in 1622. Under Paul I, 1st Prince Esterházy of Galántha the estate was converted into a baroque castle which remained the principal residence and center of administration of the family for over 300 years. The palace currently offers a wine museum, gift shop, guided tours, and concerts in the famous Ha ...
Founded: 1620s | Location: Eisenstadt, Austria

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

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 1970s, ther ...
Founded: 1569 | Location: Vienna, 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

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 Berli ...
Founded: 1882-1886 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Walpersdorf Palace

Schloss Walpersdorf is a Renaissance castle built in 1571 by Hans Ulrich von Ludmanstorf who died next year. The castle was completed in 1619. It was badly damaged in the World War II and restored later. Today the palace is a venue for concerts and events.
Founded: 1571 | Location: Walpersdorf, Austria

Eckartsau Palace

If walls could talk, the Imperial hunting lodge of Eckartsau would tell many gripping stories about the final days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Nestled in the Danube wetlands and surrounded on all sides by the expansive Schlosspark gardens, Eckartsau was the final Austrian residence of Emperor Charles I and his wife Zita from 1918 to 1919. Under the Eckartsau dominion, extensive land and territories were acquired both ...
Founded: 1720 | Location: Eckartsau, 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

Halbturn Palace

The Imperial family once used Halbturn Palace, Burgenland’s most important Baroque building, as a hunting lodge and summer palace. The palace, in northern Burgenland, and its splendid parklands, is regarded as one of Burgenland’s most esteemed historic attractions. Halbturn palace was built in 1711 during the reign of Emperor Charles VI by Lucas von Hildebrandt, one of the most important Austrian figures in l ...
Founded: 1711 | Location: Halbturn, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.