Ballhaus (Chancellery) in Central Vienna
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The Ballhaus is a Baroque palais or city palace that was designed by the legendary Baroque-architect Lukas von Hildebrandt. It dates back to the 18th century; the previous building on the premises had been used by the Minoriten monks. Today, the Minoritenkirche right next to the Ballhaus is not affiliated with a monastery anymore.
In Austria, the term "Ballhaus" is used synonymously for the federal chancellor, as the building is home to the Bundeskanzleramt (chancellery). This makes the chancellor neighbour to the president of Austria, whose offices can be found in the Leopoldinentrakt of the Hofburg. The Minoritenplatz (the square around Minoritenkirche) has been Vienna′s most exclusive neighbourhood for centuries. The many Baroque palais you can find here carry the names of the ex-Empire′s most distinguished families - today, most of the palais on Minoritenplatz are used as administrative and governmental buildings.
The Gothic Minoritenkirche at the centre of the square was given to the Italian community of Vienna by Emperor Joseph II, and it is still used for reading services in Italian. There are several of Vienna′s primary attractions in walking distance to the Ballhaus, and even though non-Austrian tourists often neglect the Ballhausplatz/Minoritenplatz square, you are likely to end up there on your way to the Burgtheater, Hofburg or Freyung area.