Klessheim Castle (Austria)
Salzburg State See list of castles in Austria
The Klessheim amusement park is located four kilometers west of the city center, enchanting visitors with its Baroque architecture and unique gardens. Originally built as a peaceful haven for the prince-archbishop, today it is the seat of the Salzburg casino.
Origins of the pleasure palace
On the same site as the building we know today, there once stood a small stately home, known as "Kleshof". It was bought by Archbishop Johann Ernst Graf Thun in the year 1690, and it soon began the construction of an amusement palace known as "Favorita", according to the plans of the famous architect Fischer von Erlach. However, Prince-Archbishop Thun died in 1709 and work on the palace stopped. It was only after the reign of Prince Archbishop Leopoldo Anton von Firmian, who also built Schloss Leopoldskron, that Schloss Klessheim was completed.
A palace of pleasure in the true sense of the word
The exterior of Schloss Klessheim fascinates above all with its gardens and the magnificent Fontana del Tritone. The pedestals at the top of the main driveway are decorated with lying deer, with horns studded with golden stars that invoke the official coat of arms of the prince-archbishop Firmian himself. In addition to the baroque entrance and the staircase, the large banquet hall with its high dome and various examples of stuccowork is particularly noteworthy.
Kavalierhaus and garden
During the period of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the palace was owned by the Archduke Ludwig Viktor. He instructed the architect Heinrich von Ferstel to build a winter palace, which would become known as the "Kavalierhaus". The Kavalierhaus and the main building are connected by a tree-lined avenue. The large gardens are characterized by a high wall and 11 small guards. The visual division of the land in the Meierhofgarten, in the "Ornamental Garden" and in the "Garden of Pheasants" was carried out through a wall that is still present today.
Schloss Klessheim in recent history
During the days of the Third Reich, Schloss Klessheim was the scene of numerous parades and performances of weapons. After the victory of the allies, it became the headquarters of the military authorities. Since 1993, the casino in Salzburg resides in the magnificent rooms of the Schloss Klessheim. Guests are fascinated by the special charm of the casino, its unique interaction of Baroque art and the modern world of "gambling games".