Johann Ziegler: The Lusthaus in the Prater, copperplate engraving, 1783

Where the Emperor and the People Meet


‘See and be seen’ was the motto: whether at an audience or at court festivities – many people sought proximity to the Emperor. But the Imperial household also knew how to give an accomplished performance, to make the most impressive effect on its subjects. Religious festivals, military parades, public admittance to the Imperial parks and a distinctive ‘cult of monuments’ brought dynastic values into the public domain.

An encounter of a very different nature occurred in the attempted assassination of Franz Joseph, an event commemorated in the Votivkirche, commissioned immediately afterwards.

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