Vienna Attractions - A City Tour
Vienna Attractions - Introduction
Vienna or Wien, as is said by the locals, is a beautiful city. With this article I will give you a sample of Vienna attractions. The legacy of the Hapsburg Dynasty is all over the many Vienna attractions; the buildings, the statues and just the general feel of the city. But there are other aspects to this majestic city; Strauss, Mozart, Mr Psychoanalysis Dr Sigmund Freud, fantastic cakes, strong coffee and friendly people. However, before we can sample these, let us take a ride around the city of culture, tradition and vitality.
I will give you a city tour of the Vienna attractions that will start at the corner of the Stubenring and Franz Josef Kai. The city tour of Vienna attractions will follow the ring road around the city, it often changes names such as Burgring and Opernring. You can walk my city tour or take a circle tram. So enjoy a city tour of Vienna attractions…
Vienna Attractions – Stubenring
The first of our Vienna attractions originally designed as a Planetarium, but city lights became too bright for good viewing
Now houses an art house cinema
Look for Franz Joseph’s name at top
Need to look at three things; the man on the horse, the faces on the first level and the double-headed eagles on top and on the columns
The man on the horse is Field Marshal Radetzky, a general who fought to rid Austria of Napoleon and his army; Strauss wrote a march in honour of him
The faces represent the many faces of Franz Joseph, the nose is the same in each one; different hats (commander’s hat, night cap...) show his different roles
The double-headed eagles represent the Dual Monarchy of Austria and Hungary (late 19th/early 20th centuries)
Statue of Luegar
Dr Karl Luegar, important Mayor of Vienna, and one of the important Vienna attractions, he pioneered workers’ rights
Vienna Attractions – Parkring
Opened in 1862 as the first public park created by the government
One of the more relaxing Vienna attractions, it’s a great place to stroll, sit, have a picnic or watch the world go by on a beautiful afternoon
Europeans in apartments, no backyards, park becomes a communal garden for walking dogs, family outings, football and frisbee matches, sunbaking, etc
Many memorials in the Park
Gold statue in homage to Johann Strauss II who wrote the Danube Waltz
His father, Johann Strauss I didn’t want his son to become a musician like him as there was no money or not many prospects
Luckily, young Johann ignored his father’s advice and went on to write many pieces, including 4000 waltzes
Opened in 1867 for waltzing, concerts and balls and is one of the more quaint Vienna attractions
On Saturday afternoons, can go for coffee or a drink and practise the rather difficult Vienna Waltz with complex steps and a change of direction
Waltzing was considered a fad, a phase of the time like grunge, techno or rap, but soon became very popular and endures today
Vienna Attractions – Schubertring
Statue of Schwarzenberg
Prince Schwarzenberg also commanded armies against Napoleon in Leipzig in 1813
One of the more curious Vienna attractions, as Germany was occupied by the allies after the end WWII, Vienna was as well.
Erected by the Russians when they left Austria after the occupation following WWII
Fountain in front said to hide an inscription by the Russians that read “We will return” maybe this is where Arnie got his inspiration for the Terminator catch phrase!
Vienna Attractions – Opernring
The fantastic pedestrian area for shopping, eating and people watching
Hotel Sacher located just off it for decadent Sacher Torte
Also find artists, buskers and the Church of Saint Stephen, which is one of the most striking of the Vienna attractions, to climb the towers for views of the city
Built in 1861, but destroyed in WWII and rebuilt in 1948
First building on the Burgring and epicentre of Viennese culture
First performance in here was Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”
Top hat and tails and gowns are worn, the closer to the front your seats are the more you dress up
Once reserved seats with a white handkerchief tied to the rail
To stop the audience coughs and sneezes during the music, they hand out throat lozenges, 800kg per year!
Vienna Attractions – Burgring East
Statue of Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), great German writer and poet and preserved the German language, spent time in Vienna writing
Wrote Faust (sold his soul to the Devil for a woman), “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and helped his friend Schiller with “Wilhelm Tell” (William Tell)
Statue of Schiller
Friedrich von Schiller wrote “Die Räuber” and also “Wilhelm Tell”
Met Goethe in Weimar and formed a lasting friendship as well as writing partnership to reignite and redefine the German language
Goethe has a great view of one of the city’s prettiest gardens.
