Wiener Staatsoper | Vienna State Opera
The Dane Theophil von Hansen built three buildings on RingstraBe: the Vienna Stock Market, the Parliament in the style of an Attic temple and the Academy of Fine Arts in neo-Renaissance style. Hansen is also responsible for the Musikverein building, in which the “Golden Hall” is located. This hall is time and again described as the concert hall with the world’s best acoustics.
Every year the unique New Year’s Concert takes place in the “Golden Hall” and it is followed worldwide by direct transmission by more than a billion enthusiastic people.
In between the magnificent rows of palaces on RingstraBe are some of the most beautiful parks in Vienna: The Stadtpark next to the Museum fur Angewandte Kunst, the Vilksgarten across from the Parliament, the Burggarten behind the Hofburg, the Maria Theresa Park between the Kunsthistorisches and the Naturhistorisches Museum and the Rathauspark across from the Burgtheater. In these parks around RingstraBe you will find numerous monuments to famous composers and artists, as well as scientists and politicians who all played a leading role in shaping the cultural life of Vienna.
It is best to explore Vienna’s RingstraBe by foot. If the weather gets unpleasant, take a tour of RingstraBe on the “tourist bim”. This yellow streetcar travels clockwise along RingstraBe and you can start or continue your tour at various points.
Map of Vienna State Opera Wiener Staatsoper Photo Gallery
THE RINGSTRASSE BOULEVARD -UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
All the buildings around RingstraBe, the private, as well as the public ones, have one thing in common: Built in Historicist style they represent the pomp and circumstance of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in the second half of the 19th century.
In 1857 Emperor Franz Joseph I decided to raze the old city walls for good. The construction of a representative boulevard where the city walls used to be was begun with his highest authorization. The international competition for the execution of numerous public buildings was won by established famous architects, as well as by young, until then unknown architects. Thus the mere 26-year-old Heinrich Ferstel won the competition for the Votive Church, the very first building project on Vienna’s RingstraBe.
After Heinrich Ferstel had successfully planned the V)tive Church in neoGothic style in 1855, he also built the main building of the University of Vienna and the Museum fur Angewandte Kunst on RingstraBe. The stock exchange at the time, the Palace Ferstel, where the legendary coffeehouse Cafe Central is still located, was built according to Ferstel’s concept around 1860.
The Austrian Karl von Hasenauer and the German Gottfried Semper built the Kaiserforum (Imperial Forum), which included the New Castle and the Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches Museum, as well as the Burgtheater.
Hasenauer’s teachers from the Academy of Art, August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Null, are responsible for the building of the State Opera. The disappointment of the Viennese public about the new opera house, as well as the criticism expressed by Emperor Franz Joseph I himself, drove the distraught architect Van der Null to suicide. His partner August Sicard von Sicardsburg died less than ten weeks later.
The emperor was so shocked by the tragic suicide of the architect that from then on he commented on all public art and cultural events solely with the same short sentence: “It was very nice, I enjoyed it very much.”
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