The Bertalan Székely Parlour
The upstairs gallery of the Royal Stairs leads to the left side proscenium box salon, called the Bertalan Székely Parlour. Besides the rich oak woodwork, the other main ornament in this room is Bertalan Székely’s Rococo-style frieze entitled The Four Seasons.
When the door to the Bertalan Székely Parlour opens, the visitor’s gaze is immediately drawn to the room’s central piece, the fireplace located across the room. The structure, surrounded by a wrought-iron frame decorated with flower shapes, has actually never been used for heating, as it is set in wood. The ornamental fireplace was carved from Italian oak and is adorned with discrete gilding: it perfectly matches the style of the wood reliefs found around the room.
In addition to the richness of nature, the ornaments also recall the world of art when they form cornucopias brimming with fruit. The mantelpiece proudly displays the ruling family’s coat of arms. According to the family tradition, all Habsburg boys had to choose a craft, in which they would later have to prove their worth.
Franz Joseph I chose to be a carpenter and was a skilled woodworker: legend has it that His Imperial Majesty himself carved the inlayed monogram that can be seen between the sprig of laurel, symbolising glory, and the oak, a reference to time as something that overcomes everything and to respecting our ancestors, all three of which are located within the coat of arms.