Vienna: Imperial delights

By Mike Yardley

The former Imperial Palace of the Hapsburgs, the Hofburg, is one of Europe's most lavish royal establishments.

The showpiece attractions include the Imperial Apartments, a live performance of the Vienna Boys' Choir in the Royal Chapel and the Spanish Riding School. First brought to Austria from Spain in 1562, the elegant white Lipizzaner stallions were regularly used by the Hapsburgs.

Enjoy the scenery in the Heroes' Square, formerly the Hapsburgs' extravagant parade ground. Lavishly endowed with imperial equestrian statues, it was also the site of Hitler's feverish address to the Viennese after Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938.

The mighty Hapsburg dynasty was never short of real estate. For an enduring taste of imperial living, splash out on a night of majesty at the Hotel Imperial. Built in 1863 as a palace for the Prince of Wurttemberg, and later adapted as a hotel, the property is a triumph of 19th-century romance.

Hotel Imperial Vienna takes pride in pampering travellers with impeccable service. The Vienna of yesteryear is evident in the splendidly appointed guestrooms featuring tasteful furnishings and marble bathrooms.

- Hamilton News

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