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Hofburg Geschichte

Maria Theresia had the Grosser and Kleiner Redoutensaal built to replace a theatre from the 1630s. The two Redoutensaele soon became the setting for a cultivated style of entertainment. The name is derived from the French word “redoute”, meaning an elegant masked ball, and such balls were also held there. Johann Strauss served as musical director to the court for the balls, and the audience was treated to music by Joseph Haydn, Nicolo Paganini and Franz Liszt. The première of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony took place there, as did the found- ing concert of the famous Vienna Philharmo- nic Orchestra in 1842. The well known saying “The Congress dances” derives from the balls held in the Redoutensaele in the framework of the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15. Großer Redoutensaal Grosser Redoutensaal Oper im Großen Redoutensaal Opera in the Grosser Redoutensaal It was also the setting for a formal banquet held to mark the wedding of Josef II and his first wife, Isabella of Parma, which was followed by an opera just a few days later. Over the centuries, various modifications have been made to the halls in line with changing tastes. Following the fire in 1992 the Kleiner Redoutensaal, which suffered less damage, was faithfully restored. For the interior of the Grosser Redoutensaal, a design competition was held, which was won by the Austrian artist Josef Mikl, and he created a number of oil paintings based on literary quotations taken from Ferdinand Raimund, Johann Nepomuk Nestroy, Elias Canetti and Karl Kraus. A ceiling painting measuring more than 400 m2 and 22 murals in warm shades of red and orange harmonise with the remaining Baroque architecture. In 1997 the Redoutensaele became part of the congress centre. Kleiner Redoutensaal Kleiner Redoutensaal