The Hofburg Complex in Vienna was the center of political power in Austria for more than 600 years.


Originally a small fortress, which was built in 1275, the Hofburg became Austria's imperial palace and the winter residence for the Habsburgs. The complex continually grew in size until 1918, when the Habsburgs fell from power.


Visitors can enter the Schweizerhof, the oldest part of the complex, via a 16th century gateway known as the Schweizertor.


The buildings of the Hofburg Complex range in style from Gothic to late 19th century historicism.


Today, the Hofburg Complex contains the old imperial apartments, the office of the President of Austria, the Austrian National Library, a church, chapel, a number of museums and the Winter Riding School.


Members of the public can visit the imperial apartments.


The Sisi Museum, located in the Stephan Apartments, contains personal items owned by Empress Elisabeth.


Within the Hofburg Complex are the secular and ecclesiastical treasuries, which are now part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, a museum of art history.


Josefsplatz, a square in the middle of the complex, has a well-known statue of Joseph II.


At the entrance on the Ringstrasse, there is a statue of Mozart that was built by Viktor Tilgner.


The Austrian National Library was constructed between 1722 and 1735.


It is famous for its wood-paneled Hall of Honor, or Prunksaal.


The National Library's reading room is located in the Neue Burg, a wing of the imperial palace that was built between 1881 and 1913. The Neue Berg, which is located on Heldenplatz, was the last section of the Hofburg complex to be built


Three sections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum can be found in the Neue Burg - a museum of of armor, a museum of musical instruments, and the Ephesos Museum, which contains archeological finds from Ephesus in Turkey and from the Greek island of Samothrace.


The Neue Burg also has an ethnology museum: Museum für Völkerkunde.


Hitler stood on a terrace of the Neue Burg when he proclaimed the Anschluss - the annexation of Austria - in 1938.


A well-preserved 14-the century Gothic church in the Hofburg Complex, the Augustinerkirche, has paintings by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. Loreto Chapel, located inside the church, has urns containing the hearts of members of the Habsburg dynasty.


The Vienna Boys Choir sings at the Royal Chapel, the Burgkapelle

Abertina Museum in the Hofburg Complex contains one of the world's finest art collections, with more than one million prints and 45,000 drawings and watercolors. This includes artwork by Michelangelo, da Vinci, Rubens, Manet and Cézanne.


The old gardens of the imperial palace have been converted into two parks known as the Volksgarten and the Burggarten.