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The Fascinating Story of The Coachman's Residence

From the Villa Malfatti through the VillaTaussig to Today (1830-2018)

The story begins in the 1830's when the Emperor's personal physician built a villa next to the summer palace in the charming village of Hietzing. Sixty five years later Sir Theodor von Taussig had it demolished and constructed an extraordinarily lavish 'castle' in its place. The relatively humble gate house of the Villa Malfatti was replaced by a grand ornamental gate with a porter's lodge on one side and an elaborate carriage house with stables, a coach house and a residence for the head coachman on the other. Beginning in 2013 the carriage house was renovated from top to bottom and is now The Coachman's Residence.

The Malfatti Era (1830 - 1891)

In the neoclassicist period, when the big names of the First Viennese School roamed the city, the emperor's personal physician built a mansion in italian style close to Schönbrunn, overlooking Vienna.

The Villa Malfatti was built around 1830 by Dr. Johann Malfatti of Montereggio. Situated on a large estate in walking distance of Francis II.'s residence, Malfatti's villa is said to have resembled contemporary italian mansions. Back then, Malfatti's estate was the largest privately owned property in Hietzing. His Villa replaced a cottage that had been built in 1780 by Mr. Beert, an Englishman, and had subsequently been owned by the likes of Count Franz Pálffy.

Chopin mentions Malfatti's villa in a letter, rhapsodizing about its beauty. The fountains in the garden, the huge windows in the parlour and the mesmerizing view from the terrace are described with delight and «together with the prevalent esprit and exquisite dinner held us back quite long, only around midnight did we climb the carriages and drive home».

The Taussig Era (1891 - 1931)

Sir Theodor von Taussig, described as the «country's most excellent banker», acquired the estate in 1891 and hired renowned architect Karl König to build a garden palace in the style of the baroque revival architecture.

It is hard to imagine the grandeur of Sir Taussig, governor of one of the largest banks in Austria-Hungary, who had his own palace designed by an architect who gave Vienna the «Haus der Industrie» and the Mozart memorial statue. The Villa Taussig is said to have resembled the Hermesvilla, empress Sissi's «castle of dreams» in the nearby wildlife preserve «Lainzer Tiergarten». The palace had a ballroom, billard room, bowling alley and towers, as romanticized elements of medieval castles, to further enhance the already spectacular view over Vienna.

It was one of the first buildings to feature its own generator (a 25 horsepower Otto engine in the gardener's lodge, opposite our residence) and even had its own water reservoir on top of Küniglberg-hill. The villa was demolished in 1931. Quite why it was so short lived is presently a mystery.

The Coachman's Residence (1931 - 2017)

Originally used as the residence of the head coachman and his assistant, the previous owners enclosed and combined the former carriage parking area with the stables to produce a second living area.

Our residence is part of the former carriage house of the Villa Taussig. It is comprised of a central block and two curved wings. One of these was used as housing for the coachmen and the other was the stables with room for five horses. The central block had a hay storage above and the coach house below. The hayloft's characteristic tower provided the necessary ventilation to keep the hay dry. The coach house had room for two carriages and was used as an automobile garage later on. At the beginning of the 20th century the owners installed pulleys for changing the batteries of their electric cars.

The peculiar shape of the building is due to the form of Sir Taussig's estate, the northeastern end of which the carriage house was situated.