The Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl was the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria, known as Sisi. Originally the palace was a Biedermeier villa belonging to a Viennese notary named Josef August Eltz. In 1850 it was purchased by Dr Eduard Mastalier. After Franz Joseph's engagement to Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria in 1853, Franz Joseph's mother, Princess Sophie of Bavaria, purchased the villa as a wedding present for the couple.

In subsequent years, the villa was altered and expanded in a Neoclassical style by Antonio Legrenzi. The extant central portion was expanded towards the park and the originally posterior portion of the house was converted to form the entrance with Classical columns and tympana. Two additional wings were constructed.

The villa is surrounded by a large park in the English Style. The architectural ensemble in its contemporary form was completed in 1860. Construction was significantly slowed by the fact that it could not proceed during the summer months due to the presence of the royal family.

Today, the mansion is home to the Archduke Markus Habsburg, but also offers grounds tours to the public.



Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 1860
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Austria

More Information


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin LaVenture (2 years ago)
The Imperial Villa in Ischl, the Emperor's summer residence, for the Monarchy and family. Still owned by the family and the tour shows a few of the important rooms. Some family members live in a part of the home non seen on the tour. Fewer crowds than in the residence in Vienna and located in a quaint town. The villa is interesting to hose who need a full dose of the Habsburg experience. A brief stop is adequate.
Sanat Sahasrabudhe (2 years ago)
Lovely house and surrounding gardens of Kaiser Franz Joseph I. There is great information about the Kaiser and his family inside the house. The exterior architecture is visually striking, and goes really well with the backdrop of the mountains. The house is only about 5-10 minutes walk from the railway station, so can be great to view during a stopover on the popular tourist route to Hallstatt from Salzburg or Vienna (trains from those two cities usually include a stop in Bad Ischl).
Rony Wang (2 years ago)
Nice big English style park and view of Villa belonged to the emperor Franz Josef and Empress Sisi until 1912. Park visit costs 5€ and tour of Kaiservilla cost a few Euros more.
Carol Geiger (2 years ago)
We took the house tour and walked the grounds. It's a beautiful home with much of the originals furniture and the story of the Kaiser and his wife is interesting. The grounds are beautiful and natural. We walked into town for lunch.
Rudolf Strutz (2 years ago)
A very special place. Here you feel the way how the Austrian Empire lived. Empire „Franz Joseph I“ spend practically every summer in Bad Ischl. The Villa is full of memories. Being there, you should also visit the great park.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wroclaw Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.

The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.

Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.

The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.

Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.

The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.

During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.

In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.