(further pictures and information you can see by clicking on the link at the end of page!)
1, University Ring 14
Architect Theophil Hansen 1873
Address: Franzensring to Universitätsring
Progenitor Ephrussi-Sephardic Greek from Russia
Family tree – family vault at the Central Cemetery
Ignaz leaves the palace built on the ring
Viktor is arrested by the Nazis
The hare with amber eyes
A small but fine Heinrichshof – Förstersche group
The neighbor: Palais Lieben
Piano nobile in inconspicuous 1 floor
Interior of Hitler’s Professor
Location: Story of the Schottentor
From Franzensring to Universitätsring
The Ephrussi family name is relatively unknown in Vienna.
The Palais Ephrussi, so the building at the ring road, however, many Viennese is familiar, was there but housed the administration of Casinos Austria from 1969 to 2009 housed. The company inscription ‘decorates’ still the facade.
Today, the property is home of a law firm, led by the President of the Bar Association Gerhard Benn-Ibler.
Students across the university is probably more known McDonald, who has rented the ground floor of the adjacent house.
At that time the palace was at Franzensring. It began at the Parliament and reached to the university. In 1934 one part of it was renamed in Dr. Karl Lueger-Ring. This remained so until 2012. Now it’s called University Ring.
The other part even had a more eventfull naming:
1934 Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Ring
1940 Josef Bürckel-Ring
1945 Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Ring
1956 Dr. Karl Renner Ring
Palais Ephrussi, opposite the University
Progenitor Ephrussi – Sephardic Greek from Russia
Ephrussi sounds strange and a bit exotic. One does not really know how to write the word, if you have not seen it before. Hardly anyone suspects that the ancestor of the dynasty, Charles Joachim (1792 – 1864), from Odessa in Russia was – and yet less that this was a Sephardic Greek.
He built a business empire, beginning with grain exports from Ukraine, then investing in the construction of infrastructure: bridges, railways, port facilities. And this, of course, also included the establishment of a bank – with offices in Paris and Vienna.
Offices in Paris – Vienna – Odessa
Charles Joachim (1792 – 1864)
Ignaz (1829 – 1899)
Leon (1826 – 1878)
Viktor (1860 – 1945)
Charles (1849 – 1905)
Elisabeth Waal (1899 – 2001)
Ignaz Ephrussi ‘Iggie’ (1906 – 2011)
Victor de Waal
Edmund de Waal (1964 – )
Son Ignaz has built the palace
Son Ignaz (1829 – 1899) took over in 1860 the financial transactions in Vienna, his brother Leonid (1826 – 1878) went to Paris and became ‘Leon’
As the progenitor Charles died, he was laid to rest in the family vault Ephrussi at the Central Cemetery, not far from the gate 1
(There were later also Ignaz and his wife Emilie, born Porges 1836-1900, buried.)
Ephrussi family vault at the Central Cemetery, Gate 1
Son Ignaz was now head of the Viennese house and reputable in society. He was knighted by the emperor, bestowed him in 1871 with the Order of the Iron Crown, Third Class – although Ignaz throughout his life remained Russian citizen.
Economically he experienced a further upswing, founded more stores, also in London. It is said that the Ephrussi were the second richest banking family after the Rothschilds.
Therefore Ignaz could afford it to take on one of the most successful Ringstrasse architects, Theophil Hansen, 1869 for the construction of his palace. This one had a year earlier started with the construction of the Palais Epstein.
Apart from that Hansen had by his Athens stays good contacts with the Greek society of Vienna and came so to orders such as the Palais Sina am Hohen Markt or the Greek Orthodox Church at the meat market (Fleischmarkt).
Hansen Memorial, Parliament (detail)
Netsuke figurines come in the family
Around the time of the Palais building acquired Ignaz’ extremely art-loving cousin Charles (1849 – 1905), who could afford to live as a bohemian and did not have to work, a collection of small carved Japanese figures, netsuke. Those were used in the attachment of kimono belts and were made of ivory, jade or horn.
As heritage (Note: according to other sources, as a gift ) within the family this exotic extravaganza came to Vienna’s Palais, where Ignaz resided with family.
Son Victor is arrested by Nazis
In the family Ephrussi it came again to an alteration of generations: Viktor (1860-1945) took over the house. He was with Emilie, called ‘Emmy’, a born Schey, married.
The marriage was not happy, allegedly, in a manner of speaking the bride was in love with another man. Nevertheless, rapidly three children were born, almost 20 years later, another son – the father was at this time, however, almost certainly Emmys lover (but it was not talked about it).
The family survived reasonably sound an safe to the end of the monarchy, the first World War and the interwar period. But in 1938 came the Nazis, arrested the nearly 80-year-old Viktor in his palace and looted his valuables .
