Villa Kast

The Villa Kast is a neo-Classicist building in a very prominent location, a literally outstanding building at the flanks of the Mirabell Palace. It was built in the late 19th century by Maximilian Karl Graf O′Donnell, the man who became famous for preventing the assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1853. As a sign of gratitude, he was granted the privilege to build a villa right at the Mirabell Garden. The Kast Villa was erected soon after the attempted assassination with funds directly from the grateful Emperor.

Maximilian Karl became Count O′Donnell and remained in the service of the Emperor, serving as personal attaché beyond his retirement. He was also granted the privilege to carry the Habsburg family crest in his own coat of arms. He later got married to Clotilde Gräfin Hardegg, for whom he bought and modernised the Lürzerhof in the district Lehen. O′Donnell died in the Kast Villa and was buried at the Kommunalfriedhof.

Today, the Kast Villa is property of the Mayr-Melnhof family, itself a line that descends from nobility. Since the 1990ies, the villa is the headquarter of the art gallery Thaddaeus Ropacs. It was renovated rather recently and comes with 800 square metres of exhibition space. Unfortunately, the building doesn′t blend in very well with the surrounding structures.

This was partly improved with the construction of the new Mozarteum, but the madness of the Neustadt construction in the late 19th century could not be fully neutralised. The Kast Villa is not open to sightseeing in the strict sense of the word, but the gallery is of course accessible during its opening hours.

Further Reading
Villa Kast on SalzburgWiki (German, but with pictures)
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, in Villa Kast

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