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Archduchess Sophie’s Study

Grand Tour

Franz Joseph’s ambitious mother Archduchess Sophie not only energetically pursued her goal of putting her son on the Austrian throne but was also his most important political advisor. Contemporaries famously referred to the archduchess ‘the only man at the Viennese Court’.

This small writing room was part of the apartments occupied by Franz Joseph’s parents, who resided here in the middle of the nineteenth century.

The Rococo style went with Sophie’s political opinions: in the face of the revolution of 1848 she saw neoabsolutism as the only way to save the Habsburg claim to power. She had her rooms done out in the Rococo Revival style, which from the 1840s had established itself as the official style of the Viennese court. The interiors were complemented with numerous family portraits and family mementos from the time of Maria Theresa, serving as allusions to the heyday of the Monarchy in the eighteenth century.

Maria Theresa herself used this small room as a library during her widowhood. Concealed behind the wall panelling are bookcases; closer inspection reveals the hinges of the bookcase doors disguised in the decorative mouldings of the wall panels.

Archduchess Sophie's Study in the East Wing of Schönbrunn Palace

Gobelin Salon
Red Salon
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