The Second Republic

Reconstruction of the main entrance
Reconstruction of the main entrance

The facade of the Baroque palace on Ballhausplatz was quickly restored, with work finishing in April 1946, while the rebuilding of the interior was completed in November 1950.

Karl Renner moved into the building on Ballhausplatz in 1945 as provisional chancellor. In the same year, Leopold Figl was elected Federal Chancellor and Karl Renner Federal President.

Christmas 1945 at the Federal Chancellery
Christmas 1945 at the Federal Chancellery with the newly elected Federal Chancellor Leopold Figl.

In 1946, Renner moved his office to the Leopoldine Wing of the Hofburg to signal the Federal Presidency’s political distance from the Federal Chancellor.

The foreign policy portfolio that had long been dealt with in the building on Ballhausplatz 2 was in 1959 again assigned to a separate Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a few years ago finally moved out to Minoritenplatz 8.

Signing of the Marshall Plan Agreement in the Federal Chancellery
Signing of the Marshall Plan Agreement in the Cabinet Room of the Federal Chancellery on 2 July 1948 (John Erhardt representing the United States, Austrian Vice-Chancellor Adolf Schärf and Foreign Minister Karl Gruber)

The following years of the Second Republic were a period of continuing reconstruction during which "The Ballhausplatz" increasingly developed into the political decision-making centre of the Republic. From 1945 to 1966, political developments were shaped by the "Grand Coalition" between the ÖVP (Österreichische Volkspartei) and SPÖ (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs). Thereafter there was a single-party government led by Josef Klaus of the ÖVP and from 1970 to 1983 a series of SPÖ single-party governments under Bruno Kreisky.

The Federal Chancellery is also home to other departments, both ministries and state secretariats. Thus in 1979, for example, the Federal Chancellery was the location of the Secretariat for Women’s Affairs, which was later elevated to the status of a federal ministry.

The administrative rooms are no longer limited to the building on Ballhausplatz 2. For example they extend to parts of the adjacent Hofburg, as well as to the Palais Dietrichstein on Minoritenplatz and the Palais Porcia (Herrengasse).

In 1983 a new administrative building for the Ministry of Internal Affairs was established at Minoritenplatz. The small narrow road which was thus created between Ballhausplatz and Minoritenplatz was named Bruno Kreisky Gasse after the Second Republic’s longest-serving federal chancellor.