In the Middle Ages Scharfeneck castle served as the center of the domination administration. During the 16th century the castle became increasingly uninhabitable. It was more convenient to move the administration from the castle to the village of Mannersdorf. The manor's seat in Mannersdorf was presumably a complex of farmer buildings (“Meierhof”). In 1705 Christoph Ernst Fuchs Count of Bimbach and Dornheim became the owner of the estate.
In 1710, Count Fuchs married Maria Karolina Countess of Mollard (1675-1754), who was an important person at the Viennese court. Count Christoph Ernst died in 1719, so his widow Maria Karolina inherited the rule of Scharfeneck-Mannersdorf estate. A few years later the countess was also appointed teacher of Archduchess Maria Theresia. In her reign, Countess Fuchs developed a lively building activity, the "farmhouse" or manor in Mannersdorf was converted into a representative baroque palace.
The relationship between Maria Theresia and Mannersdorf is a special one, the origin of this connection due mainly to Countess Fuchs, whose rural palace was best suited for visits by the imperial couple. As a child, Maria Theresia visited Mannersdorf and the Carmelite monastery for the first time in 1727. Further visits followed. In the 1740s, Maria Theresa and her husband, emperor Franz Stephan, came to Mannersdorf several times a year.
The glorious times of 18th century baroque art are still remaining in the main or banqueting hall (Maria-Theresien-Saal), which is located in the central building of the palace. It has a real-life and an illusionistic-picturesque spatial architecture, the ceiling with its fresco is the artistic highlight of the palace. The period of creation and the artist of the frescoes have not been yet completely clarified. The stylistic trace of the fresco leads to Anton Werle and Franz Joseph Wiedon, two lesser-known painters who worked around the great Baroque painter Daniel Gran.
The lower frame-like area of the fresco shows highly interesting landscape depictions and persons from the 18th century. This “realistic world” represents the baroque present at the time of the creation of the fresco. This scenery surrounds a celestial, “over-time world” with ancient gods. The middle of this scene is taken by Apollo, who is riding over the heavenly ground on a golden carriage. He is surrounded by women, which may represent the muses of the arts and the allegories of the four seasons.
Opening times of the Maria-Theresien-Saal (main hall)
All-season, Sunday 14:00-16:00
Entrance via Edmund-Adler-Galerie