A Secret Palace – Finding Hidden Beauty Part VIII

What is behind this door?

Door to...

Let’s find out…

Inside the Palais


The Palais Ferstel is a palace in Vienna’s inner city, but you have to go looking for it. When walking along Herrengasse, it doesn’t loudly announce itself (it does do that on Freyung though, were the main entrance of the buiding is located).


fountain detail

All you see is here is a dark-grey wall and tall windows – and an intricate wooden door. Open it and the gorgeous arcades, the fountain and the glass ceiling inside are there to enchant you.

I’ve passed by thousands of times, but never went in. I’m glad I did now.

view upwards

We are lucky in this city to be surrounded by awe-inspiring beauty behind (almost) every door.

Are there secret doors where you live? What would you like to find behind them?

Photos are mine.

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56 Responses to A Secret Palace – Finding Hidden Beauty Part VIII

  1. Sandra says:

    One of my favorite places in Vienna! I can get chocolates from around the world including allergy free there. A new French restaurant has opened up which is delicious. I love your beautiful photos!

  2. Tatiana says:

    Vienna is such a beautiful city with amazing architecture. I hope to be able to visit some day. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

  3. Jordan River says:

    Behind a door like that I would like to find a Perfumeland Convention.

  4. Undina says:

    Vienna is one of my favorite cities.

  5. brie says:

    I have been to Europe many times over yet never to Vienna…..absolutely stunning pictures and I am longing to be there! One of these days 🙂 !!!!

  6. poodle says:

    Pretty place. I don’t know of any secret doors where I live. I guess that’s because they’re secret. More likely, there just aren’t any around here. Vienna seems way more interesting than where I live.

  7. masha7 says:

    We have no secret doors here, unless you count the beach, which is a door to the mysterious ocean. The towns here are just too new to have any patina but salt-spray crust and rust. However, there is a little divey hole-in-the-wall place nearby which looks so scruffy you’d think the Health Department would have condemned it. But inside (equally scruffy decor), they’ve got the best Italian food south of NYC! Of course, if you go to Orlando, you can find Faux European at Epcot, but that’s just kinda surreal….

  8. anatu13 says:

    Ah, yes…I believe I have several bookshelves full of secret doors…

  9. Tara says:

    I will never tire of pics of Vienna. What a wonderful place to live. I’m sure London has it’s fair share of secret doors. Finding a secluded garden behind one is what I’d like to find.

    We also have some beautiful arcades like the one you’ve photographed, such as Burlington Arcade and those in the Covent Garden Market Building. They make shopping a real pleasure, especially as they are home to Penhaligon’s and L’Artisan Parfumeur respectively.

  10. Thank you so much for showing what is behind that door! All of this enchantment and a gourmet chocolate shop? Swoon!!

  11. Dear, the Palais Ferstel is a hidden gem I entered it by chance. I remember the chocolate shop in it, but I think it was closed at the time of my visit.
    Vienna is, together with Rome, my favorite city in the world, but you already knew that.


  12. Here in Clemson there are no secret beauties hidden behind closed doors. There is one small church that is charming – Saint Andrew’s Catholic; the other lovely ones have burned or been torn down. The town with many enclosed beautiful spaces is in New Orleans with courtyards not visible from the street.

  13. Lady Jane Grey says:

    The little fountain in that passage is one of my favourites in whole Vienna (not to mention the chocolate shop… 😉 )

  14. Bee says:

    thank you for this series of hidden beauties of Vienna, I will keep my eyes open for them the next time I’m there again!

  15. Cookie Queen says:

    In Gmunden-am-Traunsee is a very small Jewish Cemetery. It is next to, attached by a wall actually, to the main large cemetery. It has it´s own gated entrance, which one needs a key for.
    Otherwise it is not open to the public. I have been caring for it over the last few years. The majority of people do not know that it is there. It is definitely a hidden beauty. Very peaceful and very poignant . Lg. xxxx

  16. Vanessa says:

    Love the fountain! Especially illuminated at night.

    In that arcade I would wish to find a tea room (can you have too many?) As for secret doors where I live, the only one I can think of that never opens (as opposed to certain days of the week, like our magnificent 11th C church, St Chad’s), is the door of the Masonic Hall. And there are one or two other doors that I have my suspicions about in the personal services sphere, if you know what I mean…. : – )

  17. Suzanne says:

    Birgit, I love that mermaid fountain!!! And the vaulted ceilings, too.

    There are no secret doors like that where I live (no architecture I would describe as being grand). But there are many places I would describe as being artsy and interesting, and your post reminds me to get out and explore them.

  18. Alice says:

    what an amazing place – I’ve been to Vienna once, but did’t see this – maybe next time.
    I can’t think of a secret door, but I have a secret garden (in Regents park) that I love!

  19. How gorgeous! I feel like there are hidden pockets of beauty everywhere, but they are especially breathtaking in Europe.

  20. Pingback: The Doctor who married a Perfumista in Vienna | The Fragrant Man

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