One feature of the Eggenberg cycle is the extensive series of emblems woven into the programme of paintings for the ceilings. Emblems are witty ‘visual puzzles’, consisting of an image (pictura) and a motto (lemma). They were intended to convey concepts, preferably in an encoded and erudite manner, and were popular as educational tools in the 17th century.

The Eggenberg emblems were, in large part, taken from a widely disseminated tract on the education of aristocratic youth: Diego Saavedras, Idea principis christiano-politici (Brussels, 1649). Don Diego Saavedra Faxardo was a knight of the Order of St. James of the Sword, imperial privy councillor and ambassador to the Peace of Westphalia at Münster, as well as to the Imperial Diet, the imperial election of Ferdinand III and to two papal elections. In the preface to his Idea, he also makes reference to his wide experience in this field. This book would go on to be used everywhere where Spanish etiquette was valued as a means of educating young princes.


A lion sleeping with open eyes

NON MAIESTATE SECURUS   (Safety is not in majesty alone)

The vigilance of a prince


A ruler must never allow himself to be lulled into a false sense of security. Like the lion, he must always sleep with one eye open.

A candle burning

ALIIS IN SERVIENDO CONSUMOR (Consumed in the service of others)



In the same way that a burning candle consumes itself, a good ruler should sacrifice himself for the good of his people.

A cracked bell

EX PULSU NOSCITUR  (It is known by the sound)

The nature of a prince is revealed in his words


Princes, whose statements carry particular force, should weigh their words in the balance and pay attention to every one of their utterances.

Lightning striking a mountain top

IOVI ET FULMINI (Nearer to Jupiter and his thunder bolts)

Danger in the proximity of persons of high rank


As the highest height, a mountain is proud and cares not for the valleys. But the valleys do not envy its position. It, most of all, is subject to storms and lightning.

All court officials and servants feel this way when in the presence of a ruler.

A harp surmounted by a crown

MAIORA MINORIBUS CONSONANT  (The greater are in harmony with the smaller)

The harmony of the body politic


The body politic is like a harp – the mind guides it, various fingers issue orders and the strings are the inhabitants. All must be in harmony with the common good. To play the harp well takes a great deal of practice and experience.

Schloss Eggenberg

Eggenberger Allee 90
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9560 und -9532


Opening Hours

The state rooms
April to October, exceptions may apply

Guided Tours: Tue-Sun, public holidays at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm, from May to September additionally at 5pm or by prior appointment .

Park and Gardens
15 March to 31 October daily from 8am - 7pm
1 November to 14 March daily from 8am - 5pm

Alte Galerie, Archaeology Museum and Coin Cabinet
April to October Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm 
1 November to 17 December admission only with guided tour by prior appointment

Please contact us: +43-316/8017-9560
or info-eggenberg@museum-joanneum.at