Some weeks ago a friend of mine and me made an excursion to Schloss Hof in Lower Austria. The grounds of Schloss Hof extend over more than 50 hectares of land. The magnificent ensemble with its lordly palace, beautiful terraced garden and idyllic manor farm was laid out in the late 1720s as an impressive country home and hunting lodge for Prince Eugene of Savoy. In 1755 Empress Maria Theresia acquired the complex from Prince Eugene’s heir and presented it as a gift to her husband, Emperor Francis Stephen. The generations of Habsburg emperors and archdukes that followed showed little interest in their Marchfeld summer residence and increasingly allowed nature to do its destructive work. In the late 19th century Emperor Francis Joseph I turned the complex into a military training ground, and the already heavily damaged imperial splendour almost entirely disappeared.
During and after the two world wars Schloss Hof was exposed to more disinterest and inappropriate use. Only in 2002 a society founded solely for the revitalization, undertook the needed measurements for the restoration of this precious monument of Austrian cultural heritage. In May 2005 the ensemble was opened to the public.