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Vienna 's history goes way back to Roman times. Like many cities throughout Europe, it is based on a Roman military settlement called Vindobona. After the decline of the Roman Empire , the remains of this camp developed town under the reign of the Babenberger dynasty. In 1492 it became the seat and capital of the Habsburger's Holy Roman Empire and started growing to the big city it is today. Nowadays Vienna is the capital of the Austrian Republic, the seat of the government, home to about 1,7 million people and working place for even more residents from around the area.

Vienna offers a lot of different sightseeing attractions. The St. Stephan's Cathedral, one of the oldest buildings, combines, because of its long construction time, a variety of different architectural styles. The Ringstrasse, the former fortifying belt of the city core, turned into a magnificent street in the 19th century, is also worth a walk. A must for tourists is the Schloss Schönbrunn, the former seat and residence of the Habsburgs, with its parks, the palm house, the butterfly house and zoo. Vienna is a traditional melting pot for what used to be a multinational empire during the Habsburg monarchy. The immigration of Hungarians, Czechs and Polish people left its influence everywhere, especially on the surnames of many Viennese inhabitants.

Tourist Attractions in Vienna
Anchor Clock (Ankeruhr)  

The Anchor Clock was built between 1911 and 1917 after the plans of the painter Franz von Matsch. It is situated on the oldest square of Vienna 'Hoher Markt' and represents a typical Art Nouveau design. The clock forms a bridge between two parts of the Anker Insurance Company's building. The clock itself is adorned with mosaic ornaments. In the course of 12 hours, twelve historical figures or pairs of figures move across the bridge among them Joseph Haydn, medieval lyricist Walther von der Vogelweide, Empress Maria Theresa and Prince Eugen of Savoya. Every day at noon , all figures parade accompanied by music from the various eras. This tourist spectacle is a special kind of Viennese High Noon.

Belvedere Palace  

The two magnificient palaces on the Belvedere grounds lie in the middle of a splendid park. They were constructed for Prince Eugene of Savoy by J.L. von Hildebrandt, a famous Baroque architect. At this time the Belvedere Palaces were still located outside Vienna's defences, but today they are a part of Vienna`s third district which is not far away from the very centre of Vienna. The Palaces' architecture and interior design are typical for Rococo style.

Burgtheater (National Theatre)  

The Burgtheater also known as 'Burg' or 'Haus am Ring' (House at Ring boulevard) is situated in Vienna 's first district. In 1741 Empress Maria Theresia handed over an unused dance-parlour to a theatre-company named Sellier. In 1888, the company moved into a closeby house designed and erected by Gottfried Semper and C. von Hasenauer. Since then, this building was used as theatre house. The beautiful facade, whose white marble has recently been cleaned, is adorned with statues of famous writers like Goethe and Schiller and allegoric figures depicting love and hatred. Inside, the Burgtheater provides a festive atmosphere for great cultural events.

Danube Tower - Donauturm  

If you want to enjoy a magnificent view over Vienna this is the right place to go. The Viennese affectionately call the tower "Concrete needle". It is 352 meters high and was built within 20 months! The cafe rotates slowly. Stay a bit longer, so you can get a panorama view. The more daring of you can enjoy a spectacular view while plunging into the sky of one of Vienna 's highest buildings: Since 2000 the Danube tower features the highest bungee center of the world !

Haas House  

Modern Haas House was one of the most disputed building projects of the late 20th century in Vienna. Viennese architect Hans Hollein set about to introduce a concrete and glass structure opposite St. Stephen's Cathedral that did not go well with the Viennese population. The round curve of its facade quotes the ancient Roman citadell Vindobona, whose former layout is traceable throughout Vienna 's first district. Medieval houses were built on top of Roman ruins, modern houses were built on top of medieval ruins... Haas House uses this principle to blend into its surrounding despite its contrasting architectural style.

