Vienna City Hall

Vienna City Hall

The square in front of Vienna gothic-style city hall is the informal main squaure of the city, where all the big celebrations take place.

Vienna's City Hall has been designed and erected between 1872 and 1883 by Friedrich von Schmidt, who had also been the architect of the Cathedral of Cologne. It is the most crucial and splendid secular building in the neo-Gothic style in the city.

The tower measures 321 feet without the Iron Knight of ñ no, not Pyke ñ the City Hall (Eiserner Rathausmann), who measures almost 20 feet to the top of his pennant. The knight has become one of the symbols of Vienna. Statues honor personalities who left their imprint in city history on both sides of the approach from the Ring.

You will find the starting point for guided tours - Stadtinformation (City Information Office), which is not a tourist information center but a referral office for citizens and a source of information and statistics, off the lovely Arkadenhof (Arcade Courtyard) accessible from the back of the complex. City Hall also houses the Municipal and State Libraries and Archives which hold many key documents of Vienna's history and a large collection of local memorabilia.

Rathauspark is a very fine laid-out garden hosting several monuments well worth seeing, like the statues of two great composers: Joseph Lanner and Johann Strauss Father. The monuments of President Theodor Kˆrner (1873-1957) and Mayor Karl Seitz (1869-1950) enjoy the beautiful view of the Burgtheater, just across the Ring.

From end of November till Christmas, one of the most famous Christmas Markets takes place at Rathauspark. The whole building will be illuminated by night and even the park is looking like freshly out of a fairytale dream ñ but youíll have to check for yourself, because maybe this is just Christmas punch talking out of us.  

Nowadays, the City Hall is the head office of Viennaís municipal administration and poses as working place to more than 2000 people. It is, of course, the seat of the mayor and governor of Vienna ñ these functions are combined as Vienna is both a city and a state since 1922, of the City Council and of the Assembly.

As not only tourists are stunned by the magnificent building, it is fairly often used for various events like press conferences, concerts or balls like the infamous Life Ball, unfortunately an event of the past.

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