Am Hof, Vienna
Am Hof is the largest square in the Vienna city center. The Romans set up camp on this site (remains of buildings may be seen at Am Hof, open: Sat., Sun. 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.). The Babenbergs judged this the right place to build their first palace (1135-50), and Walther von der Vogelweide sang the glories of the glittering festivities there: "That is the wondrous court at Vienna" (plaque on wall of Länderbank 2). Emperor Barbarossa stopped off here on the third crusade in 1189, the Habsburg-Yargellon double wedding was celebrated here and the Jesuits performed plays in front of their church at Am Hof. Later the Ducal Court was replaced by the Mint of the ruling princes.In 1667 the Corinthian column with the bronze figure of the Virgin treading the serpent underfoot was erected in the middle of the square. Four putti symbolize the Virgin's protection against war, plague, hunger and heresy.
Am Hof Map
Address: Am Hof 9, Austria
Church of the Nine Choirs of Angels
The Vienna Am Hof is dominated by the remarkable Early Baroque west facade of the former Jesuit church dedicated to the Nine Choirs of Angels. In 1782 Pius IV pronounced his blessing "Urbi et Orbi" from the balcony above the entrance. It was from the same balcony that Emperor Francis II proclaimed the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation in 1806. The Gothic rectangular church was built in the 14th C., reconstructed in the Baroque style in the 17th C. and provided, probably by Carlo Carlone, with its facade which dominated the square in 1662. Inside, the organ casing is notable, as are the Maulbertsch frescoes (second side chapel on the left), the Lady Chapel altar, and the ceiling paintings by Andrea Pozzo in the Ignatius Chapel.
Fire Brigade and Fire Service Museum
Among the most noteworthy houses around Am Hof is the Märkleinische House, named after its original owner who commissioned it to be built to a design by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. Today it houses the headquarters of the Vienna Fire Brigade and the Fire Service Museum (Feuerwehrmuseum). The development of the Vienna Fire Brigade is brought to life with a display of fire engines, fire-fighting equipment, uniforms, figures, documents and paintings.
Noteworthy Buildings around Am Hof
The former Burghers' Armory (No. 10), built in 1530 and enlarged and extensively rebuilt by Anton Ospel in 1731, is a fine example of Baroque architecture in Vienna. Mattielli's allegorical figures of Strength and Stamina balancing an enormous globe provide the crowning glory of this magnificent facade.The Baroque Urbani House (No. 12) was designed by pupil of Hildebrandt.The Palais Collalto (No. 13) was built in 1680; the facade towards Am Hof was redesigned in 1715 and 1725, the facade on the Schulhof re-fashioned in a classical style in 1804. A tablet on this building commemorates the fact that Mozart made his first public appearance here in 1762.
Map of Vienna Attractions