Vienna City Hall: how to get what to see, photo and history
The town hall can be found in almost any European city, and Vienna is no exception. The Viennese town hall is one of the centers of social life of the townspeople, the workplace of the mayor's office and city parliament and an interesting landmark.
The most interesting thing is that any tourist can go inside as part of the tour or just so, see the interior of the building and all this for free. Also near the Town Hall Vienna organize festivals, concerts and other events. About everything in order.
The first thing you should pay attention to is the appearance of the building. It seems that the building is already several hundred years old, especially when it's getting dark, and the backlight is not yet on (in the photo on the right). In fact, it was built in 1883.
The town hall is made in the Neo-Gothic style, that's why it makes such an impression. In the classical Gothic style, for example, St. Stephen's Cathedral was built, and the Viennese town hall features milder and more rounded forms.
In the Viennese town hall you can find several architectural styles. The courtyards of the building are made in the Baroque style, following the example of palaces, for example, the famous Belvedere .
In 1865, a city wall was demolished in Vienna, and a city ring road was formed along which construction of new buildings began. This ring is now an interesting tourist route, it is called the "ring". If you ride along it, you can also see the buildings of the Vienna State Opera, Parliament, University of Vienna, the federal theater and many other attractions .
In 1868, it was decided to build the building of the new city hall of Vienna, since the old was too small for the growing city. For a long time it was called Neues Rathaus, which translates as "new town hall", so as not to be confused with the old one. This name is sometimes used.
Most of all, the main tower with a height of 103 meters attracts attention. No photo will convey impressions from her. More it affects not even the size, but its architecture. It resembles Gothic medieval cathedrals.
Thanks to its height, the Viennese town hall can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
The tower is the main clock of the city, as it should be in any town hall in Europe. And as in any such building there is a place for the installation of a bell to alert the citizens about important events. There are still bells there, but there's nothing to report.
At the very top is a copper statue of the standard bearer in medieval armor (in the photo on the left it is almost invisible), with which a very interesting story is related.
Emperor Franz Joseph I (read the article History of Austria ) allowed to build a tower of the new town hall with a height of only 98 meters. He wanted the building not to be higher than the nearby Votivkirche church . Friedrich Schmidt really wanted to build a taller building, and hoisted this statue with a height of 3.4 meters.
Nobody noticed anything at first, and later the authorities got much more serious worries. In addition, formally, the architect did not violate the ban of the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, because the tower was indeed built at a height of 98 meters, as was ordered.
This standard-bearer, he is called Rathausmann, is so famous that his small gold-plated copy is used in Austria as a state award.
The total height of the statue is 5.4 meters, when counted together with the flag, and the weight is 1.8 tons. Our country also made a small contribution to this work of art, as copper was melted and coins minted by the Russian Empire. One can say verbatim: "Rathausmann in Vienna is made of Russian money."
Its small copy (pictured right) stands in the courtyard, and in order to see it, you do not need to have "eagle eyesight" or buy binoculars.
In addition to this statue, more than ten statues of politicians and famous Austrians can be found on the square in front of the town hall and in the park. Of the personalities known to us, it can be noted, perhaps, the "waltz king" composer Johann Strauss.
Various events are held in front of the town hall. Perhaps, the most interesting of them is the Christmas fair. If you are lucky enough to be in Vienna for Christmas, do not miss this opportunity. Here you can buy Austrian gifts for every taste, a tasty meal, and you look at the biggest Christmas tree in Austria.
From January to March, there is an ice rink on the square, in the end of April or early May, a "world run" is held, and in July and August a huge screen is set up and an open-air cinema is organized, naturally free.
At the time of our visit to Vienna, it was July, oranges were ripening in the greenhouses of Schönnbrunn Palace , and before the Viennese Town Hall a recording of the opera about the foundation and development of the Swedish company IKEA was demonstrated.
As it looks, you can look at the photo on the left. Make a good photo was not as easy as it might seem, since there were a lot of people on the square. Do not think that the Austrians come to watch movies just because they are free, just an interesting pastime and an opportunity to talk.
Hollywood blockbusters are not shown here, the program of the film festival is exclusively cultural. A small gallery of photos from this show you will find below.
It is a pity that all performances are broadcast in German, and only in some of them there are English subtitles.
In addition, near the town hall, concerts and other "one-time events" are held. About all the upcoming events you can learn from the big banners that hang on the facade of the building. By the way, many of the crowns of these posters are very unhappy, they believe that the signs spoil the view of the building.
Especially the building of the Viennese town hall is beautiful at night, when the backlight turns on (photo on the right). If you have the opportunity to come here in the evening, then do it and do not regret it.
Its visit to the interior of the building is better scheduled for Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 13-00. At this time, excursions are arranged, by the way, also free.
Excursions are conducted only in German, but even if you do not know this language, it is still better to go inside with an organized group. You will be guided to the most interesting places, and you will not get lost.
Among these places in the building: "Hall of Two Coats of Arms", "Stone Halls", "Hall of Celebrations", "Hall of Parliament", a large staircase and observation deck. In detail in this article we will not describe them, this is the topic of a separate page of our site, follow the announcements.
If you know English, you can use computers with touch screens that are installed in the building. They will tell you everything interesting inside.
Not all rooms and halls of the building are open to visitors. Do not forget that this is the place of work of the mayor and the entire city administration. Many halls, which are usually open, may be temporarily inaccessible due to important events. The entrance to the building of the Viennese town hall closes at 21-00, but even after this time you can go there (they will drive you out at 23-00).
As we have already said, the town hall is visible almost from any place in the city. Below is a small gallery of photo of the city hall of Vienna from different points in the city.
In many Austrian cities, the town halls are not only centers of social life, but are also open to tourists. For example, we already wrote about the town hall of Klagenfurt in an article about the sights of this city . Vienna is the largest in size and one of the most interesting.
Opening hours: the square is around the clock, the building is from 9-00 to 21-00.
Entry price: free of charge.
How to get there: take the subway Vienna to the station Rathaus (Rathaus) on the second line. The Town Hall you will notice right after the exit from the station.
Read our other articles about Austria and its capital, Vienna ( links below ).
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