Villa Swoboda (aka Casa Austria)

The Villa Swoboda is a 19th century Gründerzeit villa that was built by Karl Stattler. It is situated in the Keltenallee in Salzburg, near the palace of Hellbrunn and the border to Anif. It is known as the residence of Karl Habsburg-Lothringen, who would be the legitimate successor to the Austrian throne (if there hadn′t been a few changes in regimes since 1919).

The site where the Villa Swoboda can be found was originally agricultural land and as part of the Mayrhofergut, one of the biggest farms of Anif. Like most arable land in the area, it belonged to the bishops of Chiemsee. In the late 19th century, the farm got into financial problems and had to sell land. A dealer of pharmaceuticals from Vienna, a certain Wilhelm Swoboda, purchased several thousand square metres including the farmhouse in 1866.

He had the land developed into an English-style landscape garden und hired the architect Karl Sattler to built a palatial Gründerzeit Villa in the middle of it. It was completed in 1869. The story goes that a few years later, when Crown Prince Rudolf got married to Princess Stephanie of Belgium, they spent the first night at Schloss Laxenburg near Vienna. Supposedly, the princess complained about the frugal interiors there and in order to avoid future complaints, the Villa Swoboda was rented for a subsequent honeymoon stay in Salzburg.

In 1904, the Villa Swoboda was sold to Sophie Gräfin Arco-Steppberg. She also owned the nearby Wasserschloss Anif; to complete the collection, she bought the Mayerhofergut in 1910. She was married to the Bavarian nobleman Graf Ernst von Moy de Sons, whose nephew Johannes Graf von Moy became the manager and later owner of these properties. In the 1990ies, he renovated the Villa Swoboda and let it to Karl Habsburg-Lothringen, who lives there with his family. His adoptive son, the current Count of Moy, owns also the nearby Montforterhof, by the way.

Further Reading
Wikipedia on Karl Habsburg
Villa Swoboda/Casa Austria on SalzburgWiki (German, with pic)

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