Dietmayrsaal

During the renovation of the south wing (1726), a small banqueting hall was built in the south-east corner of the imperial passage to accommodate imperial visits. It features heavy, probably early Baroque ceiling decorations (festoons, rocaille, rosettes and lattice patterns). The frescoes set into the ceiling were painted by the Abbey’s own painter, Johann Georg Waibl; they depict monochrome allegories of Emperor Charles VI’s idealistic claim to global rulership: in the centre of the ceiling, genii flank a globe under the eyes of God. A sceptre symbolises Austria, genii carry insignia of power, including the crowns of the various provinces.

The corner medallions are decorated with personifications of the four continents then known. Under the cornice are the stars from the coat of arms of Abbot Berthold Dietmayr, who commissioned the building. On the south wall (with the windows), the political programme is augmented by the fresco decorations under the window embrasures: above the four cardinal virtues, a medallion of Charles VI, King Solomon before the Queen of Sheba and female figures symbolising prosperity (with caduceus and cornucopia) and fame (with laurel wreath and palm leaves).

These decorations were later painted over and were only discovered to great surprise during the restorations of 1979–1980. This grand room was transformed into a theatre in 1764; there had been an older theatre in the Coloman Hall. Ornamental pilaster strips and capitals on the walls are probably by Johann Bergl, who in 1768 was working on the design of the theatre hall. His decorations were later removed, and only a few remnants of further decorative painting by Bergl were found during the restoration.

The small room to the east is separated from the theatre hall by a column; it has decorated window reveals (morning, midday, evening and night). Originally, the upper floor probably opened into the hall, as a theatre box or a space for the orchestra. 

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