Hofburg Palace was the residence of the Habsburg dynasty from the 13th century until the end of the monarchy in 1918. Since 1945, it has housed the office of the Austrian Federal President.
It also accommodates the Austrian National Library, several museums, the Stallburg, the Amalienburg and the Federal Monuments Authority Austria.
The building complex covers around 24 hectares and is thus the largest one in Europe not built for religious purposes. However, the Hofburg also includes sacral buildings, such as Hofburg Chapel and the Church of St. Augustine. The very popular traditional Viennese balls take place in the approx. 1,000-square-metre ballroom. Plus, the Hofburg also acts as an event and congress centre
Among the interesting museums in the Hofburg are the Imperial Treasury, the Ephesos Museum, the Collection of Arms and Armor, the Imperial Collection of Musical Instruments, the Imperial Court Library and the Albertina. Particularly worth seeing are the Imperial Apartments, the Sissi Museum and the original ceremonial and residential rooms of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth (“Sissi”).
Just southwest of the Hofburg is Burggarten Park, which used to be reserved for the imperial family, but is today open to the public. Hofburg Palace attracts around 20 million visitors a year.