About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide


Prater, Riesenrad, giant ferry wheel, Vienna



The Prater is Vienna's most popular fun fair. Enjoy a great view over Vienna from the giant Ferris wheel, or do some sports and relax in an expansive area of parks, forest land and fields.

The Prater is situated near the city centre and is ideal for walking, cycling, jogging or just lying in the grass after an exhausting sightseeing tour of Vienna. Furthermore one can find major facilities for sports and recreation, such as the Krieau harness racing track, the Prater Stadium (soccer and track-and-field), the Stadionbad, a public swimming pool, the Freudenau flat racing track and the Pleasure Pavillion (Lusthaus) in the Prater.

Two further attractions in the Prater are the Vienna Wurschtlprater, a fun fair with the Giant Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad), where one can enjoy a terrific view over Vienna from 200 feet altitude and the Lilliputian Railroad (Liliputbahn), a 2.6 mile amusement park line on a auge of old steam locomotives, providing transportation to the Trade Fair grounds and to the Stadium.

The Giant Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad) was erected in 1897 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reign of Empereror Franz Joseph I. The wheel itself spans 200 feet (about 60 m.). 15 cabins and the upholding structure weigh a total of 430,5 t and rotate at the speed of 0,65 m/sec.
In 1914 the Giant Ferris Wheel was the location of a sensational film stunt: Madame Solange d'Atalide managed to complete one round on horseback on top of one of the cabins. This would not be the only time that the 'Riesenrad' was featured in major films: The Third Man or Before Sunrise to name just a few.

In 1944, at the height of World War II, the Giant Ferris Wheel burnt down, but was rebuilt in 1945 - at the same time as St. Stephen's cathedral. The Viennese Riesenrad is the only giant ferris wheel of its time which is still in use today.

Famous Austrian photographer Inge Morath has done some amazing photographies of this beautiful areal.

Prater A-1020

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