The "Hofjagd-und Rüstkammer" - Armour and Arms collection is located in the Neue Burg at the Heldenplatz which is a monumental wing of the Hofburg planned to house the new living quarters of the emperor as evidenced by the stairway and marble hall.
Actually this museum belongs to the KHM.
This is the most beautiful collection of suits of armour in Europe.
The collection of weapons ( Hofjagd-und Rüstkammer) of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is centred on ceremonial or parade weapons and offers a very wide panorama of the evolution of what was a real art for the 15th century in Europe and in the Middle East.
The emperor Maximilien I devoted gladly to the tournaments and incited the young noble persons to devote to the joust and especially the running which was practised with sharp lances, more dangerous than the joust, but much less expensive because she could be practised in the battle armour.
Things did not stay in the field of ordinary armour because the Habsburg (notably both brothers Maximilien II and Ferdinand II) by taste for art and splendour led the technique of armours to a real art close to the goldsmith's art. The connoisseur will find in this museum numerous chiselled armours, inlaid armours, the fluted armours, the costume armours, greek-roman style armours, and darkened armours from the Baroque period.
Considerable financial means were needed to pay such works of art. Ferdinand II of Tyrol excelled at this passion of the beautiful suits of armour. Not satisfied with his own armours he collected armours and weapons of 125 famous persons of his time. We can see the suit of armour of Philippe II of Spain.
These collections are well presented in a number of rooms where the visitor is often alone! This museum still has not the chance (or misfortune for the connoisseurs) to be on the visit program of the groups.
There is also on show a collection of hunting weapons.
Open: Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 18 h (Thursday 10 - 21 h).
Price (2011): 12 €, Vienna card 11 €, 27 yr & > 65 yr 9 €.
Free 19 yr.
The ticket is valid for the Neue Burg & KHM main building.
Avoiding the erzatz-Mozarts that lay in wait for unwary tourists, as you cross the Michaelerplatz, you cannot help but be impressed by the great sweeping curve of the Michaeletrakt, the facade of the Hofburg, and the Michaelertor, with its massive copper dome and classical sculptures flanking either side of the entrance. Behind this facade (built in the late 1800s in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) lies the vast complex of palaces and chapels, gardens and royal apartments and offices that was the seat of Hapsburg power more than 500 years. Add in the surrounding streets, once home to the aristocracy and clergy that revolved around the court, and you could spend days in this quarter of Vienna and still not see the half of it.
Passing under the gate, the Spanish Riding School is on your left, the ticket office and entrance to the State Apartments of Franz Joseph, last Emperor of Austria, and his beautiful Empress Elizabeth, and the Silberkammer - a treasure house of the plate and porcelain - is on your right. They're housed in the Amalienburg, a palace built in 1575.
This time I'm heading for the Schweizertor though, the entrance to the oldest part of the complex, the Schweitzer Hof (Swiss House), the mediaeval core of the Hofurg. Here, in the Burgkapelle (Royal Chapel), the angel voices of the Wiener Sangerknaben (Vienna Boys Choir) have been heard on high days and holy days for 500 years. Plan ahead and you too may be lucky enough to get a ticket for an exquisite Mozart or Haydn mass. After that, it's the Schatzkammer (Treasury) when 21 rooms contain the fabulous treasures of 1000 years of church and state, including the 1100 year-old crown of the Holy Roman Empire - to my mind the most amazing object in the whole museum, with its barbaric chunks of precious gems, huge pearls and Byzantine enamels set in an extraordinary crown of gold.
State Apartments, Silberkammer and Burgkapelle are open daily
Schatzkammer is closed on Tuesdays.
Schatzkammer is the treasury of the Hofburg and it shows various crowns of the Austrian empire, precious gold- and silverplates and cutleries, and even a 33-meters long centre-piece made of gold-bronze, it was ment as a table-decoration for banquets at the royal court. The oldest crown in Schatzkammer dates back to the 10th century and so it is no wonder, there is a real tresor-door at the entrance to this museum and a lot of people watching each of your steps through the collections !
Photography is not forbidden, but unfortunately it is quite dark in that museum !
Photography only without flash or tripod !!
the Schatzkammer is open daily except tuesday 10.00a.m.-06.00p.m.
at dezember 31st it is only open untill 01.00p.m.
Schatzkammer is closed January 1st + May 1st + November 1st !!
This was the main palace complex of the Habsburgs for over six hundred years – with endless new additions as each new Emperor took office. Not hard to imagine that it grew substantially over that period!
Now that Austria is a Republic, the buildings have found other uses. Some, such as the Kaiserappartements, where Emperor Franz Josef 1 and Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) lived, are furnished as original and are open for public inspection. Another part houses the offices of the President of Austria. Then there are museums and galleries, not to mention the stables for the famous Spanish horses.
The main photo shows the façade of the building complex, as seen from Michaelerplatz. If it looks somewhat empty, that’s because the crowds were being kept back by a very substantial police presence during the visit of an “eminent overseas statesperson” . Eventually a convoy of black limousines appeared and the serious business of tourism resumed! Our time limit precluded poking around the various buildings in the Hofburg complex – but you could spend quite some time here if you wished!
Main photo: An unusually quiet Michaelerplatz, outside the Hofburg
Second photo:Departing dignitary’s convoy.
Third photo:The crowds return to Michaelerplatz (panorama).
Fourth photo:The Spanish horses in their stables.
