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 and Gardens

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


Opening Hours

State Rooms:
Accessible only as part of a guided tour
01. July 2020 until 31 October 2020
01. November until 26. March 2021 closed
27. March 2021 until 31 October 2021

Guided Tours: Tue-Sun and public holidays at 10am, 11am, 12 noon, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm (times may vary), extra times by prior appointment. Groups by appointment only.

Alte Galerie, Archaeology Museum and Coin Cabinet:
01. July 2020 to 31. October 2020 Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 5pm open
01. November 2020 to 26. March 2021 closed, but accessible as part of a guided tour by prior appointment until 20 December 2020
27. March 2021 to 31. October 2020 Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 5pm open
01. November 2021 to 31. March 2022 closed, but accessible as part of a guided tour by prior appointment until 19 December 2021
Please contact us: +43-316/8017-9560 or info-eggenberg@museum-joanneum.at

Park and Gardens:
April - October: daily, 8am-7pm
November - March: daily, 8am-5pm

Open in addition:
26. October 2020
05. April 2021
24. May 2021