Palais Trautson, Vienna:
One of Austria′s finest Baroque Palaces - Part II

With the change of landlords, habits at Palais Trautson changed, too: The Empress gave the building to the Hungarian Guard, a division of - you guessed it - Hungarian guards that served in Vienna directly to the court. To accommodate the new use, several things in the building were altered: The front yards became exercising malls for the cavalry, the gardener′s quarters and the organgery greenhouse became stables.

In the course of the revolution against Habsburg rule in 1848, the Hungarian Guard was dissolved. The Palais Trautson became the headquarter of the "Gendarmerie", the police force, of Lower Austria. Only with the Ausgleich, which turned Austria into an Austro-Hungarian federation, the Hungarian Guard was re-founded in 1866 and the Palais was returned.

Even with the collapse of the Empire after WWI in 1919, the Palais Trautson remained a Hungarian possession. From 1924 to 1963, it was home to the Collegium Hungaricum, a national cultural institute of Hungary. As a kick-ass Baroque palace, the Palais Trautson is of course a listed building. As such, renovations are under strict control of the Austrian authorities and very expensive.

Hungary sells Palais Trautson

In 1961, the People′s Republic of Hungary realised that it didn′t want to pay for the - by then urgently necessary - renovation. Instead, the Palais Trautson was sold to Austria and Hungary built a communist-concrete piece of ugliness in the second district. More recently, the Collegium Hungaricum has left the communist episode in the Hungarian history behind and moved into a fancy, very modern building that replaced the chunk of concrete.

The Palais Trautson is home to the ministry of justice since 1963. Its ballroom with typical frescoes and representative halls are used for public events held by the ministry. The former parks of the Palais and later horse exercise venues were turned into parking lots, playgrounds and terribly ugly 1960ies student′s accommodation. At least the main building was thoughtfully renovated and is now nice and shiny. The fašade is typical for Vienna′s high Baroque, and so are the gate, central staircase and ballroom. Usually, visitors will have to constrain their interest to the outside of the building - one of Austria′s most beautiful ministries.

Attraction nearby are numerous, so I will concentrate on those within a five minute walking distance: The Houses of Parliament, the previously mentioned MuseumsQuartier, the Volkstheater, the Justizpalast; the Palais Auersperg, the Vienna City Hall, the Naturhistorisches Museum and Kunsthistorisches Museum; the Burgtheater and the Hofburg Palace with its many attractions.

Return to "Palais Trautson - Part I"

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Further Reading

Austrian Ministery of Justice at Palais Trautson

Wikipedia on the Palais Trautson

My article on the Palais of Vienna