Sunday, July 22, 2018
Home > Editorial > Visit Vienna’s Top Attractions
EditorialOld CitySightsVienna

Visit Vienna’s Top Attractions

1. HOFBURG VIENNA

The Hofburg is the former imperial palace in the centre of Vienna, Austria. Built in the 13th century and expanded in the centuries since, the palace has been the seat of power of the Habsburg dynasty rulers, and today the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It was the principal imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence.

Since 1279 the Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government. The Hofburg has been expanded over the centuries to include various residences (with the Amalienburg and the Albertina), the imperial chapel (Hofkapelle or Burgkapelle), the court library (Hofbibliothek), the treasury (Schatzkammer), the court theatre, the Spanish Riding School (Hofreitschule), the imperial mews (Stallburg and Hofstallungen).

The palace faces the Heldenplatz (Heroes Square) ordered under the reign of Emperor Francis Joseph I, as part of what was planned to become the Kaiserforum (de) but which was never completed.

Numerous architects have executed work at the Hofburg as it expanded, notably the Italian architect-engineer Filiberto Luchese, Lodovico Burnacini and Martino and Domenico Carlone, the Baroque architects Lukas von Hildebrandt and Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, Johann Fischer von Erlach, and the architects of the Neue Burg built between 1881 and 1913.

Hofburg Vienna
Michaelerkuppel
1010 Wien
Austria

www.hofburg-wien.at

2. SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE

From the 18th century to 1918, Schönbrunn was the residence of the Habsburg emperors. It was designed by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nicolaus Pacassi and is full of outstanding examples of decorative art. Together with its gardens, the site of the world’s first zoo in 1752, it is a remarkable Baroque ensemble and a perfect example of Gesamtkunstwerk.

The castle is a symbol of the power and influence of the House of Habsburg in European history. Together with the park, the ensemble is an excellent example of the princely baroque residences, and a great work of art.

The name Schönbrunn (meaning “beautiful spring”), has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court.

The Schönbrunn Palace in its present form was built and remodelled in 1740–50s during the reign of empress Maria Theresa who received the estate as a wedding gift. Franz I commissioned the redecoration of the palace exterior in neoclassical style as it appears today.

Franz Joseph, the longest-reigning emperor of Austria, was born at Schönbrunn and spent a great deal of his life there. He died there, at the age of 86, on 21 November 1916. Following the downfall of the Habsburg monarchy in November 1918, the palace became the property of newly founded Austrian Republic and was preserved as a museum.

Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47
1130 Wien
Austria

www.schoenbrunn.at

3. MUSEUM OF ART HISTORY

The Museum of Art History also often referred to as the “Museum of Fine Arts” is an art museum in Vienna, Austria. Housed in its festive palatial building on Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal dome. The term Kunsthistorisches Museum applies to both the institution and the main building. It is the largest art museum in the country.

It was opened around 1891 at the same time as the Naturhistorisches Museum, by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. The two museums have similar exteriors and face each other across Maria-Theresien-Platz. Both buildings were built between 1871 and 1891 according to plans drawn up by Gottfried Semper and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer.

The two Ringstraße museums were commissioned by the Emperor in order to find a suitable shelter for the Habsburgs’ formidable art collection and to make it accessible to the general public.

The museum’s picture gallery include famous works of Albrecht Dürer, Peter Paul Rubens, Raphael, Rembrandt, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Diego Velázquez, Tintoretto and Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

The collections of the Museum of Art History include

• Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection
• Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities
• Collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts
• Coin Cabinet
• Library

Museum of Art History
Maria-Theresien-Platz
1010 Vienna
Austria

www.khm.at

4. BELVEDERE PALACE

The Austrian Gallery Belvedere is a museum housed in the Belvedere palace, in Vienna, Austria.

