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Hofburg Palace (Part III)
August 18, 2010

The Hofburg not only houses the Spanish Riding School with it's world famous Lipizzans and several Habsburg-related museums, but also the National Library and the Museum of Ethnography.

The National Library is the former court library and an architectural masterpiece of the Viennese baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and his son Emanuel. It is the largest baroque library in Europe, was erected in the first half of the eighteenth century as an independent wing of the Imperial Palace. More than 200,000 volumes are exhibited here, among them the comprehensive library of Prince Eugene of Savoy.

In addition to this, the Imperial Palace houses the Museum of Ethnography, which is one of the most significant ethnological museums in the world. The Museum of Ethnography was established in 1876. Its collections comprise nearly a quarter million ethnographical and archaeological objects, amongst them collections from Oceania and North America gathered by James Cook during his travels at the end of the 18th century.  In addition to this, it houses a group of Mexican featherwork and other rare objects from the Americas, Africa and Indonesia, which in 1596 formed the collection of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol at Ambras Castle. The museum's most famous piece is a feathered headdress believed to have belonged to Moctezuma, the last Aztec emperor. This museum is also known for its Brazilian collection assembled in 1817 - 36 by Johann Natterer, as well as its outstanding collection of bronzes from the west African kingdom of Benin.

 

How to get there by public transportation:

Subway: line U3 (get off at "Herrengasse")

Bus: Lines 2A or 3A (get off at "Hofburg")

Tram: Lines 1, 2, D (get off at "Burgring")