Rathaus (City Hall), Vienna

Rathaus (City Hall), Vienna (must see)

The Vienna City Hall, known as the Wiener Rathaus, serves as the administrative headquarters for the local municipal government and the legislative assembly of Vienna, referred to as the Landtag. This impressive complex was built between 1872 and 1883 and was designed by an architect named Friedrich von Schmidt. A statue of Schmidt can be seen right behind the City Hall in Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz.

The building's facade is lavishly adorned and stands as a remarkable example of neo-Gothic architecture, taking inspiration from medieval structures in Flemish and Brabant styles. Its exterior boasts five towers, with the tallest one situated in the center, soaring to a height of 98 meters (about 322 feet).

The main tower of Vienna's City Hall features the iconic 3.4-meter "Rathausmann" iron statue installed in 1882. Climbing 331 steps rewards visitors with a stunning panoramic city view. Inside, the historic "Wiener Rathauskeller" restaurant serves traditional Viennese dishes in Baroque style. The City Hall is surrounded by Rathauspark.

The upper part of the building's facade features numerous sculptures and reliefs. Among these are three equestrian high reliefs depicting Franz Joseph I in the center, Rudolf III on the right, and Rudolf IV on the left. Flanking the main entrance are statues representing Power and Justice, with a portrait head of Friedrich Schmidt in the keystone, accompanied by his collaborators, Franz von Neumann and Viktor Luntz.

In the front parapet's center, there's an allegorical representation of Vienna, called Vindobona, flanked by standard-bearers displaying Vienna and Austro-Hungarian monarchy coats of arms. Nearby stand 18 statues of soldiers from different historical eras, alongside shield bearers with Vienna suburb (e.g., Saint Ulrich and Rossau) and 12 crown lands (e.g., Carinthia, Tyrol, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Styria, Lower Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Carniola, Galicia, and Bukovina) coats of arms.

At the rear of the building, in the center, there is another statue of Vindobona, flanked by four allegorical figures: Justice, Strength, Art, and Science on the right, and Wisdom, Faithfulness, Education, and Charity on the left.

The City Hall's side facades showcase statues representing diverse professions. On Lichtenfelsgasse, you'll see figures like a carpenter, mechanic, goldsmith, musician, sculptor, master builder, painter, armorer, blacksmith, and shoemaker. Facing Felderstraße, statues represent a tailor, cloth maker, merchant, book printer, legal scholar, doctor, innkeeper, brewer, baker, and butcher.

Tip:
There is a free German-language guided tour every Mon/Wed/Fri at 1 pm where they also provide audio guide devices in a number of languages. You'll need to give up your passport as a deposit.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Vienna. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Rathaus (City Hall) on Map

Sight Name: Rathaus (City Hall)
Sight Location: Vienna, Austria (See walking tours in Vienna)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Vienna, Austria

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