The State Rooms at the Winter Palace in Himmelpfortgasse in the first district open to visitors again on October 10, 2013 with an exhibition marking the 350th anniversary of Field Marshall Prince Eugene of Savoy's (1663-1736) birth. Afterwards the palace's Baroque interiors will set the stage for a new chapter in its history as a gallery showing highlights of the Belvedere collection and contemporary oeuvres by leading Austrian and international artists. Works by Valie Export, Maria Lassnig, Arnulf Rainer, Erwin Wurm, Heimo Zobernig, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Markus Schinwald and Gelatin will be on show alongside pieces by major international players such as Damien Hirst, Jan Fabre, Takashi Murakami, Anselm Kiefer, Julian Schnabel, Gerhard Richter and Olafur Eliasson at this new cultural hotspot in an inspiring and historic setting. At the same time as the exhibition at the Winter Palace to mark Prince Eugene's birthday, a special show at the Upper Belvedere will explore the same subject from a slightly different angle.
The famous Austrian military strategist patron of the arts commissioned Austrian Baroque architect Johann Fischer von Erlach to build a mansion house for him in Vienna's Himmelpfortgasse. Opened in 1698, this lavish residential and official building served as the prince's winter residence. Further extensions and adaptations were made by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, who also provided the architectural designs for Prince Eugene's summer residence, the Belvedere palace complex. From 1848 until its complete refurbishment in 2007 the Winter Palace housed the Austrian Ministry of Finance.
The main state rooms at Prince Eugene of Savoy's Winter Palace are the Blue Salon with a ceiling painting by Louis Dorigny, the Red Salon (the former audience chamber) with life-sized portraits of Josef I and Karl VI as well as Prince Eugene on his favorite horse, Prinz, the Magnificent Gold Room with its mirrors and ceiling reliefs, and the Schlachtenbildersaal with seven military scenes painted by Ignace Jacques Parrocel.