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Billiard Room

Grand & Imperial Tour

Franz Joseph saw himself first and foremost as an officer of his army. Appropriately, the subject of the large-format paintings in this room is the Military Order of Maria Theresa, the highest military order of merit of the Habsburg Monarchy.

The Billiard Room is the first in the sequence of audience chambers and private rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph.

During the day, the Billiard Room served as a waiting room for guests who had been granted a private audience with Emperor Franz Joseph.

The billiard table set up in the centre of the room offered entertainment to the gentlemen who met here before evening gatherings.

On the walls hang three large paintings. 

The central picture shows the first investment ceremony of the Military Order of Maria Theresa. The order was founded by Maria Theresa in 1757 to mark the victory at the battle of Kolín, one of the decisive battles in the Seven Years War.

The paintings to either side recall the centenary celebrations for the order’s foundation held in 1857, during the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph.

The emperor gave a magnificent banquet in the Great Gallery at Schönbrunn Palace, attended by holders of the order, male members of the dynasty, ministers and generals. Tables were set up in the park for officers and lower ranks invited as representatives of the individual regiments.

Franz Joseph had these paintings hung here as a clear demonstration of his affinity to the army. He habitually wore military uniform, both when he appeared in public and in everyday life.

Guards Room
Audience Chamber
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