Forms the front of the HofburgPalace
A statue of a young Mozart stands in a flower bed the shape of a treble clef
The winter home of the Habsburgs and housing many museums, which makes this district thick with Vienna attractions.
Now home to the Vienna Boys Choir and the SpanishRidingSchool
Can take a tour of the private chambers of the former Kings and Queens of the Hapsburgs
Vienna Attractions – Burgring West
Museum of Fine Arts
Has a statue of a woman on top, quite appropriate
Mirror to the Natural History Museum, twin pavilions
Hapsburgs channelled many works here including many by Reubens as he was under contract to the family
Statue of Maria-Therese
In the centre of the pavilions, the big fat green lady!
The beloved mother of Austria and Habsburg Queen 1740-1780
First woman ruler, her father Charles VI had no male heir so he drew up the “Pragmatic Rule” enabling her to take the throne, she now holds this document in her hand
She was one of the most enlightened to rule the Empire and in her spare time she had 16 children, making this one of the most famous statues of all of our Vienna attractions.
Museum of Natural History
Mirror to the FineArtsMuseum, but a statue of a man on top...make your own jokes about nature, apes and dragging knuckles!!!
Has a good zoological collection as well as dinosaur skeletons and meteorite fragments
Vienna Attractions – Dr. Karl Renner Ring
The park of the people at the back of HofburgPalace
Beautiful rose gardens opened to the public in 1823
Strauss would hold open air recitals here
Three Heads - Reumann, Adler & Hanusch
Founders of the Republic of Austria after WWI
Wrote the Constitution for the democracy
Houses of Parliament
Greek façade with Corinthian columns, this makes the building classical in style and one of the Vienna attractions that is quite different to the rest.
6m high statue of Athena, goddess of wisdom holding Nike in right hand for victory; why is wisdom outside and not in the building?
On the left ramp the figures are Greeks (democracy) and the right ramp has the Romans (parliament and ruling), one is said to be Julius Caesar
Bust of Karl Renner
Silver bust of the man who was first President of the new Republic after WWII
Vienna Attractions – Dr. Karl Lueger Ring
Neo-Gothic building, the same architect who designed the Köln Cathedral
There was a design competition for the building, but it was already decided that his entry would be the final design
The seat of Vienna, surrounded by statues of Austrian greats including the Hapsburgs and the Rathaus Man on top
Originally built during the reign of Maria-Therese, but the acoustics were terrible so it was torn down and rebuilt
Destroyed again in WWII, so again rebuilt perfectly this time
One of four state theatres in the city, the most important one and one of the Vienna attractions that centres around music.
University of Vienna founded in 1883 by Franz Joseph I
Known as the Oxford of Austria
Alma mater of Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein
Across from the University is the site where an assassination attempt was made on the life of Franz Joseph
Vienna Attractions – Scottenring
Built by Maximillian, the brother of Franz Joseph to commemorate his survival of the assassination attempt
The twin spires represent brotherhood
Ironic as not long after the church was completed, Maximillian was assassinated.
It is one of the least seen of the Vienna attractions.
Orange building, the meeting place of west and east Europe
During Communism, was the eastern-most stock exchange in Europe
Vienna Attractions – Franz Josef Kai
A canal built to stop the flooding of the mighty Danube
The DanubeRiver flows west to east from its source in the Alps, across seven countries to the Black Sea in Bulgaria
Check the colour; if blue then in love, if brown...try again!
Strauss wrote a waltz for the river it is so inspiring
Old Jewish Quarter of Vienna
220,000 Jews lived here, but after WWII only 100,000 were left; they were boarded in and left to starve
The small memorial marks the area with “Niemals Vergessen” inscription, it is one of the most unassuming of the Vienna attractions.
Brown building with green ivy
The oldest church in Vienna from 740, and largest bell
My name is Robee Kann, for six years I was a tour guide throughout Europe. I loved my job and I would love to hear from you. You are most welcome to message me to say hello or request a hub about a European subject. Please look at my other hubs and leave a comment for me.