A guided tour of Palais Epstein is a short but fascinating journey through 130 years of Austria’s history. In the course of this period, the former residence of a banker’s family devoted to the arts was, amongst other things, various times, the home of the building authorities of the National Socialist Reichsstatthalterei, the Soviet City Kommandatura, and the seat of the Vienna Schools Council. Since 2005 the building has been used by the Austrian Parliament.
The quiet, even modest façade may mislead the onlooker: As you enter the building, you are immediately gripped by Gustav Epstein’s and his family’s sense of beauty and their dedication to the arts. Over the years, the palace has lost nothing of its charm and fascination. Once a residence and business house, it is now used by Parliament for various purposes. More
The Epsteins came from Prague, where they had come into big money in the emerging textile industry. They moved to Vienna and added banking to their activities, had their palace built on Ringstrasse, where Gustav and Emilie lived with their three children. After two deaths and the loss of their entire property the family moved to Budapest. More
Towards the end of the nineteenth century the Jewish community played an essential part in Vienna’s cultural and economic life. More
Palais Epstein was built around 1870 by Theophil Hansen, the architect and master-builder of the Parliament Building. A typical creation of the Age of Promoterism, the Historicist building was erected on Ringstrasse, whose architecture was inspired by the late-nineteenth-century elegance of Paris: The old city fortifications were razed and replaced with generously laid-out boulevards. More
National Socialist Reichsstatthalterei, Soviet City Kommandatura, seat of the Vienna Schools Council – the former residence and business premises of the banker’s family was put to a variety of uses. Today it accommodates parliamentary offices and the Democracy Workshop and is used for a multiplicity of parliamentary events. More