Palais Damian, Vienna:
One of the smaller Baroque Palais
There are dozens of palais (Baroque palaces) in Vienna, as you can see from my list of Viennese palais or from the general introduction in my "Palais of Vienna". Many of them are worth a closer look even though most international visitors might just walk by. The one this article is about, Palais Damian, is thoroughly forgotten by the tourist industry - for a good reason.
It is not very well preserved and by far not the most impressive palais in Vienna; the inly reason why I am writing this article is the following: Palais Damian can be found in the Lange Gasse and I lived just a few blocks down from the palais; during this time, I grew very fond of the Josefstadt (8th district of Vienna) and did some reading on historic buildings in my neighbourhood. This article is the result.
Palais Damian is a relatively small palais situated in a quiet neighbourhood in the 8th district, but not far from both university and first district. Palais Damian was built in 1700, for a noble timber merchant called Karl August von Damian. The architect of Palais Damian is unknown, but the round shapes and the outlay of the palais suggest that it might have been Lukas von Hildebrandt or one of his disciples. After Karl August von Damian had died, the palais was sold several times. In 1774, a high-ranking civil servant called Daniel von Zepharovich purchased Palais Damian and hired the architect Matthias Gerl to get some changes done.
Palais Damian: Impressive Gate, but Little Else
In 1785, the banker Karl Abraham Wetzlar rented Palais Damian. Wetzlar was one of the wealthiest men in Vienna of his time, a keen art collector and a friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Wetzlar′s son got married to a Zepharovich woman and purchased Palais Damian in 1800.
The Wetzlar family lived in Palais Damian for half a century, until it was sold to the Löwenthal-Linau family, who let it to various people and institutions for the next century. Between 1938 and 1945, the Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys′ Choir) were situated at Palais Damian. Following WWII, Palais Damian was sold to the City of Vienna; since then, it has been used as an administrative building. Currently, a war veteran association uses the premises.
Walking down Lange Gasse, Palais Damian is notable for its palatial entrance gate. This is somewhat misleading, as fairly little of the original palais with its extensive parks and wings has been preserved. Attractions nearby include the Dreifaltigkeitskirche just down the road; the Piaristenkirche Maria Treu; the Rathaus City Hall and the Main University; and the Altes AKH campus.
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Vienna by District
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