Hofburg Palace
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Brief History of Hofburg Palace

The Hofburg Palace was the residence of the Habsburg emperors until 1918. Originally a medieval castle, of which only the chapel has survived to this day, the residence of the court was expanded and made ever more lavish as the power of the Habsburgs grew and the territory of their dominions increased.

Today, the Hofburg Palace houses the offices of the Austrian president, an international convention center, the chapel where the Vienna Boys' Choir sings mass on Sundays and religious holidays, the hall in which the Lipizzan stallions of the Spanish Riding School perform, various official and private apartments and several museums and state rooms which are open to the public.

The New Palace (Neue Burg) is the most recent and, at the same time, most monumental section of the Palace. It now houses the Ethnological Museum, branches of the Museum of Fine Arts: the Ephesus Museum displaying art from classical antiquity in Asia Minor, the Collection of Arms which ranks as the second-largest in the world and the Collection of Historical Musical Instruments.

The Imperial Treasury houses a marvelous collection of historic objects from the cradle (used by the son of Napoleon and the Empress Marie-Louise) presented by the city of Paris to the King of Rome, to the Holy Lance, said to be the spear that pierced Christ's side as he hung on the cross.

The Chapel of St. George houses a collection of urns containing the hearts of the Hapsburgs who are buried in the Imperial vault, while the Albertina contains a priceless collection of over a million works of art.

The Hapsburg Dynasty