The Imperial Estate

Austria has a long history, and the city of Vienna represents so much of its complexity. The architecture of the imperial buildings around the Ringstraße (the street surrounding the 1st district) are grand and over-the-top, representing the grandeur and significance of Kaiser Franz Joseph’s massive reign over the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the mid 19th to the early 20th century. His lasting presence is still felt in almost every corner of the city.

In this collection of photos, I started in the Burggarten on the backside of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library), walked around to the Heldenplatz (Heroes’ Square), and through the arches into the Hofburg (Imperial Palace). The buildings around the city are in constant rotation for restoration and preservation.

Peeking out through the fence in front of the National Library.

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Das Rathaus (City Hall) & der Heldentor (Heroes’ Gate)

Vienna even turns construction into art! When spring finally sprung, it brought with it blossoming trees and flowers. The entire city came alive when the weather was no longer cold and grey. It was like living in an entirely different place among entirely different people.

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The Heldentor is a giant gate along the Ringstraße that leads to the Heldenplatz, situated between the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, the Hofburg, and the Volksgarten (People’s Garden). One must pass through these gates in order to reach the Hofburg from the Ringstraße.

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Horse carriage rides are offered to tourists for a tour around the inner city.

2 Austrian heroes are depicted in the Heldenplatz. Prince Eugene of Savoy’s statue sits directly in front of the National Library. He was loyal to the Habsburg Monarchy. He is honored throughout Europe for serving the Holy Roman Empire and finally defeating the Turks in the early 18th century during the ongoing wars between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires.

Archduke Charles’ statue sits facing Prince Eugene just across the way. He was one of the most respected military commanders and reformers to come from the Habsburg Monarchy. He is most notable for his victories against Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars in the late 18th century.

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Next I walked through to the Hofburg complex. Once again notice the abundance of intricate details represented in every aspect of the structures.

A statue of Emperor Francis II (I), the last Holy Roman Emperor, stands in the center of the Hofburg’s courtyard.

Finally, I continued through to the 1st district and landed on the curved drive in front of the Hofburg. Horse carriages line the drive, waiting for their next round of tours. The building showcases the Baroque style popular in Vienna, and Europe, during the time of its construction.

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Gold F.J. initials on the front gate (I told you, Francis Joseph made certain to leave his mark on this city!).

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