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Palais Attems (Graz, Austria)

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Palais Attems

Palais Attems

The Palais Attems, in the federal state of Styria in Austria, is located in the first district of Graz, Inner City, at the transition between Sackstraße and Schloßbergplatz. It is "the most important noble palace in Styria". The Small Palais Attems, also known as the Widow's Palace, adjoins the building. On the opposite side of Sackstraße are the Reinerhof and the Palais Khuenburg, on the same side of the street is the Trinity Church.

The founder of the Graz line of the noble Attems family from Friuli, Ignaz Maria Graf Attems, acquired between 1687 and 1702 six town houses that stood on the site of today's palace. He commissioned the architect Johann Joachim Carlone to build a city palace. Andreas Stengg is suspected to be another master builder involved. The work lasted from 1702 to 1716. Carlone is said to have used Genoese models for his plans and worked on the palace until 1705. At that time, the first Sacktor still existed in this area of Sackstrasse as part of the Gothic city wall.

Count Ignaz Maria von Attems, who had the interior of the building richly decorated, began to put on the most important private art collection in Styria. It included paintings, weapons, tapestries and armor, as well as a large library. After the death of the owner, the Palais Attems passed to the first-born son through a family entail. The interior was expanded between 1732 and 1750 by Count Franz Dismas Attems to include numerous wall panels and tiled stoves.

Franz Disma's son, Ignaz Maria II, added further works of art from his travels through Europe to the collection. He completed the furnishings with rococo wall paneling and the tiled stoves. When Count Ferdinand Attems was elected governor of Styria in 1800, work on the interior design was not yet complete. The wood paneling was decorated with golden carvings. Over a hundred years later, with the outbreak of World War I, the Attems noble family began to decline. From 1915 to 1946 the city palace was owned by Count Ferdinand III. Attems, who rented some rooms to the city of Graz. In 1933, the gallery rooms of the art collection were opened to the public.

As a result of the Second World War, the Palais Attems lost numerous art treasures. Even the liveries of the servants' wardrobe were looted. Damaged by a bomb in 1945, sales of the art collection, the library and the weapons collection began in 1946. Since the Counts Attems had lost large parts of their property in Yugoslavia due to the war and the palace had to be restored, their financial situation was precarious.

Ignaz Maria V. Attems moved to Vienna in 1958 and left an empty palace behind. In 1962 he decided to sell the palace to the province of Styria. Two years later, work began on renovating the north and east facades, and in 1968 the courtyard side. The interior restoration lasted from 1971 to 1982.

Today the Palais houses the offices of styriarte, the Steirischer Herbst festival, the editorial office of the literary magazine manuscripts and two of Graz's six CV connections. Individual rooms are rented out for special occasions.

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