Hof Palace’s glory days in the time of Prince Eugene and Maria Theresa were followed by centuries in which the Palace was neglected and allowed to gradually decline. In the end this meant the decay of architectural substance and the loss of the formerly magnificent gardens. The restoration of Hof Palace was a huge undertaking, which began in 2003. By 2005 it had largely been completed following two years of passionate endeavour in cooperation with several hundred experts and skilled craftsmen.
Traditional handicraft techniques turning old into new
The goal was to create the maximum possible authenticity, and not only with respect to appearance. Wherever possible and practical, the same materials and traditional handicraft techniques were selected that had been used during the Baroque period. For example, the façade was not covered with modern exterior stucco but with a slaked-lime mixture commonly used in buildings of this kind in the 18th century. The colour and texture were chosen to match the Baroque original as determined by examination of the remaining original surface material.
Similarly meticulous work went into the restoration of the paths. The asphalt put down in later years was removed and replaced by the typical water-bound material of the Baroque period.
Garden archaeology to reconstruct the Baroque flora
The garden was returned to its original state to the greatest possible extent on the basis of archaeological excavation, old pictures and documents combined with the specialist knowledge of garden archaeologists. The most recent changes have been the restoration of the large fountain on the seventh terrace of the Baroque Garden, returning this dimension to the artistically designed garden for the first time in centuries.