The elegant Schloss Hof stands next to the River Morava in Marchfeld near the Austrian border with present-day Slovakia and was built as the country retreat of Prince Eugene of Savoy, who was an accomplished military strategist in the Austrian Imperial Army. The palace’s magnificent Baroque façade was completed by 1730 and the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa bought it in 1755; several generations of the Imperial dynasty loved the place but it eventually fell out of favour and became army barracks. Following the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, the palace was abandoned, then taken over first by Nazi forces in World War II and subsequently by the Soviet Red Army.
Following restoration in the early 21st century, Schloss Hof once again stands proud as the biggest imperial residence outside Vienna and its interior once more sparkles with marble, gold and gilt, gleaming chandeliers and majestic imperial portraits. The palace is surrounded by formal water gardens and swirling parterres that descend to the river in seven ornate terraces studded with fountains and sculptures; these have been carefully recreated from old plans and paintings of the original Baroque park. There are family-oriented events at the palace throughout the year, from Christmas markets to the Grand Horse Festival in mid-September as well as an adventure playground, horseback riding, and a petting zoo with rare animals at Manor Farm.
2294 Schlosshof 1, Marchfeld. Opening hours are Mar 16–Nov 2 daily 10am–6pm; Nov 7–Mar 6 Sat–Sun 10am–4pm. Admission adults €13; children between 6–18 €8; under 6 free of charge; family ticket €34. Schloss Hof can be reached by bus, train or car.