The Belvedere palaces were the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736). The ensemble was built in the early eighteenth century by the famous Baroque architect, Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, and comprises the Upper and Lower Belvedere, with the Orangery and Palace Stables, as well as extensive gardens. As one of Europe’s most stunning Baroque landmarks, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Today, the Belvedere houses the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, complemented by the works of international artists. At the Upper Belvedere, visitors not only encounter artworks drawn from over five hundred years of art history but can also experience the magnificent staterooms. In addition to the Lower and Upper Belvedere, the museum has further sites at Prince Eugene’s town palace and the 21er Haus as well as the Gustinus Ambrosi Museum.

The Belvedere’s art collection presents an almost complete overview of the development of art in Austria and, thus, an insight into the country’s history. The world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings[citation needed] lies at the heart of the presentation of Art around 1900, on show at the Upper Belvedere. Its highlights are Klimt’s pictures, The Kiss (1907/08) and Judith (1901), and masterpieces by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. Key works of French Impressionism and the greatest collection of Viennese Biedermeier art are further attractions at the museum.

Austrian Gallery Belvedere
Prinz Eugen-Straße 27
1030 Vienna
Austria

www.belvedere.at

5. VIENNA STATE OPERA

The Vienna State Opera is an opera house – and opera company – with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera (Wiener Hofoper). In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian Republic, it was renamed the Vienna State Opera. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra.

Vienna State Opera
Opernring 2
1010 Vienna
Austria

www.wiener-staatsoper.at

6. ALBERTINA

The Albertina is a museum in the Innere Stadt (First District) of Vienna, Austria. It houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings and approximately 1 million old master prints, as well as more modern graphic works, photographs and architectural drawings. Apart from the graphics collection the museum has recently acquired on permanent loan two significant collections of Impressionist and early 20th-century art, some of which will be on permanent display. The museum also houses temporary exhibitions.

Museum of Art History
Maria-Theresien-Platz
1010 Vienna
Austria

www.albertina.at

7. CITY HALL VIENNA

The City Hall of Vienna (German “Wiener Rathaus”), is located on Rathausplatz in the Innere Stadt district. Constructed from 1872 to 1883 in a Neo-Gothic style according to plans designed by Friedrich von Schmidt, it houses the office of the Mayor of Vienna as well as the chambers of the city council and Vienna Landtag diet.

The Rathaus also accommodates the historic ‘Wiener Rathauskeller’ restaurant. The traditional restaurant consists of several baroque halls, offering small traditional Viennese delicacies to grand gala buffets. Facing the city hall is the large Rathauspark.

City Hall Vienna
Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1
1010 Vienna
Austria

www.wien.gv.at

8. VIENNA SECESSION

The Vienna Secession (German “Wiener Secession”) was an art movement formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects. The first president of the Secession was Gustav Klimt, and Rudolf von Alt was made honorary president. Its official magazine was called Ver Sacrum.

The famous Beethovenfries, created by Gustav Klimt, is housed in the lower floor.

Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12
1010 Vienna
Austria

www.secession.at

9. AUSTRIAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING

The Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna is where the two houses of the Austrian Parliament conduct their sessions. The building is located on the Ringstraße boulevard in the first district Innere Stadt, near Hofburg Palace and the Palace of Justice. It was built to house the two chambers of the Imperial Council (Reichsrat), the bicameral legislature of the Cisleithanian (Austrian) part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Since its construction, the Parliament Building has been the seat of these two houses, and their successors—the National Council (Nationalrat) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat)—of the Austrian legislature.

Austrian Parliament Building
Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1
1010 Vienna
Austria

www.parlament.gv.at

10. WIENER RIESENRAD

The Wiener Riesenrad (German for Vienna Giant Wheel), or Riesenrad, is a 64.75-metre (212 ft) tall Ferris wheel at the entrance of the Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt, the 2nd district of Austria’s capital Vienna. It is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions, and symbolises the district as well as the city for many people. Constructed in 1897, it was the world’s tallest extant Ferris wheel from 1920 until 1985.

Wiener Riesenrad is located in the Prater, one of the largest public parks in Vienna.

Wiener Riesenrad
Riesenradplatz 1
1020 Vienna
Austria

www.wienerriesenrad.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *