Vienna’s Austrian parliament building, built in Neoclassical, ancient Greek style, is one of the most impressive structures in the capital city.
The building, an official meeting place for the Austrian parliament, was completed in 1883, from plans by Danish architect Theophil Edvard von Hansen.
Other notable buildings in Vienna by von Hansen include…
- Musikverein concert hall and
- Wiener Börse building.
Hansen designed the 13,500 square meter (145,313 sq.ft) building in a Neoclassical style, a reference to the ancient Greek origins of democracy as a form of government.
Today, in addition to housing the national parliament, it is also a meeting place for the local state government.
PHOTO: The parliament palace, as seen from Volksgarten.
PHOTO: Parliament building’s main entrance (pictured) uses themes from ancient Greece…with a statue of Pallas Athene, goddess of wisdom, in front.
PHOTO: Pallas Athene statue is, in fact, part of a monumental fountain. Lowest four statues in the monument are allegorical to Austria-Hungary’s four main rivers: Donau, Inn, Elbe, and Vltava.
PHOTO: A view to the ramp up to the upper entrance, a driveway surrounded by Neoclassical statues of ancient Greek gods.
PHOTO: Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom, guarding over Vienna. Two closest statues within Pallas Athene’s feet are allegorical to ‘legislation’ and ‘administration’.
PHOTO: Schmerlinplatz entrance to the parliament building, with beautiful caryatid (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caryatid) columns.
To house both the national and state parliament offices, there are over 100 rooms in the building, ranging from…
- committee rooms to libraries,
- from halls to dining rooms and bars, and to
- fitness facilities.
In addition to the parliament meetings, Austrian parliament building is a location for national ceremonies.
Of these ceremonies, the most important include:
- the inaugural ceremony for the new Austrian president, and
- an annual ‘state of the union’ speech on the national day, October 26th.
The building was central to many events during the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (1867–1918), and things often got so heated inside the building, that a common way to solve disagreements was throwing bottles of ink.
In fact, at the time, a local saying stated that the reason why Pallas Athene has her back on the building, was because of the disgust with the way things were handled inside.
The building was built to have allegories of ancient Greece, including quadriga horse carriages (ridden by god of victory, Nike) on the roofs, allegorically to ‘victory’.
Also, the building material (white marble from the Laas in Tirol) for the palace was chosen to correspond with the materials used in ancient Greek temples.
The same material was used at the Hofburg royal palace, located a short walk from the parliament house.
Austrian Parliament Building
Address: Doktor-Karl-Renner-Ring 3, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Official website: www.parlament.gv.at
Parliament building visitor center has been open to visitors since 2005.