The Hofburg Palace and grounds date back to the 13th century and the buildings have housed governments since 1279. Today, Hofburg is the official residence of the President of Austria. It is also home to the Spanish Riding School and the famous Lipizzaner stallions.
From 1438-1583, Hofburg was under the control of the Romans, but in 1612 control shifted to the Germans. It was reclaimed by the Austrians in 1806 and was in the possession of the Emperors of Austria until 1918. During the reign of the Habsburgs, Hofburg Palace was the winter residence of the ruling family. The entire Hofburg complex covers 240,000 square meters, with 19 courtyards and 18 wings consisting of 10 major buildings. The Hofburg complex was renovated and expanded with each successive ruler and this can be seen in the variety of architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classicism.
Statue of Emperor Francis II in the inner courtyard of Hofburg