Art-loving field marshal Prince Eugene of Savoy purchased Schloss Hof and extended it into a spacious baroque summer palace and hunting lodge. Under its subsequent owner, Empress Maria Theresia, the palace was a very famous venue for extravagant parties of the Viennese court. But from the 18th century onwards the buildings were largely neglected, so this century, a major and very costly renovation project was commission to restore the entire palace complex, including the Meierhof, an idyllic country estate.
The 16 hectares of palace gardens, which were also completely run down, have been authentically recreated using original paintings and etchings of the time. Prince Eugene’s baroque palace gardens with their vast terraces, ornamental shrubbery, lovely fountains and fine sculpture were known as the most beautiful gardens of the Danube monarchs by 1730.The palace and gardens are now open to the public and you can even stroke the favourite animals of 18th century society, including donkeys and spectacled sheep. Costume festivals in summer and seasonal markets add to the authentic baroque atmosphere.