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MQ – Urban Feeling at Vienna’s Domus Aurea Neronis

Aug 5, 2016

Museumsquartier Vienna – Urban Feeling in Habsburg’s Horse Stables

      The Museumsquartier is a centre for contemporary art equipped with various cultural facilities: museums, art and event halls, an architecture centre (AzW), children’s museum and theatre, production spaces for new media, artists studios, restaurants, cafes and theme-related shops. The location in the former Imperial Stables (built by J. Fischer v. Erlach in 1723) offers an ideal link between contemporary culture and the historic tradition as represented by the Hofburg Palace and the two major 19th century museums nearby.


In 1713 Emperor Charles VI commissions chief Vienna architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (1656-1723) to build an imperial stable complex along the city wall near the outer Burgtor gate on the location of the existing imperial “poultry yard”, including a large garden.



1719 Construction work begins. The master plan, based on Fischer von Erlach’s reconstruction of the Domus Aurea Neronis, includes stables for 600 horses, a “wagon shed” for 200 state coaches and gala coaches, an amphitheater for the presentation of “carousels” in the large courtyard, and a horse pond.




Vienna Imperial Stables. 1720. Engraving by Corvinus after Salomon Kleiner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


1850 – 1854
Emperor Francis Joseph I has Leopold Mayer redesign and expand the stables. The winter riding school, in the classicist style, and a summer riding arena are added.


Empress Elisabeth has a manege built in the saddlers yard. In the octagonal riding hall, Elisabeth takes riding lessons in the spring of 1875 with Elise Petzold, circus rider in the world-famous Circus Renz.

mq octagonal hall_Sissi Riding School



In the octagonal riding hall, located at the library of today’s Centre of Architecture (building complex outlined in light blue above) the sporty Empress Elisabeth, who is famous for her slim waist, takes riding lessons to keep her body fit and slim. 

Sissi Horse Riding_Demel Cafe


MQ_facade triple windows_AUREA




Sources: http://www.mqw.at, http://www.shan-newspaper.com/web/storia/687-le-meraviglie-della-domus-aurea-1.html, http://www.azw.at, http://www.ortner-ortner.com

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