The Imperial Villa – an estate of historical wealth

Summer residence of the imperial couple in Bad Ischl in the Salzkammergut

The imperial villa was a wedding gift from Archduchess Sophie to Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Sisi of Austria. European history was written in the imperial villa until the 20th century. The villa is also often referred to as the secret capital of the Danube monarchy.

Imperial Villa, Kaiservilla Frontansicht in Bad Ischl
Kaiservilla CC0 Pixabay

From a wedding gift to a summer residence

Today’s imperial villa was built by the Viennese notary Josef August Eltz in 1834. After Emperor Franz Joseph I became engaged to Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria, Archduchess Sophie bought the villa in 1853. The property was to serve as a wedding present. Emperor Franz Josep

The villa is surrounded by an extensive park. The entire building complex, including the marble castle, was only completed in 1860. In the summer months, construction was not allowed while the imperial family was present. In addition to the villa, the marble castle and the park, a fountain made of white marble and the entire Jainzenberg also belonged to the property. It was used for walks and as a viewpoint for hunting during the imperial era.

Imperial Villa Bad Ischl – Kaiservilla Bad Ischl

The emperor spent almost every summer in the imperial villa and also celebrated his birthday there. However, serious decisions were made on the villa’s premises. Emperor Franz Jospeph signed the declaration of war on Serbia in July 1914. The declaration of war is the trigger for the First World War. After the Emperor’s death in 1916, the estate was bequeathed to Archduchess Marie Valerie, his youngest daughter. The villa is still owned by a descendant of the Habsburgs – Markus Emanuel Habsburg-Lorraine.

Personal information from the life of the imperial family

There is a lot to discover during a tour. In a 45-minute tour, you immerse yourself in the world of the imperial family. Visitors get an insight into the originally preserved apartments, where Sisi spent her summer months. You can also visit the premises where Emperor Franz Jospeh signed the declaration of war on Serbia and explained his motives in the manifesto “To my people”.

360-degree view inside the villa:

The former tea house Elisabeths is in the marble castle. Since 1978 it has housed the Upper Austrian Photo Museum. The garden is also suitable for an extensive tour.

opening hours

The Kaiservilla offers guided tours every hour from October to April from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from May to September from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will be spoiled with culinary delights in the Café Hausbrandt. It is open every day from May to the end of September. A piece of imperial villa for home can be purchased in the souvenir shop.

Arrival and location of the Imperial Villa

Address: Jainzen 38, 4820 Bad Ischl
Public Transport: 1.5 hours by bus or 2 hours by train from Salzburg Hauptbahnhof

More information about the attraction villa.

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