There’s always been a touch of Venice to Vienna
A piece of Italy in the heart of the Vienna?
Yes, and it’s all down to Mr. Ferstel. Or “von Ferstel”, seeing as he was a nobleman. After all, we are in Vienna!
Unlike many other palaces in the Austrian capital Palais Ferstel is not named after its owner, with that honour going instead to its architect. But not until it was completely renovated in 1982. Otherwise it would have ended up being known as the national bank or the stock exchange building, in recognition of the roles originally intended for this opulent structure built by Heinrich von Ferstel.
Be that as it may, Palais Ferstel continues to cast its magic on guests at meetings and parties alike, with its fantastic Venetian-cum-Florentine-cum-Trecento architecture, something you won’t find anywhere else in the capital. With stunning rooms, dazzling chandeliers and an impressive colonnaded courtyard. An Italian Palazzo – in the heart of Vienna’s historic first district, on Freyung.
80 – 700 people
|Arkadenhof / Foyer||130||300||90|
Business & pleasure
Echoes of the early bank and stock exchange days
The history of the building, which was actually designed as a bank and stock exchange, provides the ideal backstory for business-related events, like award ceremonies, product presentations and conferences.
Celebrate in Venetian Trecento style
A uniquely versatile venue, it is also ideally placed to host unforgettable celebrations! The Grosser Ferstelsaal has ample space for dancing and gala dinners.
Where the “Centralists” once met
Café Central moved into Palais Ferstel in 1876. This coffeehouse is a bone fide Viennese institution! Many years ago it was the meeting place of choice for a group of poets, philosophers and revolutionaries sometimes referred to as the “Centralists”. Like then, today’s patrons are spoiled for choice thanks to Café Central’s mouth-watering choice of culinary creations.
There is so much to say about Café Central that it has its own site.
Tales from Palais Ferstel
Without a nobleman to name it after – unlike its peers, this Palais was originally built as a bank and stock exchange – the decision was taken to name the building after its architect, Heinrich von Ferstel.
Four rooms for every occasion.
Where guests feel like globetrotters on a world cruise. You could be forgiven for thinking that you were aboard a luxury liner of yesteryear, with the waves lapping at the side. Shaped like the bow of a ship, this giant hall has a distinctly maritime feel to it. Surrounded by magnificent columns and decorated with a truly unique coffered wooden ceiling. Vienna’s most opulent room.
Running out of space in the main room? Then simply open the beautiful double doors to the Kleiner Ferstelsaal. This small Venetian-inspired pavilion provides ample space for buffets and can – to come back down to earth for a moment – be used as an exhibition space. Set up as a bar, it is perfect for a tête-a-tête.
Why travel to Italy when the Arkadenhof – with its magnificent marble staircase and amazing glass ceiling reminiscent of Trecento-era Venice – is just bursting with Mediterranean charm?
The Arkadenhof is ideal for functions of all kinds, hosting press conferences or serious discussions away from prying eyes.
If you are looking for wood-panelling, then the Portico is the ideal complement to the Grosser Ferstelsaal. For a chat, a coffee or an informal business meeting.
Tales from Palais Ferstel
The stock brokers who once worked in Palais Ferstel saw themselves as masters of the seven seas. Which is why the Grosser Festsaal resembles the bow of a ship.
Cooking up a storm
Our exclusive in-house catering service is entrusted with looking after our customers and their guests. Perfect organisation and immaculate service from our attentive event catering staff who are there to take care of your – and your guests’ – every whim. For an unforgettable event.
Take a look inside
Tales from Palais Ferstel
Palais Ferstel used steel to support a glass ceiling for the first time. It even featured a water-based cooling system.
Directions & Contact
In the heart of Vienna
Palais Ferstel is located between Herrengasse and Strauchgasse, directly on Freyung.
In short walking distance
Deliveries for your event, in the loading bay:
Strauchgasse 4, 1010 Vienna
Event entrance by agreement
Freyung 2 und Strauchgasse 4 und Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien
The Palais Ferstel has a barrier-free access in Strauchgasse for our events guests. An elevator takes you directly to the ballroom.
Pick-up points can also be set up for coaches
Mr von Ferstel – or what comes of a trip to Italy
It is highly unusual for a Viennese Palais to bear the name of its architect. But Palais Ferstel is an exception – having returned from what must have been a highly inspirational trip to Italy, its architect sat down and started work on what can lay claim to the title of the Gründerzeit era’s most opulent building.
Incorporating whichever aspects appealed to him, von Ferstel’s elegant design combined elements of Venetian and Florentine architecture and art from the Trecento period.
Today visitors can stroll through the glass-roofed Ferstel-Passage – with a wonderful setting for parties and functions on the first floor – before stopping off at Café Central next door. Anton von Fernkorn’s Danube Mermaid Fountain quietly bubbles away in the background at the end of the arcade.
Ferstel championed the use of natural materials, and only the finest stone was good enough. The sturdy wrought-iron gates were the work of a silversmith, and the facade is adorned with sculptures by Hanns Gasser. The interior features stucco lustro, ornate paintwork, leather wall coverings and fine wood panelling
The entire construction, including the interior, cost the princely sum of 1,897,600 guilders, or around EUR 25 million in today’s money.
This is even more remarkable in view of the words of the central bank governor of the time, Franz von Pipitz, who demanded that “the construction should be strictly economical and eschew worthless luxury”.
Heinrich von Ferstel died at the age of 51, but the beauty of his designs for Vienna’s Votivkirche church, Museum of Applied Arts and University of Applied Arts, as well as the Palazzo del Lloyd Austriaco in Trieste live on.
1856 - 1860
Brimming with inspiration following a trip to Italy, the eminent young architect Heinrich von Ferstel builds the opulent Palais Ferstel in the Venetian/Florentine Trecento style. “Ferstel”, as it is known locally, is the most modern building in the capital.
Until the official stock exchange building is opened, Wiener Börse rents the ground floor of Palais Ferstel – now the home of Café Central. During this period the Austro-Hungarian Central Bank is also headquartered at Palais Ferstel.
A legend is born! The Pach brothers open Café Central on the ground floor after the stock exchange moves out.
The imperial military casino moves into the former trading floor upstairs where it remains until 1911.
The curtain falls: Café Central closes its doors and does not reopen them for four decades. Palais Ferstel is heavily damaged in the war and the space formerly occupied by Café Central is used for various purposes including storage.
After the war and the Red Army leave behind mountains of rubble and almost completely destroyed interiors, the Vienna basketball association put months of work into patching up the Palais. Known as Halle Herrengasse, and now a makeshift sports venue, it hosts daily basketball matches.
Österreichische Realitäten-AG (ÖRAG) acquires the building.
1970 - 1980
A decade of renaissance: a shadow of its former self, Café Central finally returns to its original state thanks to a painstaking restoration project overseen by Österreichische Realitäten AG.
1981 - 1983
The legend lives again: Café Central reopens in the fully refurbished Arkadenhof. It is also recreated in the national broadcaster’s studio, with ORF’s popular Café Central discussion show regularly broadcast from the mocked-up coffeehouse until 1991.
Café Central returns to its original location in the Säulensaal. The Palais Ferstel state rooms are operated as an event centre for the first time.
The Karl Wlaschek Private Foundation acquires Palais Ferstel and Café Central with the purchase of Österreichische Realitäten-AG. Palais Events Veranstaltungen GmbH is founded.
Palais Events joins the Österreichische Verkehrsbüro Group. The in-house catering and service team retain exclusive responsibility for looking after guests.