Palais Augarten & Augarten Park, Part II:
Home to Porcelain & the Vienna Boys′ Choir
In 1897, the Palais Augarten was brutally thrown into the age of historicism: It gained a floor and two side-wings, as well as new interiors. This was done for the nephew of Emperor Franz Joseph I, Archduke Otto - he was the last Habsburg to own the Palais Augarten (so far). After WWI, the palais and parks became property of the Republic of Austria. In 1923, the re-founded Augarten Porzellanmanufaktur (Porcelain Manufactory) moved into parts of the former stables and administrative buildings of the Palais. Between 1934 to 1936, the Fascist Chancellor Schuschnigg lived in the main building.
During WWII, the Palais Augarten was - like much of the 20th and 2nd district - severely damaged. The parks were battered, too: The Nazis had used rubble directly from the Augarten to build to massive FLAK Türme (air defence towers) and destroyed much of the vegetation in the course of the hasty construction. After its restoration, it became the headquarter and boarding school for the Wiener Sängerknaben or Vienna Boys′ Choir. Today, the name Augarten is usually associated with these three 20th century things: The Flak Towers, the porcelain manufactory and the Vienna Boys′ Choir.
Refurbishment & Current Use of Palais Augarten
The Palais Augarten itself was renovated between 1973 and 1982 - and then again a bit more recently. It is not open to the public, since it serves as a boarding school. The park, however, is accessible; I quite like it, because it lacks the hyper-cleanliness of other Baroque parks in Vienna and there are few or no tourists. But the Augarten borders directly to one of Vienna′s worst neighbourhoods and so the park has a somewhat shabby appearance. The Augarten Porcelain Manufactory offers guided tours; there are sport and leisure grounds in the park, the private Jewish school Lauder Chabad Campus Vienna, as well as a pavilion that serves as an art gallery.
Attractions nearby are the Carmelite church, the Corn Exchange building and its surroundings; the Donaukanal; the Prater and the Riesenrad; the Messe Wien and the Ernst-Happel-Stadion; the Millennium City and the Millennium Tower; and the destructor of Spittelau. The Donauinsel, as well as the First District are in walking distance.
Return to "Palais Augarten - Part I"
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