Hofburg is a giant area in the very centre of vienna and it includes all of the buildings between Albertina - Nationalbibliothek - Ballhausplatz and between the Burg-Ring and the stables of the Vienna White Horses / Lippizaner. The Hofburg used to be the living-quaters of the austrian emperors and their employees and today you may see most of these rooms that were transfered into various museums. Even when you do not have enough time to enter any of these museums, you may still spend 1-2 hours to enjoy all of the interesting details of the parks and buildings of Hofburg :
Michaelator - the giant gate under the golden dome of Hofburg takes you to Amalienburg ( the large innercourt with great renaissance-facades and a giant monument in the centre.)
Schweizertor is the most beautiful side-gate and it is dating back to the 16th century.
Neue Burg is the big building with the statue of Prinz Eugen in front of it.
In Burggarten you may see the lovely Mozart-monument, the Palmenhaus and the Schmetterlingshaus with exotic butterflies humming in the former Orangerie of the emperor...
The Museum of old instruments is one of the collections inside Neue Burg and there you may see the pianos, where Mozart, Beethoven, Joseph Hayden and Franz Schubert used to perform their works. Even more famous is their collection of renaissance-instruments - it is considdered the most precious collection of these instruments. Another highlight in their collection is a Klavichord, dating back to 1596 - it is able to imitate various instruments and even the singing of birds.
Another highlight of the museum is a small-scale model of the city of Vienna. It dates back to the year 1845, and shows still the medieval townwalls around the city - that wall was taken down later-on in order to build Ringstrasse, as you will see it nowadays !
The Museum of old instruments is open
daily except tuesday 10.00a.m. - 06.00p.m.
When arriving from the centre of the city by the Kohlmarkt one discovers the green 50 m high dome on a curving façade at the St.Michaelerplatz facing the church.
It's my favored part of the Hofburg. The design by Fischer von Erlach dates from 1725 but the construction is from 1890.
In 2012 there were renovation works on the right wing; my photos from 2010 avoid them.
Under the cupola on the right side is the entrance to the Imperial apartments, Sisi museum and Silver collection. Actually this was not the entrance for Emperor Franz Joseph and Elisabeth who used the more impressive Kaisertor - Emperor's Gate to reach their apartments.
There is a street under the cupola and it is pleasant to hear the sound of the hoofs from the fiacre horses passing like at the time of the Emperor.
After the Michaeler cupola one reaches on the right side the "Inneren Burghof" with the Imperial Chancellery Wing/ Reichskanzleitrak and Amalienburg.
My favored part of the Hofburg Palace complex is the enclosed courtyard called "In der Burg" reached after passing under the Michaeler cupola.
On the west side stands the Amalienburg which is my preferred building because of its nice late Renaissance style. Once (16th c.) it was a free-standing building opposite the older Schweizertrakt (Swiss courtyard). It has a small tower with a dome and an astronomical clock on the façade. Inside are the apartments of Sissi.
In the 17th c. Emperor Leopold I connected the Swiss Wing to the Amalia Residence by a Baroque wing on the south side named the "Leopoldinischer Trakt" Leopold Wing. It was occupied by Empress Maria Theresa during the 18th century. It is now part of the official presidential residences and closed to the public.
The lower section of this wing as well as that of the Amalienburg served as the enormous wine cellar for the Hofburg. In these "Kaiserlicher Weinkeller" were stored 2 million liter of wine! I searched on the web (also in German) what happened to these 2.6 million bottles of wine and found nothing. If somebody knows please tell me because a "history buff"(*) as VT calls me can't get to sleep without knowing who laid hands on these 2 million liters of wine probably among the best vintages!
The building on the north side of the square used to contain the Reichskanzleitrakt (Chancellery Wing). It now houses the Kaiserappartments of Franz-Josef and the Sissi Museum. On the ground floor, with terrace, is a café (inside is a smoking and a non-smoking room).
Even if these buildings were designed at different periods in different styles they exude a harmony that makes the charm of this courtyard. No extravagancies here, just good architectural taste.
The monument in the centre is the bronze statue from 1846 of Emperor Franz II./I (* to understand the II and I, have a look on the web). He is represented as a Roman Caesar emperor even if he suffered several defeats by Napoleon (Austerlitz a.o.)!
(*) In Wien, a highly civilized city, one would say that I'm a "Liebhaber" = amateur of history not a "buff".
Hofburg Imperial Palace is a palace in Vienna, Austria, which has housed some of the most powerful people in Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria. It was the Habsburg's principal winter residence, while Schönbrunn Palace was their preferred summer residence. The Palace was the birthplace of Marie Antoinette in 1755.
The Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government since 1279 for various empires and republics. 
Seeing a performance of the famous white Lipizzaners of Vienna's Spanish Riding School is top of the list of "Things to do" for lots of visitors to the city. Easier said than done ... and the experience may not be quite as enthralling as you expect either. It's all very formal and precise.
There are a very limited number of performances through the year and whilst booking online makes it easier these days to find out details and book, tickets sell out well in advance. An alternative is to attend a morning practice session (cheaper too). These take place between 10 and 12, Tuesday to Saturday. Tickets are sometime available on the day.
I have to say, having been once to a practice session, I wouldn't be queuing up for a ticket to a performance. There's no denying the skill, the dedication and the tradition of the School, but I like my horses moving freely and this, to me, comes very close to circus performance and whilst I love the things humans can do under the Big Top, I don't like to see animals behaving unnaturally.
Guided tours of the stables are also available.
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