There are many sights of the city of Vienna around Heldenplatz (Heroes Square). The square is located between the medieval old town and Vienna's Ringstrasse. A bastion of the city wall used to stand here, which was blown up by Napoleon. The Neue Burg (New Castle) was built on the vacant property. The New Castle was part of the Imperial Forum, which was only partially realized. The concave structure with a triumphal arch-like middle section was designed by Gottfried Semper and built by Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer. This building would have been mirrored for the Kaiserforum, so that a huge square would have been created.
Heldenplatz was built to celebrate Austria's military successes. Here are the equestrian statues of the great generals Prince Eugene and Archduke Carl. The self-proclaimed "greatest general of all times" Adolf Hitler announced the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany from the balcony of the Neue Burg (photo).
The "Hofburg" limits Heldenplatz to the north. The "Hofburg" is a complex of many buildings that was built as residence by the Habsburgs from 1250 onwards. The center is the Reich Chancellery Wing (photo) from 1730, which today houses the Silver Chamber and the Sisi Museum. The "Swiss Gate" leads from the square to the oldest part of the Hofburg and to the Imperial Treasury with the crown of the "Holy Roman Empire". The Vienna Hofburg is a huge complex from which Austria is still ruled. Today it is the official residence of the Federal President. Due to the many museums, churches and the winter riding school, the Hofburg is also one of the greatest tourist attractions of Vienna.
St. Stephen's Cathedral is the most famous church in the city. The 136 m high southern tower called "Steffl" is the landmark of Vienna. The Gothic church was built from 1304 onward. The late Romanesque pagan towers from 1230 at the main entrance were integrated into the new building. The nave was completed in 1455. The north tower was never completed, but here hangs the "Pummerin", a bell that was cast from the cannons of the Turks who tried to conquer Vienna in 1683. In the interior, the "Pilgrams Pulpit" and the high altar by Tobias Pock are worth seeing.
The Spanish Riding School is one of the main tourist attractions of Vienna. The entrance to the world famous 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
The New Vienna City Hall (german Neues Rathaus) 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.
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.
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.
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.
Even if there is much to eat at the market, the name comes from Aschen (Milk bucket) because here was the milk market of Vienna. Later the river "Wien" was overbuilt and the market grew. Today you can find restaurants, snack bars and cafes on the "Naschmarkt". On Saturdays, a flea market is held at the western end.
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.
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.
Welcome to Vienna
The capital of Austria still draws on the great past of the imperial and royal monarchies of Austria and Hungary. The cityscape of Vienna is still shaped by magnificent buildings from the time of Sissi and Emperor Franz Joseph. But Vienna is much more than the past glory from the k. u. k. Monarchy. Vienna is also known for Art Nouveau, the Opera Ball, the Lipizzaner, the Boys' Choir, Sachertorte, coffee houses, the Prater and Wiener Schnitzel.
But Vienna is also a modern cosmopolitan city with over 1.8 million inhabitants. On the Danube Island more and more skyscrapers are rising into the Vienna sky.
Where can you get the best Schnitzel in Vienna?
You often hear the question, but tastes are different and the atmosphere is also important. If a restaurant is chosen as the best restaurant for Wiener Schnitzel, the cosiness is gone.
Restaurants known for great schnitzel's are:
Figlmüller (Bäckerstraße 6)
Müllerbeisel (Seilerstätte 15)
Steireck (Im Stadtpark)