List of Historic Sights in Vienna, Austria
“Albertina” is a famous museum in the historic center of Vienna, considered to have one of the world’s largest collections of paintings of printed graphics. The museum has a collection of about 900,000 works of graphic art and approximately 50,000 drawings and watercolors.
Vienna Opera House
The building was built in 1869 for the sole purpose of supplying the Austrian royal court with spiritual food. Inaugurated in the 19th century with Don Giovanni, the Vienna opera house became a favorite residence of the aristocracy and others in power.
Schönbrunn Palace is the Viennese residence of the Austrian emperors and one of the most important buildings of the Austrian Baroque. In addition to the palace itself, Schönbrunn is interesting for its Palm House, the Gloriette Pavilion, the wonderful park, the labyrinth, and the oldest zoo.
The Belvedere palace complex in Vienna
The Belvedere is a large and elegant palace complex in the Austrian capital. In the 18th century one of the greatest military leaders of Austria, Eugene of Savoy, decided to build a summer residence for himself.
Kreuzenstein is a beautiful medieval castle located just 17 kilometers from Vienna in the quiet village of Leobendorf. The owner of Kreuzenstein was a very romantic and spiritual person and wanted to build a castle in the spirit of Neuschwanstein – and he succeeded.
Lichtenstein Castle is located at the edge of the Vienna Woods near Maria-Enzersdorf, south of Vienna. The castle, originally built in the 12th century, was destroyed by the Turks in 1529-1683, and remained in ruins until 1884, when it was rebuilt.
The Liechtenstein Museum is a palace-museum in Vienna named after the Princely House of Liechtenstein, one of the oldest noble families in Europe. The museum includes a princely collection containing objects of European art.
“The Ringstrasse is like the Ring Road but in Vienna”, as the monarch Franz Joseph I probably explained to his subjects in 1857, was the essence of his ambitious plan. Today along the whole Ringstrasse laid tramways, and not to take a ride on the “Viennese ring”, being in the Austrian capital – simply mauvais ton.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna is a Catholic cathedral, the national symbol of Austria and symbol of Vienna. This grandiose Gothic cathedral in Vienna’s central square is literally “full” of wonderful relics: crucifixes, church utensils and world-class works of art.
The Hofburg is the winter residence of the Austrian Habsburgs and the main residence of the imperial court in Vienna. At present it is the official residence of the president of Austria. There are 2600 rooms in total.
The Millennium Tower in Vienna
On the eve of the third millennium, the construction of buildings, bridges and television towers dedicated to the anniversary set the trend worldwide. Vienna was not spared and in 1999 the Millennium Tower climbed up into the clouds on the banks of the Danube.
The tower of the madmen in Vienna
“The faint-hearted are asked not to look” is the motto of Vienna’s Tower of the Insane (Narrenturm), which is home to one of the most controversial and terrifying museums in the world. If you decide to take a chance and see the tower of the mad, you will be spoilt for choice with a host of unusual exhibits.
Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna
In the 18th century the fashion for “apothecary gardens” in which medicinal plants were cultivated spread throughout the royal courts of Europe. In 1754, Empress Maria Theresia bought a two-hectare plot of land on which she constructed the Hortus Medicus garden.
The Royal Burgtheater is one of the oldest theaters not only in Austria, but in all of Europe. It came into being rather amusingly: In 1741, Empress Maria Theresia noticed that the ball game hall of the palace was empty and therefore ordered it to be rebuilt into a theater.
Vienna’s snow globe factory
The Vienna Snowball Factory is located in one of the old Hernals’ estates on the outskirts of the city. Erwin Perzy III is the third generation to own thousands of glass snow globes. More than 200,000 are produced here each year and shipped around the world.
One of the most famous concert halls in the world, where classical music can be heard alongside jazz and rock, is of course the Wiener Konzerthaus. About 70-80 years ago, spiritualistic séances were held here in addition to baroque music concerts.
The Wiener Wald is well worth a visit, if only for its natural surroundings: You can pick mushrooms, lie on the lawns, enjoy the view from the observation deck and have a meal in a good restaurant in an almost natural environment.
One of the main attractions of the Austrian capital is the world-famous Vienna University. The main building of the educational institution is located in the heart of Vienna – on Ringstrasse. So, if you get to Vienna, you will definitely not pass by it. The other buildings are scattered throughout the city.
Military History Museum in Vienna
The Austrian Empire was built in wars for centuries, but World War I led it to disintegration, and World War II led it to neutrality. Relics from numerous battles won since the 16th century have found a place in the halls of the Museum of Military History in the former Arsenal in the center of Vienna.
Not far from the Viennese Town Hall the pointed towers of the Catholic Church can be seen protruding from behind the trees in a small park. At first glance it may look Gothic, but up close it becomes clear that the church is much younger than cathedrals in Rheims or Chartres.
