Come catch a glimpse into 18th century courtly life at Schloss Hof. Enjoy a moment of solace in the dome-vaulted chapel where Prince Eugene himself prayed, or listen to a concert preformed under three sparkling chandeliers in Empress Maria Theresa’s Neo-classical banquet hall. Afterwards, wander the grounds filled with magnificent statues and fountains. For a change of pace, visit the estate farm and petting zoo for educational fun that the whole family will love.
The Baroque country estate of Schloss Hof has undergone several transformations since it was originally built as a citadel in the 17th century. Prince Eugene of Savoy, a renowned military commander, purchased the estate in 1725, adding additional wings to the rectangular citadel and renovating the interior into the perfect hunting-lodge retreat. Just thirty years later, Empress Maria Theresa brought new life to the palace once again, adding a second floor and refined neo-classical touches. Although the palace fell into disrepair in the years after her death, Schloss Hof has been lovingly restored to its original glory, and now both the palace and the sprawling French gardens surrounding it are open to the public.
After taking in the elegance of the palace, guests are welcome to explore the Paradise Garden. Done in the French model, the garden is filled with fountains, sculptures, and meticulously maintained gravel and greenery. Highlights include an intricately designed labyrinth, the indoor riding arenas and stables, and the grand sphinx staircase.
Although the Paradise Garden is beautiful, the grounds of Schloss Hof have always been used for more than just decoration. Historically, the estate had a working farm that provided food and other goods important to maintaining the luxurious lifestyle of the palace. Today, the estate farm caters to visitors who want a hands-on experience with history. Children will love Animal World, a petting zoo on the farm with over 200 furry friends. Filled with ancient and rare domestic breeds, Animal World houses four-horned goats, Bactrian camels, Racka sheep, and the rare Austrian-Hungarian White Baroque Donkey. Visit in the spring, and there is even a chance to see some adorable baby residents that call Schloss Hof home.
After enjoying the petting zoo, visit the farm’s Bäckenhof. Originally a bakery, guests can still see its historic oven that has been preserved through the centuries. Come here for the Children’s Adventure World, which offers Baroque theatre and educational workshops. Kids can learn how to bake bread or write with a quill, giving them a hands-on understanding of 18th century life that’s so fun, they won’t even realize they are learning.
Schloss Hof offers fun and fascination for the whole family, all while preserving history in a gorgeous country setting. Come experience it for yourself.