Heldenplatz

The Heldenplatz (Hero's square) was built to celebrate the military successes of Austria. Here are the equestrian statues of the great generals. The self-proclaimed "greatest general of all time" Adolf Hitler, declared the annexation of Austria to the "Third Reich" from the balcony of the Imperial Palace.

Alte Hofburg

The "Hofburg" is a complex of many buildings, which was built in 1250 by the Habsburg kings as residence. The center forms the "Reichskanzleitrakt" built in 1730. Today this building is the home of the silver chamber and the "Sisi Museum". The "Swiss Gate" leads from the square into the oldest part of the "Hofburg" and to the treasury, with the famous crown of the "Holy Roman Empire". 

Graben

The "Graben" is the largest shopping street in the center of Vienna. The "Graben" was formerly the ditch of the Roman city wall. In the middle stands the "plague column", also called Trinity Column. The column was commissioned by Emperor Leopold I after the plague epidemic of 1679. The column was designed by the artists Burnacini, Fischer von Erlach and Strudel.  

St. Stephen's Cathedral Vienna

The 136 m high tower of the Cathedral was for a long time the talles building in Vienna. The building of the church started in 1304, the nave was completed in 1455. St. Stephen's Cathedral is the most beautiful Gothic church in Austria. 

Peters Kirche

To Emperor Leopold I the old church of "St. Peter" was ugly. In 1701 he decided to replace the church with a representative new building. In 1722 the building was completed according to plans of Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt. The frescoes are made by the famous Baroque painter Johann Michael Rottmayr

Fiaker

"Fiaker" are horse-drawn carriages that you can book for a tour. The prices are on average between 100-120 € per hour. Stands are at Stephansplatz, Petersplatz, Michaelerplatz and at the Albertina. The name "Fiaker" comes from the French. In Paris, the first hire car company was founded in Rue de Saint Fiacre. 

Spanish Riding School

The entrance to the world famous "Spanish Riding School" is located under the Michaelerkuppel of the Old Hofburg. The riding arts of the Lipizzan are part of the intangible World Heritage of the UNESCO. For program and tickets check the website (link).

Palais Ferstel Passage

The "Palais Ferstel" was built in 1859 as the National Bank, stock exchange, coffee house and shopping arcade. Heinrich von Ferstel was the architect of the ensemble, the name "Palais Ferstel" is the nickname of the building. The National Bank and the Stock Exchange soon moved into their own buildings, the Café Central and the passage with elegant shops remained. 

Burgtheater

The "Burgtheater" is one of the best-known stages in the German-speaking world. The theater was opened in 1888, master builders were Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenauer. Semper also built the famous Opera in Dresden. The "Burgtheater" was founded in 1741 by Maria Theresia in the Hofburg. Don't miss the ceiling paintings by Gustav Klimt. 

Austrian Parliament

The Austrian Parliament was completed in 1884. The Danish architect Theophil Hansen focused on Greece, the origin of democracy. The central part of the parliament is designed like a Greek temple and in front of the building stands the "Pallas Athena" fountain. The building houses the Federal Council and the National Council of Austria. 

Staatsoper

The opening of the State Opera in 1869 was overshadowed by the suicide of the architect Edward van der Nüll. Because the building was lower than the street level, the opera was mocked as "sunken box" and "Waterloo of of architecture". 

Postsparkasse

The "Postsparkasse" by Otto Wagner is a gem of architectural history. From the outside, the building is decorated only by two Art Deco angels by Othmar Schimkowitz, but inside it is pure splendor. The glass courtyard is flooded with light, even the floor is made of glass stones. The combination of glass and metal was unique in 1906. In the "Picture Gallery Vienna" you will find an inside view. 

Inner City sights of Vienna

Neues Rathaus

The New Town Hall was built in 1883 by Friedrich Schmidt, who also worked as a cathedral master builder in Vienna. The main facade is made up of 5 towers, the central tower is 98 m high, with a 5 m tall figure on top. The neo-Gothic town hall has 7 courtyards, the Arkadenhof is used for concerts in summer. 

Votivkirche

The "Votive Church" was initiated as thanksgiving for a failed assassination attempt on Emperor Franz Joseph in 1853. The young architect Heinrich Ferstel was commissioned to build the church. Inaugurated in 1879, the church was designed in the style of French Gothic. The foundation stone was brought from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Inside the church is the marble sarcophagus of Count Niklas Salm, the savior of Vienna of the first Turkish siege in 1529. 

Karlskirche

The monumental "Charles Church" was created in 1713 to thank the Lord for surviving the pest epidemic. The architect of the church was  Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach who previously built the "Universitätskirche" in Salzburg. The fresco of the dome is devoted to the holy Borromeo, who took care of plague diseases victims. 

Otto Wagner houses

Two of the most beautiful Art Nouveau houses by Otto Wagner stand at the "Naschmarkt". The Majolica house (Wienzeile 40) is decorated with colored tiles called majolica. The pink-green flower ornaments are designed by his student Alois Ludwig. Wienzeile 38 impresses with golden ornaments by graphic artist Koloman Moser. The "callers" on the roof are made by Schimkowitz. Both houses were built in 1898. 

Naschmarkt

Even if there is much to eat at the market, the name comes from Aschen (Milk bucket) because here was the milk market. Later the river "Wien" was overbuilt and the market grew. Today you can find restaurants, snack bars and cafes on the "Naschmarkt". On Saturday, a flea market is held at the western end. 

Raimundhof

The Raimundhof connects the "Naschmarkt" via the Stiegengasse with the pedestrian zone of Mariahilfer Straße. The southern entrance is at Windmühlgasse 20, the northern entrance is at Mariahilfer Straße 45. On the way you will come through three courtyards, with small shops, restaurants and cafés. 

Belvedere

The Belvedere was built in 1723 under the rule of Prince Eugene of Savoy. Today the castle houses the best art collection in Austria. Here you will find the famous Art Nouveau works of Gustav Klimt.  

Prater

The "Prater" was an imperial hunting ground until 1766 and still consists mainly of floodplain forests. In 1873 the world exhibition was held here. In 1897 the famous "Riesenrad" (ferris wheel) was opened. 

Hundertwasser House

The painter and hobby architect "Friedensreich Hundertwasser" was allowed to design a residential building for the Viennese construction company. The colorful jumble of windows, bushes, onion like domes and thick-bellied ceramic columns looks like the result of a craft lesson in the kindergarten. Hundertwasser was an opponent of the right angle and protested against the inhumane modern architecture. The "Hundertwasserhaus" was completed in 1985 and was relatively expensive at around € 6 million. The architects Pelikan and Krawina helped Hundertwasser with the execution. 

Donauturm

The 252 m high "Donauturm" is the tallest building in Austria. The viewing platform is located at a height of 150 m. The Viennese television tower was built in 1964 by Prof. Hannes Lintl. The tower is located in the municipal district of Donaustadt and was built on the occasion of the Vienna International Garden Show (WIG 1964). The "WIG '64" was later called "Donaupark". 

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Schloss Schönbrunn

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of "Schönbrunn" was built in 1687 by Leopold I. Maria Theresia transformed the palace intoa imperial summer residence in 1740. The last Emperor of Austria (Karl I) signed here the declaration of renouncement in 1918.

Sights outside the inner city

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Travel Guide Vienna

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