The subway entrance suitable for the emperor, the Hofpavillon (Imperial Court pavilion) at Hietzing Station, could only welcome Franz Joseph twice, but it is still a large, modernist monument of transit architecture.
When opened in 1898, the Wiener Stadtbahn (Vienna City Railway) was one of the largest transport projects in the world. Architect and planner Otto Wagner led Stadtbahn's overall project, including the stations, and firmly believed that such a monumental venture needed equally impressive ground-based structures. Wagner, the founder of the Vienna inheritance movement, had built several important buildings around the city, but had yet to receive a royal commission. Perhaps he designed the idea of a special pavilion and private entrance at Hietzing Station near Schönbrunn Palace during the summer retreat of the emperor and his family to improve his prospects.
Wagner's design combines elements of the modernist style (especially the white plaster facade) seen elsewhere in the Stadtbahn stations built at that time, mixed with references to the Schönbrunn Baroque. Approaching Hietzing Station, the domed pavilion appears to squat across the railway line. Underneath the dome is a lounge with mahogany panels, which has a huge painting by Carl Moll overlooking the Gloriette in Vienna's Fin de siècle, Schönbrunn Park. There is also a smaller waiting room, a desk with a desk and two stairs (now closed) that led down to the station platforms. Some of the building's original designs can be found inside, with plenty of information in both German and English.
The station was first used by Franz Joseph in June 1899 to inspect the new metro line. Neue Freie Presse said she was particularly pleased with the pavilion. However, his enthusiasm was limited. His second (and last) visit was not until April 1902, and despite his efforts, Wagner never received an imperial commission. But the pavilion was not the Habsburgs' folly. It proved popular and was described by the Vercrum of the Secession of Vienna as "famous and one can only hope that it will result [in modernism] victory in an area where it has so far been unfamiliar."
The Pavilion is a short walk from Hietzing Station on the U4 route. Admission costs 5 €. It is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, from the beginning of April to the end of October.
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