Franz Moritz von Lacy (1725-1801) was an Austrian field marshal who served under empress Maria Theresa, and later became an adviser to emperor Josef II (her son). Because of his services, Lacy was made a count of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1765 von Lacy acquired the Schloss Neuwaldegg, next to the small village of Neuwaldegg in the hills a few kilometers west of Vienna, now part of the city’s 17th district. He had some major renovations done to this palace, which had originally been built in 1537 and then rebuilt in 1692-1697.
In the forest behind the palace, von Lacy had a large landscaped nature park constructed, including several statues and other ornaments. Today the park is a public recreation area known as the Schwarzenbergpark, after the family who came into possession of the palace and gardens after von Lacy’s death.
Further up into the forest, on top of one of the hills, von Lacy also had a small “recreation village” built where he hosted and entertained his guests. Originally there were 17 huts made of wood and hay. Later some stone buildings were added as well, and the place became known as “Hameau” (little village).
Count von Lacy died on 24 November 1801. He was buried in a small mausoleum he had built for himself inside his nature park. It is still there today.
It is possible to visit all of these sites along a nice walk through the Schwarzenbergpark. To get there, take tram 43 from the Schottentor tram/metro station (central Vienna) to Neuwaldegg (final stop). From there it is a short walk past Schloss Neuwaldegg to the entrance of the Schwarzenbergpark.
Once inside the park, follow the Schwarzenbergallee through the pillars and all the way to the end, from where a hiking trail (yellow markings) continues up to Hameau. An alternative trail goes back down to the Schwarzenbergpark, leading to von Lacy’s tomb. From there, return to the Schwarzenbergallee and follow it back to the palace and tram stop.