The Hofburg Palace
Vienna, Austria
I think Vienna has Europe's most attractive palace, and you
can form an opinion by clicking on
Schonbrun Palace .  In
contrast, this page presents my candidate for the ugliest
palace in Europe.  It's easy to understand why the royal
family preferred to live in Schonbrun rather than Hofburg.
The Hofburg is a sprawling monstrosity, and thus truly
represents the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire over which
it presided.  Going back to the 13th century, the Hofburg kept
being altered over 600 years, with many conflicting styles of
architecture.  I consider it ugly from every angle.
Not the Hofburg's good side, but then again there isn't one.  
The interior does have some lovely rooms.  And the Hofburg's
star attraction is the Spanish Riding School, where the
magnificent white Lipizzaner horses perform in an arena.  I
saw the horses and their riders practicing on my first visit to
Vienna in 1986.  This time, in 1994, they were out on tour.
Close ups don't help.  Neither does a dome.
The camera moves in for another view of the Hofburg.
Time to try a different city and country, one of Vienna's
great rivals: Prague.
With a high speed internet connection, watch the Intrepid
Berkeley Explorer's free streaming video of this trip, the second
half of "Gondola With the Wind", (after Italy), by clicking on:
http://www.adventurepics.com/IBE/video1.aspx?
VF=gondola2.wmv