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 it was later purchased by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and became part of the imperial estates.
Outside, there are magnificent Baroque gardens with splendid fountains and sculptures on seven terraces stepping gentle down to the March. The imperial castle sits on an idyllic estate containing nine exciting adventure walks, varied themed gardens and lots of rare breed pets, as well as an adventure playground and a leisure park for children and families with its own water playground.
With its exhibitions and numerous events for the whole family, Schloss Hof is always worth a visit. Annual highlights of the event calendar include the Easter market, the games festival, the musketeer games, the garden shows, the Pentecost fair, the camel festival, the full moon nights, the holiday fun, the horse festival and the atmospheric Christmas village in advent.References:
The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.
The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.
Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.
In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.
The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.