Imperial Palace (Hofburg)

An ornate Gothic palace that was owned by the ruling Habsburg family for more than 450 years remains one of the three most important buildings in Austria.

Treat yourself to a visual feast of rococo design and a glimpse into the lives of Austria’s empirical rulers at the Imperial Palace (Hofburg). This restored royal palace displaying 18th-century splendor is surrounded by the spectacular mountains of the Tirol region.

The palace was completed in 1463 by Archduke Sigmund the Rich. Much of the decoration and design for which the palace is revered today is the work of the Habsburg family, who used this site as a royal retreat. A painstaking, 15-year restoration process means that the rooms, their décor and the many artifacts you see today are as vivid as they would have been in the time of famous family members such as Maria Theresa and the Empress Elizabeth.

Stand in the middle of the Giant’s Hall to get a sense of the wealth and ambition of Austria’s most famous rulers. Gilded chandeliers, ornate frescoes and the shining marble floor tiles complement portraits of Maria Theresa’s children and grandchildren.

More portraits line the walls of the magnificent Grand Staircase. Look down from above the ornate banisters at several generations of the Habsburg family.

Learn about the daily life of Austria’s rulers at the Imperial Apartments. See silk tapestries, priceless items of furniture, banquet tables laid in preparation for a feast and glittering chandeliers. Take a guided tour for access to areas that are usually out of bounds to the public. Tours are run daily and have a fee. Ask at the entrance for details.

A walk around the interior of the palace takes approximately 1.5 hours. If the weather is fine, leave time to wander through the carefully landscaped gardens. The on-site café, Café Sacher, is a branch of the famous café of the same name in Vienna.

Hofburg is located within walking distance of Innsbruck’s town center. The palace is open daily with longer hours on Sundays. The admission price includes an audio guide.

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