Schloss Wilhelminenberg Palace
Fake Palace overlooking Vienna - Part II
After 1918, Schloss Wilhelminenberg was used as a hospital for injured soldiers of WWI. In 1922, the palace was sold to a Swiss banker called Wilhelm (appropriately so) Ammann. He did not remain the landlord for a very long time.
In 1927, the city of Vienna purchased the property and used it as an orphanage and children′s recovery home - this was in the period of the "Red Vienna", when the Social Democrats ran all sorts of communal programmes of this kind. Between 1934 and the Anschluss in 1938, Schloss Wilhelminenberg was the headquarter of the Wiener Sängerknaben, the Vienna boys choir. Then the Nazis confiscated it and the palace was used as a hospital (attached to the Wilhelminenspital hospital, which still exists) and as an anti-aircraft station; the Nazi governor of Vienna, Baldur von Schirach, used Schloss Wilhelminenberg as a representative venue.
After the end of the war, the palace became a recreation camp for children again and was used as a hospital and recovery facility for former concentration camp inmates. A biology research station moved in, the "Biologische Station Wilhelminenberg". And in 1961, a school for retarded children joined the party.
Schloss Wilhelminenberg Today
In 1987, a new chapter in the history of Schloss Wilhelminenberg was started: The palace was made a youth hostel with a commercial scope. In 2000, it finally became a hotel and in 2003, the chain Austria Trend Hotel refurbished the place and re-opened it as a 4-star-conference hotel with 87 rooms. The parks that belong to the palace are open to the general public - ideal for walking around and enjoying some great views on Vienna.
Obviously, camping or picnics are not allowed in the hotel parks; however, there are parks nearby where even BBQs are allowed. They are usually filled with a few thousand Turks that live in Ottakring, though. Attractions nearby are as good as non-existing. The Kuffner-Sternwarte star observatory is not far. If you feel like a little walk, you can go to the Baumgartner Höhe, a psychiatric hospital, and see the quite remarkable Kirche am Steinhof Church.
The Schloss Wilhelminenberg area is also a good starting point for excursions into the Vienna woods. A nice walk would lead to the Heurigen taverns of Neustift am Walde. The tourist information centre of Vienna published hiking maps that give you a nice outlay of attractive routes and places to go - including nice, traditional Heurige and inns on the way.
Return to "Schloss Wilhelminenberg - Part I"
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