Monuments embody the past for the present; they landmark the cultural landscape; they are part of our identity, a fundamental element shaping the image of our country and also a significant factor for the economy and tourism. The Austrian Federal Office for the Care of Monuments – the Bundesdenkmalamt (BDA) – is the authority in charge of this heritage, protecting, preserving and caring for cultural resources throughout the Federal Republic. It sees its task not only in its work as a specialist authority, but also as a service headquarters and vehicle for conveying the required historical and technological knowledge, while endeavouring to be open to the wishes and ideas of others.
Administrative headquarters are housed in the Vienna Hofburg. Separate conservation authorities are in charge of operations for each Federal Land. Meanwhile, the Department for Archaeological Monuments is responsible for protecting the archaeological heritage throughout the Federal Republic. Works of art such as paintings, sculptures, glass paintings, furniture, textiles etc. are conserved and restored in the restoration workshops in the Arsenal. The spacious building complex of the former Carthusian Monastery of Mauerbach is now used as a training facility for the great variety of activities relating to the care of monuments.
Documentation, archiving and monument research form the basis of all activities involving the care of monuments. Among the things preserved in the BDA archives are 500,000 photographs, 25,000 plans and a wide-ranging collection of historic views. The results of research are channelled into numerous publications, which are available in bookstores.