Liechtenstein City Palace
The City Palais Liechtenstein diagonally behind the Burgtheater: Left Bankgasse with the main entrance, on the right, the on the popular garden (Volksgarten) bordering Löwelstraße
Liechtenstein City Palace, paintings from 1903
(By clicking on the link at the end of the side you can see the picture!)
Grand staircase in the city palace
The Liechtenstein City Palace is a palace in the first District of Vienna, Innere Stadt, near the imperial Hofburg. It is the Majorat House of the Princes of Liechtenstein and is still owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein. The building is considered the first major high-baroque building in Vienna.
The palace was very extensively restored and 9 April 2013 will be opened by Prince Hans Adam II in the presence of President Heinz Fischer and, with works of art from the Princely Collections, it will be provided from 3 May 2013 on every second Friday to visits during tours als well as for the utilsation by (accomodated) events.
The main entrance to the palace is located diagonally opposite the south wing of the new building opened in 1888 at the Burgtheater in Bankgasse 9, 10 Löwelstraße corner (there is no entrance). The Bank Street was called until 1862 anterior Schenkenstraße; present name recalls that lay at the other end of the alley from 1821 to 1860 the headquarters of the Austrian National Bank. Additional fronts of the building block are located on the Abraham-a-Sancta-Clara -Gasse 1 (side street of Bank Street) and at the subsequent address Minoritenplatz 4 (ministries adjacent). With the south side borders the palace buildings in the neighborhood of the Federal Chancellery .
From the windows of the east front of the palace in the 1786 first mentioned Löwelstraße looked one from about 1861-1863 above this section of the then demolished city walls around the old town. Located behind the glacis, above which one looked at the 1850 incorporated suburb of Josefstadt, was during the construction of the Ringstrasse in part obstructed. In front of the palace was not built because the city wall was moved here 1821 outwards and opposite the front of the Löwelstraße of the palace the 1823 created popular garden was made publicly available. Today are from this front next to the adjacent Burgtheater above the popular garden across the City Hall, the Parliament, the Natural History Museum and adjacent to the People’s Garden the Heroes Square in front of the Imperial Palace to see.
History and design
The construction of the palace began in 1691 on behalf of Dominik Graf Kaunitz, led by Domenico Martinelli and using plans by Enrico Zuccalli. Stonemason commissions received the Vienna master Michael Khöll and from the imperial court quarry stonemason master Ferrethi Ambrose and his sons Giovanni Battista Passerini and Martin Trumler.
Prince Johann Adam I of Liechtenstein bought the unfinished palace, 1694, determined it as Majorat House and he had the building by Gabriel de Gabrieli and Martinelli until 1705 finished. On the side street to the bank the first monumental Baroque portal of Vienna was built by Martinelli. The portal side at Minoritenplatz and the staircase are associated with Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt. The sculptural features on the portal, on the attic and in the interiors come from Giovanni Giuliani, the stucco by Santino Bussi. The main staircase of Emperor stone (Kaiserstein) was erected in 1699 by the Viennese masters Michael Khöll and Wolfgang Steinböck, the echelons of the staircase coming from Kaisersteinbruch.
To 1806 was in the second flor the Liechtenstein gallery. Then the palace was leased to the Archdukes Johann and Ludwig, and the works of art were brought to the palace garden in Rossau. Later, the Russian embassy was quartered in the city palace.
Prince Alois II wanted to use the palace himself again and had the house in the years 1836-1847 expanded by Peter Hubert Desvignes inside, with the implementation was Carl Leistler commissioned who as one of several subcontractors Michael Thonet enlisted. The cost of the new equipment should have amounted to eleven million guilders.
In the palace have been installed technical devised on order of the Prince that caused a stir. Among other things, there were doors that were mirrored on one side and could been pulled up and turned, a lift and a house intercom. The greatest abundance of decoration and technical refinement has been undertaken in the ballroom: It is surrounded by three corridors and can be increased to these rooms by raising the side doors, they are also partly mirrored and turnable. The palace was also popularly known as artists care home (Künstlerversorgungsheim) because the conversion work made by Desvignes took nearly ten years to be done.
The Palais equipment by Desvignes exceeded all expectations of the Viennese Biedermeier and is therefore attributable to the second Rococo: elegant bentwood floors by Michael Thonet, flowery silk wall coverings and curtains of Viennese companies, complemented by extremely heavy Parisian chandelier shape after restoration today the interiors again.
Princess Nora Fugger (1864-1945) described the palace in her biography:
The palace has in terms of beauty and magnificence, hardly its equal in Europe. The ballroom is of immense height. When the lights in the candelabras on the walls, in the large girandoles and in the huge glass balloons , the lusters over the middle of the room, had been inflamed the beautiful room appeared as bathed in light. At the ballroom are bordering two side chambers that are separated by glass walls from the high hall. On the other walls high mirrors are attached, which construction is making a truly magical impression. In one of the salons is in the middle of the room a pool with a fountain. Immediately before the outbreak of the Revolution, Prince of Liechtenstein gave the first ball in his splendid palace. In 1851 – after the revolutionary years – again the first, previously described.
The palace was also known for the important collection of paintings of princes, the most important baroque works are since 2004 in the Liechtenstein Garden Palace (until 2011 Liechtenstein Museum ) in Rossau in the 9th District presented.
The royal family moved their residence from 1938 from their castles in Moravia, Lower Austria and Vienna to the Principality of Liechtenstein to avoid contacts with the Nazi regime as possible. The regime could not argue against the fact that the royal art collection was moved in the war for security in the principality, had the principality since 1806 been recognized as a sovereign state. The property of the prince could therefore, as the German Reich was not waging a war with Liechtenstein, not being confiscated by the Nazi regime.
The city palace was by a bomb and and aircraft falling on the building in World War II badly damaged, such as, Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein at a press conference in January 2013, his first visit to the palace in 1953, recalled. In the 1950s on, it was quickly repaired, the ceiling in the staircase in the 1970s according to old recordings reconstructed.
Since 2009, the planning was carried out by the Viennese architectural office Manfred Wehdorn the general refurbishment of the palace, where, under the courtyard a three storey, 18-meter- deep underground storage for art was built. In the show rooms especially the Biedermeier Art from the Princely Collections at 1,200 square feet of space will be presented. The opening of the museum was originally for 1 December 2011 and on 19 October 2011 for the spring of 2012 announced.
On 15 November 2011, the opening was postponed to the spring of 2013 and on 16 November communicated that (as in the Liechtenstein Garden Palace), the term Liechtenstein Museum no longer is used and no regular museum operation will be provided. The house will be to view on the "Long Night of the Museums" and at group tours and (rented) events.
The in 2013 finished restoration was the first in many decades, in which the historic building structure and the historic technical installations without pressure to save or time pressure sustainably have been repaired; according to the client from January 2013 to around 100 million euros. As of May 2013, the palace and the Biedermeier collection on guided tours can be visited.