You get a large clue as to what awaits you in the Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury) when you pass through the entrance to reach the ticket office and gift shop. It looks like the kind of door you see in bank vaults. And for good reason.
- Relics, crown jewels, and treasures from hundreds of years of Imperial history
- Unique highlights include the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Habsburg Imperial crown
- Central location makes it easy to fit into your sightseeing
- Standard adult tickets* are €14 or use the Vienna Pass for free entry
- See also: Hofburg Palace | Imperial treasury highlights
Inside the Schatzkammer
The displays divide across secular and ecclesiastical sections, though they’re all part of one complex. What you get is a trip through over 1000 years of history in the form of imperial status symbols: crowns and ceremonial robes, swords and scepters, gems and jewelry, relics and rich altar tapestries.
The collection represents a literal treasure trove for history aficionados, since the exhibits put you in touch with momentous events of the past.
For example, imagine the coronation of a Holy Roman Emperor hundreds of years ago…
The robes are inside the Schatzkammer. And the crown, too.
Imagine the great Emperor Charlemagne seeking inspiration in the pages of his bible in the early 9th century.
The bible’s here.
Or imagine Napoleon’s wife leaning over her son’s throne-like cot on a cold evening, singing lullabies in accented French.
The cot’s here.
For those of a religious leaning, some of the relics will inspire awe. Since no records go back far enough, there can be no proof of authenticity, of course, but the relics’ stories, acquisition history (dating back as far as the 12th century and beyond) and presentation (in displays of exquisite workmanship) have value in their own right.
The Schatzkammer has so many highlights, I’ve given them their own article.
Tickets & visitor tips
A few tips:
- There’s a free cloakroom and lockers (which need a €1 or €2 coin to operate)
- An audio guide is good value, with extensive background information on many of the items on display. Exhibits carry a code which you punch into the audio unit to get information specific to that display
- Benches dot the secular section, offering a place to sit and take it all in (or listen to your audio guide)
- Each room in the secular Imperial treasures has one or more useful summaries in English that explain the gallery’s theme and context, but also add specifics about some of the main items within. Display labels are also bilingual
- The ecclesiastical Imperial treasures are more or less German-only: an audio guide or guide book perhaps makes sense here. You might want either, anyway, to give more historical context to what you’re seeing
- Sometimes the Schatzkammer collection is almost too rich for its own good. If you’re not paying attention, you might miss something important: don’t always expect the best pieces to get the most prominent positions
- The shop inside the Schatzkammer entrance hall (before the ticketed area) has the usual souvenirs, but also a collection of jewellery priced a little lower than the items in the rooms beyond
How to get to the Schatzkammer
The Schatzkammer sits in the middle of the Hofburg palace, near the National Library’s glorious State Hall, the Sisi Museum, and the Spanish Riding School, for example. You pretty much pass it as you walk through this central complex.
The area is pedestrianised, but not far from many central stations and stops. For example:
Subway: A short walk from either Stephansplatz (U1 and U3 lines) or Herrengasse (U3 line)
Tram/bus: Take the D, 1, 2 or 71 tram to the Burgring stop. Or bus lines 1A or 2A to Michaelerplatz or Habsburgergasse
Address: Schweizerhof, Hofburg, 1010 Vienna | Website