Hermesvilla is a palace and a former hunting area for the Habsburg nobility. Emperor Franz Joseph decided to build the Villa Hermés in the summer of 1881. Ostensibly, the Emperor hoped it would encourage his wife, who traveled widely, to remain in Vienna. It was designed by architect Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer, and construction lasted 1882 until 1886. The Empress herself commissioned the sculptor Ernst Herter from Berlin to create the sculpture, titled Hermés der Wächter and instructed that it was to be placed in the garden of the villa.
In 1886, the villa, and all surrounding buildings, including riding facilities and stables for the horses of Empress Elisabeth, were finished. From 1887 until her assassination in 1898, the imperial couple regularly spent time there every year in late spring, varying from a few days to a couple of weeks.
The street leading to the Villa was one of the first streets in Vienna with electric lighting, and the Villa was one of the first buildings in Vienna with a telephone connection.
During the post-WWII Russian occupation of Vienna from 1945-1955, the Villa was looted by the Soviets, became run down and remained in poor condition for a number of years. However, in 1963, the Disney movie 'Miracle of the White Stallions' brought back the interest in the building. This led to a private initiative that motivated the Austrian authorities to renovate the Villa, and the renovation process lasted from 1968 until 1974.
The stables, originally built for the horses of the Empress, are located in the left wing of the courtyard. The original stable equipment, including the wall partitions for the box stalls and tie stalls, still exist today to a large extent.References:
Kerameikos was the potters" quarter of the city, from which the English word 'ceramic' is derived, and was also the site of an important cemetery and numerous funerary sculptures erected along the road out of the city towards Eleusis.
The earliest tombs at the Kerameikos date from the Early Bronze Age (2700-2000 BC), and the cemetery appears to have continuously expanded from the sub-Mycenaean period (1100-1000 BC). In the Geometric (1000-700 BC) and Archaic periods (700-480 BC) the number of tombs increased; they were arranged inside tumuli or marked by funerary monuments. The cemetery was used incessantly from the Hellenistic period until the Early Christian period (338 BC until approximately the sixth century AD).
The most important Athenian vases come from the tombs of the Kerameikos. Among them is the famous “Dipylon Oinochoe”, which bears the earliest inscription written in the Greek alphabet (second half of the eighth century BC). The site"s small museum houses the finds from the Kerameikos excavations.