Fleischmarkt 18, 1010 Vienna
Laws and contracts for free exercise of religions and against censorship confirm civil rights.
“Perishable is this house, but never Joseph’s posthumous reputation. He gave us tolerance, it gave immortality.”
On Fleischmarkt number 18 a banner reminds one of the Tolerance Edicts published between 1781 and 1785 of emperor Joseph II (1741-1790), who strived for enlightenment and whose tolerance legislation, as well as other measures to strengthen the social and political peace in the sense of emancipation, had an effect over and beyond his empire.
The separation of state and church, the elimination of torture and the death penalty, as well as the free practicing of religions other than the Christian catholic and the lessening of up to then strong censorship were his early liberal drafts. Later Joseph’s nephew, Emperor Franz, contrary to his uncle, was anxious to again suppress the striving forces of liberal views. His policy of devastating wars was the attempt to reinstate the order of the old world again that was threatened by the French Revolution and by Napoleon Bonaparte with his political ideas.