The City Hall of Vienna or the Wiener Rathaus

The City Hall of Vienna

The City Hall of Vienna ©Carlton Browne/Flick

The City Hall of Vienna is one of the most magnificent buildings out of the many architectural beauties of this city.

The building was designed by architect Friedrich Schmidt and built between the years 1872 and 1883. The architecture of the buildings on the Ringstrasse also known as the Ring Street in Vienna combines many styles, but the architect of the City Hall used a single style of a particular era. Hidden by the majestic stone walls, the interior garden with grass and floral arrangements is one of the largest in Europe.


The construction of the City Hall

The Wiener Rathaus, as it is known in German, has the air of a palace from the aristocratic era, but actually it’s more recent than it seems to be. The reason of why its architect, Baron Friedrich Schmidt, deliberately opted for a historicist style is to be in concordance with the Votivkirche, (Votive Church) nearby. Schmidt was an enthusiastic supporter of the religious and secular Neo Gothic architecture.

The profile of the Vienna City Hall is outlined by the five towers that intentionally look like the towers of a Gothic church. The Gothic period coincided with the accelerated development of the cities and the emergence of a social class called urban bourgeoisie.

The Town Hall in Vienna and its surroundings

The Town Hall in Vienna and its surroundings ©Pentcheff & Wetzer/Flick

The statue of the Rathausmann

At the top of the tower is a statue of a man known as Rathausmann, one of the symbols of Vienna. The statue of the one watching over Vienna has a height of 5.4 m (3.4 m without the flag that he holds) and weighs 650 kilograms. The medieval knight statue was modeled after the armor of Emperor Maximilian I. A sphere that weighs more than 800 kg and that is used as a counterweight helps the statue to stand even in strong wind or storm. In 1985 a workshop in Vienna was contracted to restore the statue of the Rathausmann. As a surprise at the end of the restoration, the artisans of the workshop presented an exact replica of the statue that can be seen in the Rathauspark, the park in front of the City Hall of Vienna.

The statue of the Rathausmann

The statue of the Rathausmann ©aj82/Flick

The most stunning rooms of the City Hall

Inside the City Hall of Vienna two rooms have a particular importance. The first of them is the plenary hall that hosts local council meetings and the meeting of the Diet, the regional parliament. It has a height of 14 m, a chandelier of 3.2 tons and a wooden ceiling plated with gold. The second one is the Ballroom that hosts balls and important artistic events. The hardwood floor of this room is protected as a monument.

Today the Town Hall in Vienna is the seat of the municipal administration of the city and over 2,000 people are working here. The visitors will be impressed by the imposing halls which often provide a pleasant setting for various events such as press conferences, concerts and balls.

The City Hall of Vienna

The City Hall of Vienna ©Carlton Browne/Flick

Leave a Reply