Schloss Neuwaldegg Palace, Vienna
Palace also known as Gartenpalais Strattmann
In the 17th district or Hernals, there are few sightseeing attractions that draw a lot of attention from international tourists. One of the things that are worth visiting if you happen to be in the area is the Palace of Schloss Neuwaldegg, also known as Gartenpalais Strattmann. It was designed in 1697 by the super-star of Viennese-Baroque architecture, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.
The landlord was Count Theodor of Strattmann, who wanted to have one of these fancy garden palaces as a countryside retreat outside of Vienna that were fashionable at this time. The Turkish troops had plundered and looted the area around the city in the course of the Second Siege of Vienna in 1683, and so land was cheap - ideal conditions for building a representative chateaux in the Vienna woods.
In 1708, the Palais Strattmann was sold to the statesman Johann Karl Bartolotti, who is responsible for several adaptations and changes. He extended the side-wings and was responsible for the construction of a new roof, which was not flat as the original one by Fischer von Erlach. In 1765, the palais was sold again, this time to the Army Officer Count Franz Moritz of Lacy. He finally gave orders to extend the gardens into representative parks - and within a few years, the formal gardens in Rococo style were well-known at courts all over Europe.
The Re-Built Schloss Neuwaldegg: 19th Century
Next century, next sale: In 1801, the Princes of Schwarzenberg purchased the Gartenpalais Strattmann and had a few more changes to be done. Unfortunately, the Schwarzenbergs followed the general 19th century trend and transformed the Baroque gardens into English-stlye landscape parks in 1890. There′s nothing wrong with English-style landscape parks in principle, but I feel sorry for what was among the most extensive and best-kept formal gardens in Europe. Next century, next sale: In 1951, the Scharzenberg family sold Gartenpalais Strattmann to the diocese of Vienna.
Next century, next sale: In 2002, the diocese of Vienna sold Schloss Neuwaldegg / Gartenpalais Strattmann to a private institution called "Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe". The new owner invested a little fortune into the refurbishment of Schloss Neuwaldegg. Today, it is all nice and shiny again. It is not open to the general public, but makes a nice impression from the outside, too. The central ballroom can be rented, as well as the garden - for receptions or pretty much any other private event.
Attractions nearby are rather non-existent; if you fancy a walk, do go to the Vienna woods for hiking and enjoy some nice views on the city as well as the surrounding vineyards. Schloss Wilhelminenberg is not too far, or the Kuffner Sternwarte. There are Heurigen wine taverns nearby, and with a proper hike, you can get to the Kirche am Steinhof Church. In the other direction, Pötzleinsdorfer Park and the Geymüller Schlössl are nice chunks of nature.
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