5 Castle Series: The Hofburg

The Sisi Museum. Quite an homage, if I do say so myself.

Moving right along, let us now dive into the deep end. Dessert before vegetables: The most Imperial of all Habsburg Palaces, The Hof.

Crown jewel of Vienna, The Hofburg was home to six generations of Habsburg royalty, including, by marriage, yours truly. Opulent and oppressive in every way, even naysayers must admit, the place is an impressive collection of all that glitters. Not only does the palace boast the Gothic Royal Chapel, where the sweet voices of the Vienna Boy’s Choir charm visitors seven months a year, but it is home to a collection of national treasures so vast, it would make a dead empress blush.

Okay, forget the fact that the fancy Neue Burg was the chosen spot for Hitler to announce his Anschluss, as palaces go,  it has a pretty impressive entrance.  Ah, but that’s the so-called “new palace.” And it does not hold a platinum candlestick to the Imperial Apartments of the Hof proper. Those fancy rooms, where I spent many a day fanatically exercising and scheming my next exotic rest cure, brim with porcelain, silver, portraits and tapestries. And, of course, this is where one can spend hours in the Sisi Museum, where I’ve been immortalized as a tragic figure.

Lastly,  if you have time, you must scurry over to the Treasury and take in the embarrassingly extensive collection of jewels. If you are a fan of excess, you are in the right place. And, the 8 Euro admission fee is a deal, where else can you see a 500-year-old unicorn horn?!

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