Thursday, October 24, 2013

Discover the Schloss Hof Palace


Schloss Hof Palace
Schloss Hof Palace




At Schloss Hof it’s ‘The Year of Prince Eugene’, its former resident. Found near the Austria/Slovakia border, the palace grounds stretch over 50 hectares of land in eastern Austria, and have been called one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in the world.

The palace was built initially in the 1720s as a country home and decadent hunting lodge for the extremely rich and very successful art lover, Prince Eugene of Savoy. Due to the wealth and status of its occupant, the building’s architect was really able to use his imagination. Though an extra story has been added since, and new owners have somewhat redecorated, the palace still possesses much of its original splendour. 

Schloss Hof Palace interior
Schloss Hof Palace interior


This said, the palace was allowed to fall into disrepair, and it is known that soldiers lived here along with their horses during the late 19th century and that this did little to protect the Baroque artistry. When the grounds became a training location for the Imperial and Royal Army, all the furniture was removed as well. But not to worry, you will find this scattered around numerous other Austrian palaces.

It was not until 2005 that restoration of Austria’s largest rural palace to its former glory was complete enough to allow visitors in. The restoration was a large and expensive project that used the original paintings and etchings of the palace to guide its work. Since, it has been a popular spot for those interested in Austrian history and Baroque culture. It even appears on a special honorary coin, ‘The Schlosshoff Castle Coin’.
You could spend an entire afternoon here exploring the grounds; the palace hosts a magnificent Christmas market, is home to many animals, and has managed to hang on to an authentic imperial feel.

Schloss Hof Palace from above
Schloss Hof Palace from above


Definitely well worth setting a couple of hours aside to visit if you are ever in this part of Austria.

*** Photo credits : www.schlosshof.at ***