The Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family is under the auspices of the Archbishop of Vienna and is part of an ecclesiastical foundation. The House was established on New Year's Eve, 1855 as a pilgrims' hostel and is the oldest of its kind in the Holy Land. Since its official opening in 1863 we have viewed the institution as Austria's cultural emissary in the Orient.
Space is given to contemporary art and music in the framework of exhibitions and concerts. The Austrian Hospice considers itself a meeting ground for different cultures within the realm of art.
"A Fantastic Classicism" greets you in the salon on the first floor of the House. Austrian masters F. Eichele and J. Kaltenbach are responsible for the decorative design on the side walls. Four biblical scenes executed by an unknown wandering artist adorn the ceiling. Austrian art and culture are made accessible to interested visitors and locals in the form of concerts, exhibitions and lectures.
Modern art can be found on the second floor of the House where Professor Herwig Zens of the Viennese Academy of Creative Arts has depicted the Stations of the Cross in 14 paintings. Zens created this cycle in the years 1992 and 1993 and drew considerable inspiration from being in such close proximity to the actual scene of events. The works are on permanent loan to the Austrian Hospice courtesy of the artist.
Dialogue between cultures and religions and a deeper understanding of the Other have become increasingly important in our times. In this context we also invite Israeli artists - Jewish as well as Palestinian (Muslim and Christian) - to exhibit their works with us. We want to be seen and known as a meeting ground. Our location is our vocation: On the Via Dolorosa, en route to the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple, the Muslim Haram ash-Sharif and its Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, the dialogue between cultures should be nurtured and fostered.