Neue Burg Review
The Neue Burg stands today as a symbol of architectural overconfidence. Designed for Emperor Franz Josef in 1869, this "new château" was part of a much larger scheme that was meant to make the Hofburg rival the Louvre, if not Versailles. The German architect Gottfried Semper planned a twin of the present Neue Burg on the opposite side of the Heldenplatz, with arches connecting the two with the other pair of twins on the Ringstrasse, the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) and the Naturhistorisches Museum (Museum of Natural History). But World War I intervened, and with the empire's collapse the Neue Burg became the last in a long series of failed attempts to bring architectural order to the Hofburg. (From its main balcony, in March 1938, Adolf Hitler told a huge cheering crowd below of his plan for the new German empire, declaring that Vienna "is a pearl! I am going to put it into a setting of which it is worthy!") Today the Neue Burg houses four specialty museums: the Collection of Arms and Armor, the Collection of Ancient Instruments, the Ephesus Museum, and the Ethnological Museum. For details on these museums, see separate listings.