THE NEW CASTLE OF THE HOFBURG

THE NEW CASTLE OF THE HOFBURG -THE STATUS SYMBOL OF THE EMPIRE

Together with the Heldenplatz , the New Castle was planned to function as the exit from the Hofburg onto the RingstraBe. Additionally, it was a part of the Kaiserforum Complex, which extended out over the RingstraBe. The Kaiserforum (Imperial Forum) also included the twin buildings of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum, as well as the former Imperial Stables, today’s Museum Quarter, as the conclusion of the final expansion of the Hofburg.

The site management for this project was led by the architects Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenauer. Another RingstraBe project of the architect duo Semper / Hasenauer was the Burgtheater (Court Theatre), which is located across from Vienna’s city hall.

The magnitude of the Kaiserforum project was daunting. The construction of the foundation of the half-round New Castle alone took five years. Not until 1916, 35 years after the start of construction, was the castle turned over for use to the “Obersthofmeister”, the head of the court household. The monumental concave main facade of the New Castle faces the Heldenplatz.

On the Heldenplatz you will see equestrian statues of the two most notable Austrian generals, Prince Eugene of Savoy4 and Archduke Charles5 . Prince Eugene was the successful commander-in-chief of the imperial army during the Ottoman Wars. Archduke Charles defeated until then undefeated Napoleon in the Battle of Aspern-Essling in 1805 near Vienna.

THE NEW CASTLE OF THE HOFBURG Photo Gallery



New Castle with the statue of the Prince Eugene of Savoy

The Heldenplatz was and is the most prominent stage for political demonstrations in Austria:

  • – The founding of the Austrian Republic was celebrated here in 1918;
  • – Adolf Hitler6 announced the so-called “annexation” of Austria into the Third Reich from the balcony of the New Castle in 1938;
  • – In the year 2000 the Heldenplatz was the starting point of the “Thursday Demonstrations” that took place over a period of two years to protest against the participation of the Freedom Party of Austria in the federal government.

The New Castle houses a variety of collections and museums:

  • – The Collection of Arms and Armor,
  • – The Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments,
  • – The Museum of Ephesian Sculpture,
  • – The Museum of Ethnology,
  • – The Papyrus Museum,
  • – The Austrian National Library with the world’s largest collection of papyrus.

It is only possible to see the interior of the New Castle if you visit one of these many museums. Other objects from the imperial collections are located on the other side of Ringstrabe in the Kunsthistorisches Museum or right across from it in the Naturhistorisches Museum.

Leopold Museum – The largest collection of works by Egon Schiele

Lastly, there are more museums to be found in the Museum Quarter, the former Imperial Stables. Across from the Museum of Modern Art8 , which is faced with black nephrite, is the Leopold Museum with its facade of white marble. Among many other things, the Leopold Museum9 features the world’s largest collection of works by the Austrian painter Egon Schiele.

Museums at the New Castle:

Hofjagd- und Rustkammer | Collection of Arms and Armor

Address: Hofburg, 1010 Vienna

Public transport: Underground U3 Herrengasse

Opening hours

Wed – Sun 10 am to 06 pm

Closed: On all public holidays

Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente | Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments

Address: Hofburg, 1010 Vienna

Public transport: Underground U3 Herrengasse

Opening hours

Wed – Sun 10 am to 06 pm

Closed: On all public holidays

Ephesos Museum | Museum of Ephesian Sculpture

Address: Hofburg, 1010 Vienna

Public transport: Underground U3 Herrengasse

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