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A Glimpse of Vienna Court Life

The Imperial Porcelain and Silver Collection, the first stop on the Hofburg Imperial Apartments Tour, allows us regular folk to imagine what court life would have been like during the Hapsburg reign. First up, where a collection of copper baking pans. Beautiful on their own, one could only dream of the sort of elegant concoctions they produced.

The vast silver collection is still used today for state dinners.

Not all court services where stuffy. Many featured whimsical animals and plants, patterns that might be found at Williams-Sonoma or Crate & Barrel today.

The true showpiece was the gold service. Yes, actual gold was used in the plates. They are an incredible sight to behold and worth a fortune.

Now picture walking into a banquet hall with flowers and candles filling this gold and mirrored centerpiece that ran the length of the table.

The royal family even had a specific way to fold the napkin for its official dinners. This was never written down. Rather, it was passed down from servant to servant. Even today, only two people know the secret of the perfect fold.

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