Schloss Hof is situated in Lower Austria, east of Vienna not far from the River March, which forms the border with Slovakia and is the largest of the six Marchfeldschlösser. (castels in Marchfeld).
We have visited Hof Palace several times - most recently in July 2017 on the occasion of the Maria Theresa exhibition - and were delighted every time that this jewel is so wonderfully renovated and reconstructed. A detailed description of the complex with the wonderful baroque garden and the history of Hof Palace can be found on the website of the Schloss Hof.
Since the 12th century a "castle" (Veste Hof) stood here, which was rebuilt several times, in 1620 to a Renaissance fort.
In 1725 the 62-year-old general Prince Eugene of Savoy bought this one-storey Renaissance fort with a rectangular ground plan and commissioned Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt to build a representative hunting seat.
In 1755 Empress Maria Theresia acquired Schloss Hof from Prince Eugene's heirs. In the 1770s, the imperial court architect Franz Anton Hillebrandt made far-reaching changes to the palace in order to fulfil Maria Theresa's representational duties. This reconstruction phase gave the palace its present appearance with a further floor.
After Maria Theresa's death in 1780, the Marchfeld summer residence was largely left to nature's influence.
In 1898 Emperor Franz Joseph decided to hand over the complex to the army administration. Two riding halls were built on the first terrace. After the end of the Habsburg Monarchy, the property became state property. Little changed for Hof Palace. It remained under military administration and the ravages of time gnawed at it.
On the occasion of the Lower Austrian Provincial Exhibition "Prince Eugene and Baroque Austria" in 1986, the first major restoration and restoration works were carried out in the castles of Hof and Niederweiden, which had already fallen into disrepair at that time. The final restoration of the two palaces was achieved in 2002 with the founding of the Marchfeldschlösser Revitalisierungs- und Betriebsges.m.b.H., which was incorporated into Schönbrunn Palace Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. in 2015.
Within the large grounds of Hof Palace, consisting of a baroque palace, a seven-barred garden and a manor, the "Great Cascade" was the showpiece of Prince Eugene's times. The totally destroyed fountain has been extensively reconstructed since 2016 and was ceremonially opened on 02.05.2018.