Tickets Tickets

Carousel Room

Grand & Imperial Tour

The Carousel Room or First Antechamber acted as a ‘buffer zone’ between the Great Gallery and the apartments occupied by the imperial couple Maria Theresa and Franz Stephan in the East Wing of the palace.

The paintings in this room convey an impression of life at the court of Maria Theresa. Towards the end of her life the monarch commissioned a series of images commemorating the most important events of her reign.

The room’s unusual name derives from the left-hand painting of the two set into the wall. It shows the Ladies’ Carousel, a kind of tournament at which the ladies of the court, led by Maria Theresa, demonstrated their carriage-driving skills. The occasion for this celebration held in 1743 was a military victory in the War of the Austrian Succession, when after the death of her father Maria Theresa was forced to defend her claim to power against half of Europe. At this Ladies’ Carousel the young ruler presented herself as a woman who was capable of defending herself. The part of the tournament depicted here took place in the Winter Riding School in the Vienna Hofburg, which today hosts the performances of the Spanish Riding School.

The painting to the right of the fireplace shows the first investment ceremony for the Order of St Stephen. Maria Theresa founded this order, which was awarded for civil merit, in 1764. The monarch is depicted beneath the lofty throne canopy. She was appearing here in her role as queen of Hungary and is thus surrounded by courtiers wearing the costume of Hungarian magnates.

The two portraits on the side walls show Maria Theresa’s parents, Emperor Charles VI and Empress Elisabeth Christine.

Oval Chinese Cabinet
Hall of Ceremonies
Schönbrunn Palace Mobile App


Mobile App