The Hofburg came into being as the Imperial Palace of Archduke Siegmund the Rich in the 15th century. It evolved into a Baroque confection in 1754 under the court architect Johann Martin Gumpp. He took over the remodelling under the orders of the Empress Maria Theresa. Under his guidance, the West wing was added and the front facade and staircase adopted the new look of Baroque. Later, Constantine Johann Walter continued to remodel, turning the overall shape of the castle into a uniform classical form.
Inside, however, the sumptuous Palace took on the Rococo style head-on. The rooms also became pictorial shrines to the Empress and her family. The White Room, for example, displays numerous paintings of her and her 16 children. Yet, the most room with the greatest appeal is the Guardroom with the Riesensaal or Giant’s Hall. This 31-meter long stateroom is a showcase in marble, gold and porcelain. Its ceiling frecoes by Franz Anton Maulbertsch are impressive in execution and design. You can also visit the many staterooms and the chapel. The chapel features a grisaille altar niche by A. Leitensdorfer of God and mourning angels (1766). There is also a Madonna flanked on either side by subservient figures by Anton Sartori (1766).
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