The Prater, the large natural park between the Danube and the right-hand Danube Canal, is almost like another world. It is lively and exciting by day and something of a twilight zone by night. The park covers an area of some 1287ha/3,200 acres, stretching southeastwards almost 10km/6.5mi from the Prater crossroads through the former "Augebiet" to the end of the Prater.
Praters Giant 'Ferris Wheel
The Giant Wheel in the Prater is an important Viennese landmark, providing a fine view over the city and awakening memories of the "Third Man" and the James Bond film "The Living Daylights". The wheel was the brain child of Gabor Steiner (1858-1944) and was built in 1896 by the English engineer Walter B. Basset, who produced similar designs in London and Paris. It was erected in the record time of eight months and was operated for the first time on June 21 1897. It was destroyed during the last war, but was rebuilt and has been constantly in operation since 1946, although with fewer red coaches. The giant wheel is 61m/200ft in diameter. The weight supported by eight pylons is 165·2 tons/160 tons; the total weight of the whole construction is 430·05 tons/425 tons. It revolves at a speed of 0·75m/3ft per second. On the occasion of its 90th jubilee one of the coaches was luxuriously fitted out, and it can now be hired for a party of up to 12 people at a cost of some £200/US$ 300.
Prater People's Park
"The trees are in bloom again in the Prater ..."; when these words of the popular song by Robert Stolz become fact the "Volksprater" (People's Park) emerges from its winter sleep and the Giant Wheel starts to turn again, the tunnel of love opens and the roundabouts and other attractions spring into life. Family days, children's parties and the traditional "Praterfest" on May 1 all add to the color. Although modern technology now plays a large part, the fairground owners try to retain the old-fashioned atmosphere, and there are still numerous roundabouts, dodgem cars, race tracks, swings and helter skelters and shooting galleries. Visitors can also watch stilt walkers, organ grinders, sword swallowers, ventriloquists and ponies.
Prater Ziehrer Monument
This larger than life statue in Vienna's Prater of the composer C. M. Ziehrer (1843-1922) in Deutschmeister uniform was made by Robert Ullmann in 1960.
Prater Constantin Hill
This hill in the Prater is man made from the soil dug out when the buildings for the 1873 Vienna Exhibition were erected, and was named after Franz Joseph's Chief Chamberlain, Constantin of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst.
The Prater Museum, situated at the beginning of the main avenue, documents the history of the Prater from a hunting reserve to the leisure park of today. The emphasis is on the history of clowns and the great period of puppet theaters, ventriloquists, Aunt Sallys and the legendary "Praterfesten". The adjoining Planetarium, a gift from the Zeiss family in 1927, was one of the first of its kind in Europe.Guided tours for children on Sunday at 9:30am.
Prater Pleasure House
The cafe-restaurant, the Pleasure House, at the end of the main avenue of the Prater was a summer retreat out in the country 400 years ago. Emperor Joseph II had it rebuilt by Isidor Carnevale in 1783. Its greatest moment came in 1814 when, during the Congress of Vienna, the allied monarchs and their generals celebrated here the anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig when Napoleon was crushingly defeated. Some 18,000 soldiers were treated to a meal on tables erected around the building.
Prater Miniature Railroad
The "Liliputbahn" miniature railroad in the Prater is driven partly by steam and partly by diesel, and covers a 4km/2.5mi stretch of line near the main avenue. It runs to the Stadium swimming pool and the Exhibition Ground in Vienna.
This little pilgrimage church in the Prater stands on the site once occupied by a forest shrine. The "Maria- Grün" (Madonna in Green) picture above the High Altar is an object of veneration. A "Hubert" Mass for hunters is celebrated here each November.
Exhibition Ground of the City of Vienna
Map of Vienna Attractions