Viktor von Ephrussi
Against the Gestapo violence there were no means, only stratagems: Viktor’s maid Anna scurried over and over again among the henchmen.
She succeeded every time to hide some of the small netsuke figurines under her apron, which she then hid in her room.
And she did not say a word to any of them. Not even the stately family.
Viktor was arrested, interrogated in the Hotel Metropol at Morzinplatz and forced to renounce all of his possessions in order to obtain an exit permit.
For his wife Emmy finally all of this became too much. She swallowed an increased dose of heart medications and died.
The Hotel Metropol as an interrogation center
The hare with amber eyes
Viktor was able to flee to England, where he died shortly before the end of the war. His daughter Elizabeth married into the Dutch family de Waal.
She returned in 1945 after the war to Vienna. In the meantime offices of the U. S. Army had moved Into the palais. Vienna should now remain occupied for ten years. Some of the old furnitures were still there. And Anna, the maid.
She handed out Elizabeth the netsuke figures which she could hide then. 264 by the number. A courageous woman. And no one knows her last name. Nobody has asked her for it.
Elizabeth’s grandson Edmund has written the story of six generations in the book ‘The Hare with the Amber Eyes’. A bestseller: sold 200 000 times.
Netsuke Figures (Bid: Asian shop Bräunerstraße)
The war-damaged palace was in 1950 returned to the family. Meanwhile impoverished, it had to sell it for only $ 30 000. Were deferred only a few tapestries and books. For the compulsory expropriation of the bank a compensation of $ 5,000 was paid out – with the commitment that they would make no further claims .
As the palace changed hands in 2009, a sum of about 30 million euros has been rumored.
A small but fine Heinrichshof
The Palais Ephrussi extends on the ring road side over nine window axes, on the Schottengasse eight window axes.
The building is a scaled down version of the Heinrichshof which Hansen 1861-63 had built for the brick Baron Heinrich Drasche opposite the Court Opera (destroyed in 1945).
Palais Ephrussi on the left, then the Förstersche group
Theophil Hansen renounced of an accentuation of the center in favor of monumental tower-like corner projections giving the impression that the building stands free. The corner risalit was a characteristic of the baroque palace architecture (example: Schloss Belvedere). It was Hansen’s innovative idea to incorporate this motif into the housing. In the business office at the corner of Schottengasse moved in the large, as well furnished by Hansen Café Hembsch.
University (left), Förstersche group (middle), Café Landtmann (right)
Hansen worked very closely with the architects of the adjacent building groups, which also had familial backgrounds: He was with Sophie, sister of Emil Foerster (1838 -1909) married. The brother took over the design on the ring road side, Carl Tietz on the back side at the Palais Lieben. In the literature, this complex of buildings of aesthetic and formal unity went down in history as the ‘Förstersche group’.
Unfortunately, the part of the building complex (No. 10, to Mölkerbastei) was severely damaged by bombing in World War II and replaced by a new building.
Palais Ephrussi with caryatids, next to # 12
University Ring No. 10: New in 1966, Carl Appel
The neighbor: Palais Lieben
Left Palais Lieben (8 window axes), right Palais Ephrussi (8 window axes)
One is inclined to attribute the Palais Ephrussi the entire complex. But on the side Schottengasse it includes only the first eight window axes.
If you look closely you can clearly see this on the basis of the color difference of the facade and the gilded, or not gilded balcony lattices.
Ephrussis’ immediate neighbors were at the corner Schottengasse/Mölkerbastei the Lieben family, on the ring road side the Iron Baron Mayr-Melnhof (No. 12), No. 10 owned Theresa Blum (destroyed in 1945).
Piano nobile in inconspicuous 1st floor
Italian flair with plenty of balconies
University Ring (above), Schottengasse (right)
The palace is through ledges horizontally divided into three zones ( base, ‘piano nobile’, Attica), nevertheless dominates the vertical order: pilasters embrace the second and third floor and the optical impression is further extended by the Terrakottakaryatiden (Terracotta caryatides) that carry the woodwork.
The entire attic floor lies something set back and is circumscribed by a gilded tendrils grid (the thus created balcony room provides surely a nice residential feeling, moreover, perhaps with a view to the Vienna Woods.)
The color scheme of the facade is particularly eye-catching and gives an Italian flair: red brick color with yellow stucco.
Hansen accentuates with the Palais Ephrussi in the first floor the main entrance and the sides with columns, wearing balconies. The shape of the balusters will be taken up later in the opposite University.
The lower floors were rusticated in the neo-Renaissance style, the appear massive and simple.
On the first floor, above the balcony, were the apartment of the landlord and the representative rooms – and not, as one might suspect, a floor above.
