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Böhmische Hofkanzlei (Bohemian Court Chancery)

Böhmische Hofkanzlei (Bohemian Court Chancery) Review

This architectural jewel of the Inner City was built between 1708 and 1714 by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. He and his contemporary Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt were the reigning architectural geniuses of Baroque-era Vienna; they designed their churches and palaces during the building boom that followed the defeat of the Turks in 1683. Both had studied architecture in Rome, and both were deeply impressed by the work of the great Italian architect Francesco Borromini, who brought to his designs a freedom of invention that was looked upon with horror by most contemporary Romans. But for Fischer von Erlach and Hildebrandt, Borromini's ideas were a source of triumphant architectural inspiration, and when they returned to Vienna they produced between them many of the city's most beautiful buildings. Alas, narrow Wipplingerstrasse allows little more than an oblique view of this florid facade. The back side of the building, on Judenplatz, is less elaborate but gives a better idea of the design concept. The building first served as the offices of Bohemia's representatives to the Vienna-based monarchy, and still houses government offices today.

Updated: 03-10-2012

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