The first thing that comes to mind of anyone who has even a little idea about the Austrian capital – is classical music and genius composers who created it, pretentious architecture, legalized by centuries of tradition and little coffee houses, where strudels and world famous cakes are served. This rather general impression is partly true, but there is a “but”: the enchanting Vienna is much more beautiful, interesting and deeper than any thoughts of it. The enormous cultural riches that miraculously survived the Second World War, the eventful history, the peculiar atmosphere, and a number of interesting scientific fields that originated in this very city add many colors to an already beautiful picture.
Museum lovers, of which there are about eighty in Vienna, should come here for at least two weeks. The diverse exhibitions, ranging from unique painting collections to medical instruments, are fascinating for everyone. The magnificent royal residences will appeal to fans of all things palatial and park architecture. Even a trip to the local eatery can turn into a small tour of the sites of memory, as there are places like the favorite gathering place of Rome’s various talents, the famous Antico Café Greco.
To feel the Austrian culture of food and drink and to visit important from the point of view of history, you can visit one of the oldest pubs in Vienna, nowadays restaurant Greichenbeisle. Many famous people once came here: Strauss, Beethoven and even the American writer Mark Twain. The Landtmann Café, which opened in the 19th century, was frequented by no lesser celebrities. The founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and the great actress Marlene Dietrich graced its walls.
Vienna’s ten must-see sights
If you’re passing through Vienna and have little or no time for a long and thoughtful exploration of the city, the list of the top ten “must-see” attractions of the Austrian capital will help you navigate among the imperial splendor of the city. First of all, you should remember that the so-called Old City, the center of many architectural masterpieces, protected by UNESCO, territorially coincides with the present borders of the first district of Vienna. There are twenty-three districts in total. The Ringstrasse or Ringstrasse, created in the 19th century, wraps around the oldest, central part and is also a tourist attraction.
First on the list is Schoenbrunn Palace, the former royal residence of one of the most powerful dynasties in Europe, the great Habsburgs, who ruled Austria and parts of other European territories for about six hundred centuries. Like many grandiose structures, the palace is closely linked to the beautiful park. Schönbrunn reminds one of similar, yet different, royal residences: the French Versailles, which was taken as an example during its construction, the Russian Peterhof, etc. It is also partly connected with Versailles by the history of its creation. Originally there was a hunting lodge, which later turned into a palace and park complex. From a similar small estate designed for hunting, Louis XIV created his favorite child. Another palace that is a must-see is the Habsburg Winter Residence Hofburg, which includes several sites at once. The premises of this architectural ensemble house several museums. Among them stand out the Imperial Apartments, the Sissi Museum, the Silver Museum, and the Museum of Art History.
The Sissi Museum is named after Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria, who was called Sissi by her close relatives (Sissi is more commonly referred to in the literature). The tragic life of this woman is reflected in many works of art. In particular, in the cinema.
Museum lovers, of which there are about eighty in Vienna, should come here for at least two weeks.
If the Hofburg is a mish-mash, the Belvedere, another palace complex in Vienna, is a striking representative of the Baroque trend. The Belvedere was originally the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, but later came into the possession of the Habsburgs. The garden, with its symmetry, fountains and sculptures, reminds one again of France. The most interesting thing is that the rooms of the palace serve as a haven for the greatest works of art. The local gallery is a well known museum that includes works of art from past centuries as well as contemporary paintings.
One of the symbols of the city and the main tourist attraction is the St. Stephen Cathedral, located on the square of the same name. This wonderful monument of religious architecture is named after the saint, who is the patron saint of Vienna. The cathedral was built in the 12th century and carefully preserves the important testimonies of history: cannon balls that got into the building during the siege of the Turks, medieval measurement standards, ancient catacombs. Before St. Stephen’s Cathedral was built, the church administration was located in the Church of St. Rupert, the oldest church in Vienna. The construction dates back to the 7th-8th centuries. Generally speaking, Rupert was the patron saint of Salzburg, but he was also believed to be the guardian of Vienna’s salt merchants.
Vienna Opera House Popular public transport The interior of St. Stephen’s Cathedral
If there’s still time left after visiting the museums that make up the palace complexes, the Liechtenstein Museum, located in the Princes’ Palace, with its fine collection of European paintings, will complete the experience. The Museum of Natural History is located exactly opposite the Museum of Art History and is part of the Hofburg complex. It is the largest collection of natural exhibits in the world, carefully collected by the Habsburgs. For those interested in psychoanalysis, the Sigmund Freud Museum is the place to go. In total, there are over 80 museums in the city.
The Prater Park with the oldest Ferris wheel in the world, built in the 19th century, is another Viennese attraction worth seeing in person. The Viennese Zoo is no less interesting: At the time no one even thought of collecting all the animals under one roof. Even here, the inhabitants of the Austrian capital were the first in the world.