The Hofburg has been a place of Viennese for centuries
After the end of the monarchy, there was uncertainty regarding the future of the Hofburg. There were proposals to turn it into a people’s hall, tearing down the fences around the parks, and as early as 1919, there was the idea of installing a cultural and artistic center of the present in the court stables, today’s Museumsquartier. “Many plans and uses are little known,” said the art historian and editor of the last volume of the major project of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Maria Welzig, in an interview with the APA. “The architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky had her office in the Hofburg,” Welzig called an example of the various small uses during the First Republic.
The “Ständestaat” and the National Socialists drew on the imperial heritage for propagandistic purposes and to legitimize their power. They set up, if only temporarily, “a sort of second wing” on Heroes’ Square for a propaganda exhibition. Such was already planned at the time of Emperor Franz Joseph for the only partially realized Imperial Forum. “The Nazis knew exactly what they were doing. Noteworthy is the sophisticated strategy” the art historian pointed out “how important it is for dictatorial regimes to hijack history, so to speak”.