Large Cabinet Room

Großer Ministerratssaal © BKA/Manuel Gutleb
Many important Austrian decisions have been taken at this table. photo: BKA/Manuel Gutleb

The Grey Corner Salon leads into the Large Cabinet Room. This is dominated by a huge conference table, the green covering of which contrasts sharply with the red of the heavy carpet and chairs. It is in this setting that the cabinet gathers for its weekly meetings; in addition, the room is also used for receptions and official dinners. The ministers conduct their meetings under the watchful eye of Emperor Franz Josef I (1830–1916), who looks down from the far wall with a solemn demeanour. The portrait shows him as a young man when he ascended to the throne in 1848. At the time, the picture’s cast-iron frame was an innovation that ushered in a new fashion.

The large hot-air fireplaces in the corners were also extremely modern for their day. The hot air was generated by a heating plant in the cellar and fed into the fireplaces through ducts. This guaranteed that even in those days it was possible to conduct long and uninterrupted meetings in cosy warmth.

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