Imperial Apartments

Waiting Room
Waiting Room
Bedroom of Emperor Franz Joseph
Bedroom of Emperor Franz Joseph
Dressing and exercise room of Empress Elisabeth Elisabeth
Sisis dressing and exercise room

The Hofburg was the residence of the Habsburgs for over 600 years and thus the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Apart from its function as the seat of government and administrative centre, the Hofburg was also the winter residence of the imperial family. From the 18th century onwards the court spent the summer at Schönbrunn Palace.

Court ceremonial dictated that each member of the family had their own apartments or suites in one of the numerous palace wings. Whereas most of these apartments today house a range of museums as well as offices, government ministries and the presidential chancellery, the Imperial Chancellery Wing and the Amalia Residence, which contained the apartments of Franz Joseph and Elisabeth, are today open to the public.

The fittings and furniture mostly date from the second half of the 19th century, but the majority of the ceramic stoves are part of the original 18th-century fittings. These stoves were fired by court stove-stokers from special parallel "heating" passages in order to avoid making the rooms dirty. From 1824 pipes for heating the stoves with hot air were installed. The chandeliers of Bohemian lead crystal were made by the firm of Lobmeyr and held candles until the end of the 19th century, when electricity was installed in the palace.

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