Terracotta Jewelry: The head of Mercury protrudes from the Arkanthusblättern (arcanthus leaves) of the capital. Fruit garlands adorn the tower walls between the pilaster capitals.
Detail balcony lattices
Interior of Hitler’s Professor
Transversely embedded courtyard with a glass roof
2 Damensalon (ladie’s salon)
3 dance lounge (including main entrance)
4 reception room
5 smoking-room, billiard room
6 Dining Room
(Note: In the Palais no tours are possible, only the reception area on the ground floor can be visited during business hours.)
Floor plan main floor
Ignaz Ritter von Ephrussi expressly wished from the architect to his main floor a separate staircase, which must not beeing used by any other house party. For the tenants were to build three floors with a convenient main and kitchen stair. On the ground floor a stable for four horses was provided. There are two basement levels.
For the interior design none other than Christian Griepenkerl was taken that equipped the main floor with painting cycles.
Later this one will Adolf Hitler refuse admission to the Academy of Arts because of "insufficient sample drawings".
The ceiling paintings in the Palais show Greek Zeus adventures and Jewish themes (images from the Book of Esther). In other respects, too, it was made sure that nothing was lacking: precious wood floors, expensive fireplaces, elegant marble – and a lot of gold. Inside and outside.
In sunlight, the balcony lattices shine far into the distance. No other Ringstraßenpalais (ring road palais) afforded this beauty .
Terracotta decorations, detail (Mercury)
Location – history from Schottentor
View before 1900 with still intact Gehtor (walking gate) of the Schottentor (gate).
Tor – Tower – Residential House
In the Middle Ages the Babenberg Jasomirgott took Irish-Scottish monks to Vienna. They founded on the ancient Roman road (traffic artery) leading to the west a convent and a school. The name Schottenviertel became customary.
The Schottentor was a part of the fortification. Mentioned it is for the first time in 1276, from 1291 on it was called the Schottenburgtor (Scottish castle gate), later only Schottentor.
The above the gate situated tower was extended in 1418, 1716 were converted into a house gate and tower, which belonged 1775-95 to the couple Eva and Anton Prohaska and 1812 to Protomedicus Edward Guldner von Lobes.
1839 has been demolished.
Old Schottentor Schottenkloster (monastery) 1683
Already in 1656 had been built a new (outer) gate in front of the old Schottentor. 1840 it was replaced by a neoclassical building, similar to the exterior castle gate.
However, as so inconvenient The five passages at Schottentor proved that the new gate soon, " the 5 follies " was the nickname . Supposedly, have been held to narrow the driving gates. And for pedestrians , it was a zig- zag course .
The new Schottentor was already 20 years after its establishment , in 1862 , demolished, only a Gehtor has been preserved until 1900. Then they demolished the remaining groups together with four houses of Mölkerbastei .
The term Schottentor found today on any street sign, only the metro station at the University bears the name – much to the chagrin of some Vienna tourists from the next station – can be misleading – Scots ring.
Old Schottentor to 1839
Schottentor , plan 1799
New Schottentor 1840
View Schottengasse with Schottentor ( direction Votive Church ) , circa 1840
View Schottentor – outside, around 1840
View Schottentor – outside, around 1840
Outside, around 1840
Outside, around 1840
New ablation Schottentor 1862
left: Palais Ephrussi
1875 – 1920 : Maximilian Course ( Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, initiated the building of the Votive Church )
1920 – 1934 : Liberty Square
1934 – 1938 : Dollfußplatz
1938 – 1945 : Hermann Goering place
1945 – 1946 : Liberty Square
1946 – Roosevelt Square ( with Sigmund Freud Park )
After the 2nd World War I circulated the following joke in Vienna: A visitor from the provinces asks in a Viennese tram :
" What is the name of the place over there? " "That is the Town Hall Square , formerly Adolf- Hitler-Platz . " A little further asks the visitors again :
" And what is there in the building? " "This is the Parliament , formerly County House . " Again, the tram runs a piece .
" And what is this place?" "This is the Stalin Square , formerly Schwarzenberg Platz . " The visitor gets out and says goodbye with the words:
"Goodbye , formerly Heil Hitler . "
View after 1900
external link : Image Indoors on f1.online
A banker was almost as rich as Rothschild – the extinction
Tomb of Thorsch family , Central Cemetery , Gate 1
Dehio S 336 , Czeike , Archives Publishing
Viennese palace , W. Kraus, P. Müller, Blanck stone Verlag, 1991
The Ringstrasse , a European architectural idea , Barbara Dmytrasz , Amalthea Verlag, 2008
Vienna in old postcards, Czeike , 1989
Vienna pictures from the youth of our Emperor , Gerlach, 80 born FJ
The Press : The Ephrussi family scattered to the winds
The Standard : Prison of gold