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Hofburg imperial palace, seen from Heroes Square, Vienna
SOURCE: Andrew Bossi photo, Wikipedia Commons.
Until 1918 the extensive palatial complex at the heart of Vienna was the political centre of the monarchy. Today it fulfils the same role for the democratic Republic of Austria. The rooms where once Emperor Joseph II drew up his revolutionary programme of reforms, where the Congress of Vienna met and danced and where Emperor Franz Joseph held audiences, now house the offices of the Federal President, the ministers of the chancellor's office and the secretaries of state, while other parts of the complex are museums.
In the Imperial Silver Collection magnificent dining services, centrepieces measuring up to 30 metres in length and exquisite napery give an impression of the lavish pomp of imperial banquets.
The Sisi Museum conveys a complex piture of Empress Elisabeth with numerous, partly very personal objects on display which afford fascinating insights into the official and private worlds of this unique woman. Here as in no other place the legend of Sisi becomes tangible, with this imaginatively designed display shedding light in the mystery surrounding the personality of this fascinating woman.
The nineteen rooms in the Imperial Apartments occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth, comprising studies, residential suites and reception rooms, are all furnished and decorated to the highest standards of historical authenticity, and in their comparative restraint form a fascinating contrast to the exuberant splendor of imperial summer residence at Schoenbrunn.
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This page was last modified 25-JAN-09
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