Vienna Sights

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Palais Ferstel Review

Not really a palace, this commercial complex dating from 1856 is named for its architect, Heinrich Ferstel. The facade is Italianate, harking back in its 19th-century way to the Florentine palazzi of the early Renaissance. The interior is unashamedly eclectic: vaguely Romanesque in feel and Gothic in decoration, with a bit of Renaissance or Baroque sculpted detail thrown in for good measure. Such eclecticism is sometimes dismissed as derivative, but here the architectural details are so respectfully and inventively combined that the interior is a pleasure to explore. The 19th-century stock-exchange rooms upstairs are now gloriously restored and used for conferences, concerts, and balls.

Updated: 03-10-2012

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