Hofburg - Vienna 's Imperial Palace  

The Hofburg was orignially a medieval castle, but today only the castle chapel ('Burgkapelle') demonstrates its medieval past. The Hofburg was extended to a magnificent residence when the Habsburg's power increased. That's why one can find almost any architectural style, from gothic to art nouveau. Nowadays this enormous complex is home to "Österreichische Nationalbibliothek" (National Library), "Schatzkammer" (Imperial Treasury), and houses a collection of musical instruments, another collection of weapons, a "Museum für Völkerkunde" ( Museum of Ethnography ) and famous " Spanische Hofreitschule ".


The Prater is Vienna 's most popular fun fair. Enjoy a great view over Vienna from the giant Ferris wheel, or do some sports and relax in an expansive area of parks, forest land and fields. The Prater is situated near the city centre and is ideal for walking, cycling, jogging or just lying in the grass after an exhausting sightseeing tour of Vienna . Furthermore one can find major facilities for sports and recreation, such as the Krieau harness racing track, the Prater Stadium (soccer and track-and-field), the Stadionbad, a public swimming pool, the Freudenau flat racing track and the Pleasure Pavillion ( Lusthaus ) in the Prater.

Ring Boulevard  

Vienna Ring Boulevard is 4 kilometres long and circles the city centre. The construction of the Ring Boulevard was initiated by Emperor Franz Joseph I in December 1857.

The magnificent road was errected on the free space, which emerged after tearing down the former city walls, glacis and military enforcements protecting the city center, today's first district ('Innere Stadt'). By this the emperor hoped to overcome the separation of city center and the suburbs, which had officially become part of Vienna in 1850. Ring boulevard was generously planned, leaving sufficient space for a shaded avenue and monumental buildings like Hofburg , Austrian Parliament, the first public observatory Urania and Vienna university among others.

Schönbrunn zoo  

Schönbrunn Zoo is the world's oldest and only baroque zoo. The Schoenbrunn Zoo is situated in the south-eastern part of the Habsburgs' summer residence and was built in 1760. What makes the zoo so special is the keeping of animals after their specific requirements and the simultaneous emphasis of the baroque heritage. The historical buildings are restored by experts of international reputation under the supervision of the conservation authorities and serve present-day purposes without any defeat of its fascination. In Mai 2003 Schönbrunn zoo was greatly honored by being entrusted with the care of a pair of Chinese Great Pandas! As a proof of the excellent care and the natural habitat many of the zoo's animals give birth. With a bit of luck you might just see an elephant baby, a young hippo or a teenage giraffe!

Wiener Staatsoper - Vienna Opera House  

Vienna Opera House is situated in the frist district of Vienna at the southern end of the Kärntnerstrasse. August von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll built the State Opera House from 1861 to 1869. The Vienna Opera House has a world-wide reputation for its first-class opera performances and is also known because of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. A night at the State Opera is one of the most impressive events any visitor to Vienna can experience. The building itself closely resembles Italian Renaissance, as this epoch was immensely important for art and music. The first operas were written and performed in Italy during the 16th century. The loggia towards Ring Boulevard aims to emphasize the house's openess to the public. It is adorned with a precious cycle representing the Mozart's 'Magic Flute' and other famous operas accomplished by painter Moritz von Schwind. Numerous statues and figurative embellishments at the inside and outside of Vienna opera underline the festive character of the house.

Stephansdom - St. Stephen's Cathedral  

Visit St. Stephen's Cathedral - Stephansdom, one of Vienna 's most famous sights. St. Stephen's Cathedral defines the city centre and has been the heart of Vienna for centuries. It is one of the most famous Viennese sights and was built in 1147 AD. For a long time it was uncontested as highest building in Europe measuring almost 137 m. Duke Rudolf IV of Habsburg ordered the complete restructuring of the church in Gothic style. In 1359, he laid the cornerstone of the nave with its two aisles. The South Tower , was completed in 1433 (the Viennese have given it the nickname "Steffl," representative of the whole cathedral). The cathedral has got two very impressive features: The gigantic roof , and the tall, lean tower (136,7 metres of hight). One can find only few gothic towers of such height that were finished in the Middle Ages.

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