Austria-Hungary

Portrait as described

Fig 1: Prince Felix Schwarzenberg, Minister of the Imperial and Royal Household and of Foreign Affairs in the years 1848 – 1852. Portrait by an unknown artist (© Army Photograph and Film Agency)

After the bloody upheavals of the 1848 revolution Prince Felix Schwarzenberg (1800–1852) took office at the Ballhausplatz. In the Schwarzenberg era, the position of foreign minister was strengthened both internally and externally. Henceforth "the Ballhausplatz" was the central ministry of the Monarchy.

Between 1850 and 1900 the population of Vienna more than tripled. The city experienced its most extensive period of expansion and reconstruction. The city walls were razed, the Ringstrasse built and the construction boom of this "Gründerzeit" created magnificent palaces, but also miserable tenements in the suburbs.

This development is also reflected in the Federal Chancellery. In 1881 another extension, this time reaching all the way to the Metastasiogasse, was added on the former monastery land that had been taken into state ownership by Joseph II. This provided office space for the growing business of the Imperial and Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following the demolition of the last remnants of the Minorite Monastery and the Hofspital, the final additional wing designed by Otto Hofer was added in 1900. This wing housed the State Archives and boasts a technically advanced cast-iron structure for the storage floors.

Painting as described

Fig. 3: On 18 April 1904 Emperor Franz Joseph visits the recently completed Household, Court and State Archives (Centre: the Emperor with a green feathered hat; opposite him: Archive Curator Gustav Winter; between them the Foreign Minister Count Goluchowski), Detail of a mural in the staircase of the Household, Court and State Archives by Karl J. Peyfuss (completed in 1908) (© Austrian State Archives)

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Watercolour as described

Fig. 5: Minoritenplatz before the State Archives were built, showing the Federal Chancellery with its still short facade facing what is now Kreisky Gasse. (© BPD)

The First Republic now follows.