The Austrian Presidential Chancellery is not only the Office of the Austrian Federal President, but it is also one of the oldest buildings of the Hofburg. The so-called Leopoldine Wing is named after its builder, Emperor Leopold I. The Hofburg with all its irregular building complexes was built over the course of seven centuries and in addition to the Austrian National Library and various museums, even houses two sacred buildings.
In 1657, Leopold I had a representative palace built to separate the castle courtyard from the suburbs. After six years, the impressive building was finally completed and Leopold and his first consort Margarita Teresa of Spain ceremonially moved in. However, in 1668, the whole palace burned down to the ground and had to be completely rebuilt.
Maria Theresa’s winter residence
The granddaughter of Leopold I moved between the Schönbrunn Summer Palace and this magnificent Hofburg depending on the season. She had the wing around the Bellaria extended, creating a porch that could only be reached via an elongated ramp from Heldenplatz. This was how Maria Theresia, who was not fond of stairs, got to her second-floor private chambers by carriage.
Another must-see peculiarity of the Leopoldine Wing is St. Joseph’s Chapel, which is located behind a wall cabinet. This allowed Maria Theresia to attend mass without leaving her chambers and to reach the chapel through her cabinet door. From the outside, you can see a few panels but you would never guess that a chapel lies within.
After the chancellery was bombed in the Second World War, the Office of the Federal President was moved to the Leopoldine Wing at the end of 1946.
Visiting the rooms of the Presidential Chancellery
The Presidential Chancellery is home to the offices of the Federal President and his staff. For this reason, visits are only possible to a limited extent. However, the Federal President holds “open days” at regular intervals where you have the opportunity to view the rooms.
Alternatively, the following rooms of the Hofburg can be “visited” online: Maria Theresa’s Apartments, the Rose Room, the Pietra-Dura Room, the Hall of Mirrors, the Miniature Cabinet, the Maria Theresien Room, Joseph II’s Study, and St. Joseph’s Chapel.
How to reach the building
Address: Hofburg, 1010 Vienna