April 20th – November 5th 2023, Tue to Sun/public holidays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
(subject to change)

Depictions from past centuries show us children at the imperial court mostly surrounded by pomp and luxury. These representative portraits convey the general cliché of the apparently carefree life of the imperial children in “Cockaigne”. But was it actually? What was everyday life and the upbringing of children at court like and how did their childhood differ from that of the nobility, bourgeoisie or working class?

A look into the imperial children’s chamber reveals the life path of the imperial children, which was predetermined from birth and shows that their life from the earliest days of childhood represented the preparation for a disciplined adult life full of obligations. The parents determined the lives of their children exclusively for political and dynastic reasons, who had to lead a life in the service of the crown and were prepared for this from an early age. The reason for this was by no means a lack of love, but rather political necessity.

But not only imperial children were prepared for their future role from an early age – discipline and fulfillment of duty were also the basics of raising children in bourgeois circles, which were strictly gender-specific. For the boys, this primarily meant preparation for a successful career, for the girls, for their duties as wives and mothers. In order to get the children used to their predetermined life, games and toys were also used in a targeted manner. Boys played with tin soldiers, grocer’s shops or children’s altars, girls with dolls and dollhouses, learned to sew, embroider and crochet. Since even the rare free and play time took place under the watchful eyes of educators and governesses, middle-class children often looked enviously at the supposed freedom and unsupervised “playing” of the “street kids”. In most cases, however, this apparent freedom of the children of the working class meant a life in abject poverty and often in slums.

The exhibition explores the question of what the everyday life of children at court, in aristocratic palaces, in the bourgeois living room, and in the workers’ slums actually looked like. Who raised these children, who were their caregivers and confidants? Despite strict discipline, constant surveillance and child labor, was there still room for carefree play and childish pranks?

The selected exhibits provide a glimpse into the children’s world from the time of Empress Maria Theresia to the end of the monarchy and provide an authentic insight and a lively idea of children’s everyday life in the imperial era.


Regular Entry€ 12,00
Reduced (Pensioners, College Students)€ 9,00
Students (from age 15)€ 7,00
Groups (from 15 Persons)€ 9,00
Family Card€ 24,00
Guided tour by appointment€ 3,50


FREE admission to the exhibition with BURGENLAND CARD

FREE admission to the exhibition with NIEDERÖSTERREICH CARD

10% Reduction for Ö1-Clubmembers

Requests for guided tours:

Duration: approx. 60 minutes

Meeting Point: Foyer in the entrance area of ​​the castle

Price: € 3,50 p.P. from 15 persons, smaller groups charge a flat rate of € 55,00

Method of Payment: Guide fees are payable only in cash and on the spot.

Cancelation and Appointment Changes:
Booked tours can be canceled free of charge up to 3 working days before the appointment. If the cancellation is not timely, 75% of the guide costs will be charged. On the day of the booked tour, a postponement is no longer possible. In case of delay, please call us (+43 2172 8577).

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