The hall is devoted to a time, when the Habsburg monarchy’s role was that of a ”European policeman”, trying to keep up the order nationally and internationally. A unique document is the original of the certificate of abdication of Field-Marshall Radetzky. The monumental paintings by Vaclav Sochor give an impressive account of the horrors of the war of 1866.
In 1848, the outbreak of the revolution in the Austrian Empire seemed once again to be the starting point of dissolution. The kingdom Piemont-Sardinia took these happenings as a reason for declaring war on Austria, whereas in Hungary revolutionary forces formed and began to march on Vienna.
On 2 December 1848, Emperor Ferdinand I. renounced the throne for the benefit of his nephew Francis Joseph.
After the victories in Italy and Hungary, the young emperor tried to consolidate the empire by wielding a strict centralist power. However, this was only partly achieved. After some successes, Austria suffered a severe defeat in 1859 against Piemont-Sardina, which was an ally of France. After the battles of Magenta and Solferino, Austria lost Lombardy.
In the year 1864, Austria, together with Prussia, started a war on Denmark over Schleswig-Holstein. Only two years later, Prussia confederated with the kingdom of Italy. Under the command of Archduke Albrecht, the Austrian southern army was victorious at Custozza. The war, however, was decided in the north. A number of unlucky skirmishes resulted in a devastating defeat at Königgrätz. The Peace of Prague led to Austria’s final exclusion from the German Confederation.