Imperial Architecture

The luxury hotel in Vienna was originally built as the private palace of Prince Philip of Württemberg from 1863 to 1865. The Prince was married to a grandniece of Emperor Francis Joseph I. There are documents that even suggest that the palace had been a morning gift by the bride's father, Archduke Albrecht. Famous Munich-born Arnold Zanetti was the architect. A huge park, extending to St. Charles Church, was located behind the building. When the city administration had a street built between park and palace without asking the permission of the Prince, and when a pit was excavated to construct Musikverein, an enraged Prince of Württemberg left the place. Rumor has it though that he received a generous financial compensation.

An investor, Horace Ritter von Landau, bought the magnificent palace. On time for the opening of the Universal Exhibition in Vienna, it was inaugurated as Hotel Imperial in 1873. It was, however, not inaugurated by Emperor Francis Joseph I himself as is often wrongly told. While the Emperor never opened hotels, it would have certainly pleased him.

The hotel had made great efforts to be granted the "K & K" accolade but only received it in 1918, a few weeks before the Monarchy fell apart - and so the title became invalid again.

Let us guide you through the rich history of the hotel in Vienna. Learn more about the personalities who lived here, the stories and anecdotes and many more details.

Royal Staircase

The Royal Staircase

In the past, the horse-drawn carriages halted in front of the Fürstenstiege, the Ceremonial Staircase at today's lobby, allowing the guests of the Prince of Württemberg to step out and ascend to the private apartments on the first floor, the Belle Etage.

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Belle Etage

The Belle Etage

The paintings on the Belle Etage once more depict Emperor Francis Joseph I wearing the uniform of a field marshal with the Maria Theresa Order and his wife, Empress Elisabeth "Sisi".

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The Mezzanine

During the interwar period, a ceiling was installed above the lobby on the mezzanine floor. That's how the Gobelinsaal, the Tapestry Hall, came to be.
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