The Anif Palace also know as water palace Anif stands beside an artificial pond within the Austrian county of Anif at the southern edge of the city of Salzburg. Anif is most famous for its use in several movies including; The Sound of Music and Frederick Forsyth's The Odessa File.
Its origins cannot be exactly dated but there is a document from around 1520 showing that a palace called Oberweiher existing at the this location. Its owner was the dominion directory bailiff Lienhart Praunecker.
From 1530 the water palace is mentioned regularly as a fief given by the respective Archbishop of Salzburg. In this way it was given to the bishops of Chiemsee after a restoration by Johann Ernst von Thun in 1693 who from then on used it as a summer residence.
When Salzburg fell to Austria in 1806, the palace and the pond came into public ownership. Although the palace was leased from that point on, the respective users did not undertake any rebuilding or restoring measures worth mentioning.
This changed when the property was sold to Alois Count Arco-Stepperg in 1837. He rebuild Anif palace between 1838 and 1848 in new Gothic romanticizing style and gave it its present day look. Up to that time, the palace had simply consisted of a plain, four-story dwelling and a two-story connecting building to a chapel.
After the death of the Count in 1891 the property fell to his nearest female relative Sophie who was married to the Count Ernst von Moy de Sons and therefore the palace ended up in the hands of his old, French noble family.
In 1918, the palace attracted the public attention when King Ludwig III of Bavaria and his family and entourage fled to escape the November Revolution. With the Declaration of Anif on the 12/13 November 1918, Ludwig III refused to abdicate, however, freed all Bavarian government officials, soldiers and officers from their oath because he was not able to continue the government.
During the World War II German Wehrmacht units were accommodated in the palace, followed by American units in 1945.