E253-06 - Forschungsbereich Gestaltungslehre und Entwerfen
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The history of Heldenplatz begins with Vienna’s fortification wall and its surrounding apron called the Glacis. Just behind the walls was the imperial palace known as the Hofburg, the official residence of the Habsburg emperors and that of the Austrian president today. After Napoleon’s forces blew up the Burgbastei in 1809 and left significant portions of the fortifications compromised, Austrian authorities slighted the heavy fortification wall and reduced it to a light curtain wall with a neoclassical entrance gate, the Burgtor, placed at the former site of the Burgbastei. The Burgtor opened onto a new parade square known as Heldenplatz, sandwiched between Volksgarten (Vienna’s first public park) and Hofgarten (the imperial court garden, today’s Burggarten). In 1858, construction began on the Ringstrasse. The most important project along this new boulevard was the Kaiserforum, designed in 1870 by Gottfried Semper for Emperor Franz Joseph I. The Kaiserforum was supposed to occupy all the area between the Hofburg’s baroque Leopoldinischer Trakt (designed by Filiberto Lucchese) and the baroque Hofstallungen (today’s Museumsquartier). Semper’s plan included homes for the Habsburg collections (the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum, both of which opened in 1891) as well as an extension to the Hofburg between Heldenplatz and Burggarten, known as the Neue Burg. The construction of the Neue Burg did not begin until 1881 (10 years later than the museums) and extended into World War I due to high costs and challenges with the foundation...