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Salon of Archduke Franz Karl

Grand Tour

A glass door allows a view into the corner salon, which is decorated with life-size portraits of Maria Theresa’s children.

This salon together with the adjacent study belonged to the apartments of Archduke Franz Karl, who occupied these rooms from 1835 to his death in 1878.

The unremarkable and unambitious Archduke Franz Karl always stood in the shadow of his wife, Archduchess Sophie. The only reason he has not vanished entirely from the annals of history is that he was the father of Emperor Franz Joseph.

As no children could be expected to result from the marriage of his elder brother Emperor Ferdinand, responsibility for the continuance of the dynasty rested with Franz Karl, Ferdinand’s next-eldest brother. Besides the two well-known figures of Emperor Franz Joseph and Ferdinand Maximilian (1832–1867), best-known for his tragic fate as emperor of Mexico, his marriage to Archduchess Sophie also produced Karl Ludwig (1833–1896), father of the heir presumptive Franz Ferdinand and grandfather of the last emperor of Austria, Karl I, as well as Archduke Ludwig Viktor (1842–1919), who never married and was notorious for his eccentric lifestyle.

After the death of his father Emperor Franz Joseph had these rooms redecorated and furnished. They were decorated in the Rococo Revival style that predominated at the Viennese court at the time, with white-and-gold panelling and wall hangings of red silk damask. Until the end of the monarchy they served as apartments for visiting high-ranking guests of state. At other times these rooms and the entire suite in the East Wing of the palace was open to the public.

Study of Archduke Franz Karl
Hunting Room
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