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Heinrich von Ferstel

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This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (April 2010) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 6,483 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Heinrich von Ferstel]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Heinrich von Ferstel)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Heinrich von Ferstel
Lithograph by August Anton Schubert (circa 1880)
Johann Heinrich Ferstel

(1828-07-07)7 July 1828
Died14 July 1883(1883-07-14) (aged 55)
Grinzing (present-day Vienna)
Spouse(s)Lotte Ferstel née Fehlmann
ChildrenMax von Ferstel, Marianne von Ferstel

Freiherr Heinrich von Ferstel (7 July 1828 – 14 July 1883) was an Austrian architect and professor, who played a vital role in building late 19th-century Vienna.


Votivkirche, Vienna
Votivkirche, Vienna

The son of Ignaz Ferstel (1796–1866), a bank clerk and later director of the Austrian national bank in Prague, Heinrich Ferstel, after wavering for some time between the different arts, finally decided on architecture. From 1847 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna under Eduard van der Nüll and August Sicard von Sicardsburg. After several years during which he was in disrepute because of his part in the 1848 Revolution, he finished his studies in 1850 and entered the atelier of his uncle, Friedrich August von Stache,[1] where he worked at the votive altar for the chapel of St. Barbara in St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna and co-operated in the restoration and construction of many castles, chiefly in Bohemia. Journeys of some length into Germany, Belgium, Holland, and England confirmed him in his tendency towards Romanticism. It was in Italy, however, where he was sent as a bursar in 1854, that he was converted to the Renaissance style of architecture, and his admiration for Bramante. He began to use of polychromy by means of Graffito decoration and terracotta. This device, adapted from the Early Renaissance and intended to convey a fuller sense of life, he employed later in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

While still in Italy he was awarded the prize in the competition for the Votive Church (Votivkirche) in Vienna (1855) over 74 contestants. He built it between 1856-79. After his death it was proposed by Sir Tatton Sykes as a model for the new Westminster Cathedral in London.[2] Another of Ferstel's monumental works belonging to the same period is the Austro-Hungarian bank in Vienna, in the style of the Early Renaissance (1856–60). Designing public buildings in the inner city and Ringstrasse area, the expansion of the city of Vienna enabled Ferstel, with Rudolf Eitelberger, to develop civic architecture along artistic lines (Burgomaster's residence, Stock Exchange 1859). At the same time he had also the opportunity of putting his ideas into practice in a number of private dwellings and villas in Brünn and Vienna.

The more important buildings designed during his later years (passing over the churches at Schonau near Teplitz, really products of his earlier activity) are the palace of Archduke Ludwig Victor, his winter palace in Klessheim, the palace of Prince Johann II of Liechtenstein in the Rossau near Vienna, the palace of the Austro-Hungarian Lloyd's, in Trieste, but above all the Austrian Museum for Applied Art (completed in 1871), with its imposing arcaded court. Next comes the University of Vienna (1871–84). He was also an author of the project of the reconstruction in the Neo-Gothic style the evangelical Church's of Saviour in Bielsko (1881–1882). Through a technical error his design for the Berlin Reichstag building received no award. In 1866 Ferstel was appointed professor at the Polytechnic School, in 1871 chief government inspector of public works and in 1879 was raised to the rank of Freiherr.


  1. ^ "www.archipicture.eu - Heinrich von Ferstel". www.archipicture.eu. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  2. ^ Norbert Wibiral; Nikolaus Pevsner (1977). "A Westminster Cathedral Episode". Architectural History. Architectural History, Vol. 20. 20: 63–64, 100–101. doi:10.2307/1568352. JSTOR 1568352.


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