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Red Salon

Now decorated with white-and-gold panelling and red court damask wall hangings, the Red Salon served as a clothes cabinet during the era of Maria Theresa. According to the inventory taken in 1812, the built-in cupboards were used as library cabinets and dismantled a century later in 1914.

The Red Salon contains portraits of several Habsburg emperors, including Leopold II, who followed his brother Joseph II on the throne but reigned only briefly.

The painting on the left is of his son Franz, who as Franz II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1792. In 1806 he found himself constrained by the Napoleonic Wars to dissolve the Holy Roman Empire, having erected the Austrian Crown Lands into the Austrian Empire two years previously. Thus the last Holy Roman Emperor Franz II became the first Emperor of Austria as Franz I. He was
followed by his son, Ferdinand I, uncle of Franz Joseph, who abdicated in favour of his nephew during the revolution of 1848.

Another of Franz’s daughters was Leopoldine, who was married off to the Portuguese crown prince and later emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro, in 1817. Highly intelligent and with a deep interest in the natural sciences, Leopoldine subsequently initiated and supported Brazil’s independence movement from Portugal, something for which the Austrian archduchess is still revered as a national heroine in Brazil today.

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