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 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.
Blauer Hof was first referred to as a Freihof under Melchior Arguello in 1544. From 1705 Imperial Vice-Chancellor Friedrich Karl Schönborn was the owner, who had the existing structure generously expanded by his favourite architect, Lukas von Hildebrandt, between 1710 and 1720. As of 1756, a large extension was built by the court architect Nicoló Pacassi. Circa 1770 the Belvedere was added. Pacassi modified the building, moving the entrance from the eastern to the northern side.
The interior decoration, insofar as it has been preserved, mainly dates from 1853/54.
The castle theatre was built following designs by Nicoló Pacassi in 1753. On the park entrance side there is a high portico with a curved gable. The wall surfaces are structured by sunken fields and superimposed panels. As regards the interior decoration, only the late baroque painting in the illusionist architecture still remains. The upper zone with volutes, floral garlands and putti was added in the 19th century.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.