The historic legacy of Franz Stephan von Lothringen lives on at "KAISERHAUS"

The house at Wallnerstraße 3 has a history as varied as it is interesting.
The history of the development of the Palais KAISERHAUS has not been authenticated with certainty, but it is certain that there were originally two houses in the area. There are still arches from a building constructed in the 15th century on the ground floor. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the buildings were merged and rebuilt several times, and there was even a renovation in accordance with plans likely made by J.E. Fischer von Erlach.

On February 13, 1740, Franz Stephan von Lothringen, who would later be Kaiser, purchased the building at Wallnerstraße 3, which had been the property of Karl Josef Graf von Lambert and Sprinzenstein since 1706.

From 1740 until 1765, Kaiser Franz Stephan von Lothringen, the husband of Maria Theresia, used the Palais as his personal quarters and receiving house for visits related to the "Holy Roman Reich", while the Hofburg Imperial Palace was used for the administration of Maria Theresia's crown lands.


Contract for purchase of the
Palais at Wallnerstraße, original from February 13, 1740

Not only did the KAISERHAUS offer Franz Stephan von Lothringen the option of getting away from the hectic fuss of everyday life as Kaiser, but it also turned into a subsidiary location for the Kaiser's diplomacy, secret negotiations and unofficial activities. The Kaiser's laboratory was hidden on the subterranean floors, where experiments that were necessary aids in making decisions for commercial innovations were carried out.

Situated at a location not far from the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the dimensions of the Palais were scarcely different from those of the luxurious winter palace of Prinz Eugen, but the simple facade communicated its owner's lifestyle of noble restraint, which turned into a subsidiary location for the Kaiser's diplomatic activities as well as everyday life.

This may have also been a reason why the Palais was referred to as the "KAISERHAUS" in colloquial language even at the time of Franz Stephan.