Klessheim pleasure palace lies four kilometers west of the city center, enchanting visitors with its baroque architecture as well as unique gardens. Originally built as a peaceful retreat for the prince-archbishop, today it is the home of Casino Salzburg.
At the same site as the palace we know today, there once stood a small stately home, known as the “Kleshof”. This was purchased by Archbishop Johann Ernst Graf Thun in the year 1690, construction soon beginning of a pleasure palace to be known as the “Favorita”, according to plans drawn up by renowned architect Fischer von Erlach. However, Prince-Archbishop Thun died in 1709 and work on the palace came to a halt. It was not until the reign of Prince-Archbishop Leopold Anton von Firmian, who also had Schloss Leopoldskron built, that Schloss Klessheim was completed.
A pleasure palace in the truest sense
The exterior of Schloss Klessheim captivates above all with its gardens and the magnificent Triton Fountain. The plinths at the top of the main driveway are decorated with recumbent stags, their antlers studded with golden stars invoking the official crest of Prince-Archbishop Firmian himself. Aside from the baroque entranceway and the staircase, the grand banquet hall with its high dome and various examples of stuccowork is particularly worthy of note.
During the period of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the palace was owned by Archduke Ludwig Viktor. He commissioned architect Heinrich von Ferstel to build a winter palace, that would become known as the “Kavalierhaus”. The Kavalierhaus and the main palace are connected by a tree-lined avenue. The spacious gardens feature a high wall as well as 11 small guardhouses. The visual division of the grounds into the Meierhofgarten, the “Ornamental Garden” and the “Pheasant Garden” was achieved by means of wall which stands to this day.
Schloss Klessheim in recent history
During the days of the Third Reich, Schloss Klessheim was the site of numerous parades and displays of weaponry. After the Allies’ victory, it became the headquarters of the military authorities. Since 1993, Casino Salzburg has resided in the magnificent rooms of Schloss Klessheim. Guests are captivated by the special flair of the casino, its unique interplay of baroque art and the modern world of “games of chance”.
The Casino Salzburg is barrier-free accessible.