Palais Liechtenstein


Once the architectural muse of Italian landscape painter Canaletto, Palais Liechtenstein is a sublime baroque palace that sits in beautifully landscaped, sculpture-dotted grounds. It also houses the private art collection of Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein (whose family resided in Vienna until the Nazi Anschluss in 1938), with around 200 paintings and 50 sculptures dating from 1500 to 1700. The palace can be visited twice monthly on hour-long guided tours (in German; English-language audio guide available). Book ahead.

On the ground floor, the unmissable Gentlemen’s Apartment Library is a magnificent neoclassical hall containing about 100,000 books and frescoes by Johann Michael Rottmayr. Upstairs is the Herkulessaal (Hercules Hall) – so named for the Hercules motifs within its ceiling frescoes by renowned Roman painter Andrea Pozzo (1642–1709). Surrounding the hall are seven art galleries providing a trip through 200 years of art history, including such stunners as Raphael’s Portrait of a Man (1503) and Rubens' intensely perceptive Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens (1616), alongside masterpieces of the Van Dyck and Frans Hals ilk. Keep an eye out for one of the world’s most valuable pieces of furniture, the Florentine Badminton Cabinet, made for the British nobleman Henry Somerset, the 3rd Duke of Beaufort, in the 1720s.

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