Rathaus, Vienna

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View from Rathausplatz

Wiener Rathaus (also Neues Rathaus) is the city hall of Vienna, 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.

History[edit]

Vienna Rathaus, c. 1885

By the mid 19th century, the offices in the old Vienna town hall, dedicated by the Austrian duke Frederick the Fair in 1316 and rebuilt by the Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach around 1700, had become too small. When the lavish Ringstraße was laid out in the 1860s, a competition to build a new city hall was initiated, won by the German architect Friedrich Schmidt.

Mayor Cajetan Felder urged for the location on the boulevard where simultaneously numerous representative buildings were erected, such as the Vienna State Opera, the Austrian Parliament Building, the main building of the Vienna University, or the Burgtheater. Construction costs amounted to a total of about 14 million gulden, borne by both the City of Vienna and the Imperial-Royal (k.k.) government after lengthy debate.

Architecture[edit]

The design of the richly adorned facade is modelled on the Gothic architecture of Flemish and Brabant secular buildings like the Brussels Town Hall. It features five towers including the central tower with a height of 98 m (322 ft). On 21 October 1882, the Rathausmann statue was installed on the top, which soon became one of the symbols of Vienna. The structure itself, spread over an area of 19,592 m2 (210,890 sq ft), is arranged around seven inner-courtyards, more along Baroque lines. A total space of about 113,000 m2 (1,220,000 sq ft) is spread over six floors and two basements with 1,575 rooms. It is largely built with bricks decorated with limestone, mainly from the Leitha Mountains, and ashlar masonry.

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.

Renovation work[edit]

On September 27, 2012 renovation work [1] started on what is expected to be a 35 million euro project to renovate the building by the year 2023 when the work – expected to take place in 11 stages and affecting 40,000 m² – will be complete. Recently finished renovations (2000) include the grand re-opening of the neo-baroque Salon Ziehrer and the redesigned Lanner-Lehar Hall with wall and ceiling murals by German Trompe-l'œil artist Rainer Maria Latzke.[2]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°12′39″N 16°21′25″E / 48.21083°N 16.35694°E / 48.21083; 16.35694