Ballhaus Square, view of the Secret Chancellery. Engraving by I. A. Corvinus.
Ballhausplatz (square in the first district of Vienna), named after the former "Ballhaus" (erected 1741, pulled down 1903), which, like its predecessors, was used for playing ball games introduced in Vienna in 1521 (Badminton). Today one side of the square is occupied by the Federal Chancellery. The building was erected in 1717-1719 by J. L. von Hildebrandt as the "Secret Chancellery". It was the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 1918. On the other side of the square, a wing of the Hofburg Palace houses the Office of the Federal President.
Literature: F. Engel-Jánosi, Geschichte auf dem Ballhausplatz, 1963 (essays); A. Wandruszka and M. Reininghaus, Der Ballhausplatz, 1984.