The royal blue velvet curtains were raising, as soon as the first note of Mozart’s symphony no. 40 was going to fill a salon of opulence. That is also when I lifted my feet and danced my interpretation of a waltz through a lustrous hall, which made me feel rather small yet gave me a kind of comfort, for its splendour was a luxurious feast for my eyes and thereby for my soul too.
As soon as noticing my reflection in one of the huge golden mirrors, a rather cliché oriented Viennese New Year’s Concert came to mind, which I used to watch on television as a child. Now my mind was slowly filling that same hall with many ballerinas and elegantly dressed gentlemen.
This very image may be hard to imagine during this period, but it happens nevertheless to have been occurring oftentimes at the acclaimed Palais Liechtenstein. The Viennese Liechtenstein City Palace draws a perfect backdrop for all kind of elegance, managing to take your breath away, as soon as entering the ballroom, and looking up to a princely splendour.
Indeed, the air may take you back to the fancy era of Baroque, for the Liechtenstein city palace counts as the first major example of High Baroque architecture in Vienna. United in a harmonious ensemble, Baroque stucco ceilings and opulent Rococo interiors as well as original furniture and masterpieces of art from the Biedermeier and Neoclassicism era complete the spectacular ambiance.
While being deeply rooted in Vienna’s history for over 300 years, the palace of the princely family of Liechtenstein is notable too for its seemingly flawless restoration work. As a matter of fact, both Liechtenstein palaces, the City and the Garden Palace, are among the architectural jewels in the crown of the princely family, and have been undergoing a programme of extensive renovation for many years, reopening in 2013 to reveal its former glory. Including chandeliers weighing tons, taking you back to a bygone era.
During my short intermission of a private waltz interpretation I could truly feel the awareness and purpose of wishing to preserve a rich history and its artistic value. Nevertheless it was quite hard to imagine the palace once being conceived as one of the most modern buildings in Vienna.
The architects of Palais Liechtenstein set new standards in design and layout of interiors too for the spacious, severely classic vestibule was followed by a monumental and richly decorated stairway with radiant sculptures by Giovanni Giuliani and stucco work by Santino Bussi, constituting a strong contrast to the precise vocabulary of the façade. Now the building’s monumentality abreast its regularity made it the most modern and stately Baroque palace in Vienna and soon became a much-admired model that spawned many copies.
Let your breath be taken away by golden walls and mirrors as infinite as the beauty of this movie-like Palais.
You can visit Palais Liechtenstein for its unique art historical sense together with a guided tour but you can also waltz your own waltz and have a most memorable and most glittering evening in the ballroom.
Click here to find out more about visiting and staying at the City Palais Liechtenstein for your personal waltz ceremony.
Special thanks to Palais Liechtenstein for an exclusive morning and taking my breath away by dint of the opulent details and excellent restoration.
(In collaboration with Palais Liechtenstein)