Wiener Rathaus (Vienna City Hall), from 1883, is one of the most impressive Gothic Revival buildings in Europe, today housing offices for the city’s mayor and council members.
The building’s palatial features profile in many ways central Vienna, even though it is is a bit removed (by Rathauspark) from the famous Ringstrasse.
Both the Rathauspark and Rathaus square are popular venues for events, including German Roncalli circus (roncalli.de) often performing at the area (on summer months).
PHOTO: Inspiration for the city hall came from Flemish Gothic, which is why the building is reminiscent of Hôtel de Ville in Brussels, Belgium.
PHOTO: Typically to Gothic Revival, architect Friedrich von Schmidt gave the city hall a wonderful cavalcade of statues and other decorative details. The picture above is from the base of the city hall’s tower.
Today, Rathauspark is a pleasant place to spend freetime in the city center, for locals as well as for tourists alike.
The park contains:
- manicured gardens,
- two water fountains, and
- several interesting monuments, including statues for two composers famous for their waltzes, Johann Strauss elder and Joseph Lanner.
The most famous highlight of the, however, is the city hall’s 98-meter tower, with a 3.4 meter () “Eiserner Rathausmann” statue on top.
The building’s architect, Friedrich von Schmidt, was one of the leading Gothic Revival masters of his time.
Today, there are a total of 8 churches in Vienna that he designed, ranging from Lazaristian’s church (1862) to St. Severinuskirche (1878).
In addition to the city administration’s offices, the city hall also contains:
- a municipal and state library, and
- Viennese archives, containing invaluable documents from the city’s long history.
The building is available for touring for its 7 inner courtyards, and you also dine to the Rathaus restaurant, ‘Rathaus Keller‘ (www.wiener-rathauskeller.at).
To visit the interiors, however, you need to participate in a guided tour.
Address: 1010 Vienna Austria
Official website: www.wien.gv.at
This point, in fact, is not intended for tourists, but as point of information (on public services) for the citizens of Vienna.