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The Riesenrad - Vienna

The Riesenrad

Vienna's Prater Prater Park Review

The Prater in Vienna is possibly the largest park within the city of Vienna (6.143.984 square metres) and is where the Viennese go for recreation. Today it is a place to enjoy the Danube, the Prater's many attractions, and a bit of Vienna's wilder side (reference to it's past as a former hunting ground).

The Prater in Vienna was first mentioned in a document as natural preserve in 1403. The Volksprater is one of the oldest leisure parks in Europe. Three major but very distinct parts have always made the Prater something very special: the Grüner Prater park with a large number of sports facilities, the Volksprater with its many attractions, and the area utilized commercially.

In April 1766, Joseph II opened the Prater for the Viennese citizens, and it became a recreational area with restaurants and cafés. In particular the cafés with their culinary and artistic offerings attracted large crowds of people. For centuries the Prater used to be one of the main culinary meeting places in Vienna but has almost lost that importance today. From the mid-18th century through today, the Volksprater, has been a major meeting point with cultural events, vaudeville shows, concerts, theatre plays, liesurely strolls, and good food for the Viennese. The first and only World Exhibition in Vienna took place at the Prater in 1873.

In 1897, the Riesenrad or Ferris Wheel (might be the oldest in the world) and the roller coaster were established in the Volksprater which has always followed the latest trends and fashions and responded to public taste. The Riesenrad is 65m high and weighs nearly 430 metric tonnes with all its steel. It rotates ever so slowly allowing passengers plenty of time to enjoy the view from the top. The amusement park is filled with all sorts of rides, gaming booths, and food vendors. A fun time for all! No entrance fee is required, you only pay for the rides you decide to try out. The hours of operation for the Riesenrad and for the park itself continue until quite late.

Address: Wiener Praterverband, Prater 9, 1020 Wien

Directions: In 2008, three new subway (U-bahn) stops will connect the Prater with the city's underground.
Otherwise follow the Danube River past the 1st district and you'll find the park just south of the city center.

Other Contact: info@wiener-prater.at

Phone: Tel: 728-05-16

Website: http://www.prater.at/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 7, 2007
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Winter at the Rathaus! - Vienna

Winter at the Rathaus!

Vienna's Rathaus Neues Rathaus Review

The City Hall (Rathaus in German) is one of many splendid (architecturally speaking) buildings in Vienna. It was built in a neo-Gothic style, with towers similar to gothic cathedrals, by Friedriech von Schimdt between 1872 and 1883. This 321 feet building is the most important secular work of this style in the city.

Today the City Hall is the head office of Vienna's municipal administration including the office of the mayor of the city of Vienna, that of the governor of the province of Vienna, the assembly and the city council. More than 2000 people work in the building. Visitors are impressed by the wonderful appointments of the state rooms, which often provide an atmospheric backdrop to various events such as press conferences, concerts, meetings, or balls. Inside the Rathaus you can also visit the Rathaus tower (steeple) with it's 331 stairs and sitting atop the tower is the Rathausmann (statue of a medieval knight).

The Rathaus also houses a small park known as the Rathauspark. Rathauspark was intended as a city park for Viennese residents. The square is used year round for various events, such as the traditional Christkindlmarkt, new year's eve festivities, some of the best ice-skating (starting in January), and summer cinema. The park derives much of its character from the highly varied selection of vegetation, some of which is exotic.

Guided tours are available.

Address: Rathaus, A-1082 Wien

Directions: The old part of Vienna inside the Ringstrasse

Other Contact: z-sti@bue.magwien.gv.at

Phone: (+43 1) 525 50

Website: http://www.wien.gv.at/english/cityhall/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 7, 2007
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seamandrew

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