Ballhausplatz is a square in central Vienna containing the building (with the address Ballhausplatz 2) that for over two hundred years has been the official residence of the most senior Austrian Cabinet Minister, the State Chancellor, today the Chancellor of Austria (Prime Minister). As a result, Ballhausplatz is often used as shorthand for the Austrian Federal Chancellery. Until 1918 the Foreign Ministry of Austria-Hungary was also housed here. Similar to Downing Street or the Quai d'Orsay, the word Ballhausplatz (or Ballplatz for short) is a synecdoche for the seat of power.
Ballhausplatz is located in the first district Innere Stadt in central Vienna, a few minutes' walk from the Austrian Parliament Building and on the edge of the grounds of Hofburg Imperial Palace. Until 1754 the square itself did not exist, as an imperial hospital was located there. Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor erected a real tennis house there, the Ballhaus (ball house). Later the building was used for the Imperial Court Construction Office (Hofbauamt). At the end of the 18th century the Ballhaus was ripped down.
Memorial for the Victims of Nazi Military Justice:
In 2011, Vienna decided to honour Austrian Wehrmacht deserters. On 24 October 2014, a Memorial for the Victims of Nazi Military Justice was inaugurated on the Ballhausplatz by Austria's President Heinz Fischer. The monument was created by German artist Olaf Nicolai and is located opposite the President's office and the Austrian Chancellery. The inscription on top of the three-step sculpture features a poem by Scottish poet, Ian Hamilton Finlay (1924-2006), made up of just two words: all alone.