The Hofburg was the residence of the Habsburg family from the 13th century until 1918 and the fall of the monarchy.
Over the centuries the Hofburg has witnessed important historical and political events in Austria and all over Europe. During the 18th century, the `Reform Emperor´, Josef II created his modernization programmes here. In 1814-1815, the Vienna Congress took place in the Hofburg and the Emperor Franz Josef I lived here with his famous spouse, Empress Elisabeth, also known as Sisi. The Hofburg has also seen darker days. In 1938, Adolf Hitler announced the annexation of Austria to Germany, from the balcony of the Neuen Burg.
Also today the Hofburg is the centre of Vienna’s political life. The President of Austria resides in the Hofburg and the Prime Minister’s office is located inside the vast building complex. The OSCE also has a permanent representation in the Hofburg.
Leopoldian wing and Redoutensäle
Mozart was invited to the Vienna Hofburg - for centuries the Habsburgs' seat of government - several times. In 1768, Empress Maria Theresia granted the Mozart family a two-hour audience in the Imperial Apartments. Her visitor was a well-travelled 12-year-old boy who was familiar with London, Paris and Brussels, and had performed there and in many parts of Germany, in noble salons and (when tour funds were low) common dance halls. In the Autumn of 1781, Mozart, by this time already living in Vienna, staged a concert in honour of the Duke of Württemberg in the Schweizertrakt (Swiss Wing). And the composer spent the Christmas Eve of that year in the company of Kaiser Josef II in the Imperial Apartments.
Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Vienna