Vienna is the capital and largest city in Austria. It is known as the City of Music as well as the City of Dreams and it is a city rich in culture and cuisine. Some of the world’s greatest composers called this city home, as did Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. From the oldest zoo in the world to the oldest Ferris wheel and the wonderful wine and water that flows through the city, here are some of the most interesting facts about Vienna.
7 Interesting Facts about Vienna
1. Vienna is the city of dreams
Vienna’s nickname is the city of dreams due to the fact that Sigmund Freud lived and worked in the city for many years. He lived there from 1860 to 1938. Freud is the father of modern psychotherapy and Vienna is the birthplace of psychoanlysis. His book “The Interpretation of Dreams” was published in 1899 when he lived in the city. The Sigmund Freud Museum is located in the apartment where he lived and worked for almost 50 years.
2. The tap water is from the Alps
The tap water in Vienna flows from the mountain springs in the Styrian/Lower Austrian Alps. From the Alps, it reaches the city 36 hours later, without pumps and under the strictest regulations. Two mountain spring pipelines supply the city with 400,000 m3 of fresh spring water every day. The city also has over 1,000 public drinking fountains, all of which supply Alpine water to thirsty tourists and locals alike.
3. Vienna has the world’s longest residential building
Located in the 19th district of Vienna and stretching for 1,100 metres (0.68 miles), Karl-Marx-Hof is the world’s longest residential building. City planner Karl Ehn built the building between 1927 and 1930 and it contains 1,382 apartments, and plenty of amenities, for instance, laundromats, kindergartens, a library, doctor’s surgery, and business offices.
4. The oldest operational Ferris wheel is in Vienna
The Riesenrad is a 64.75-metre (212 ft) tall Ferris wheel located at the entrance of the Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt in Vienna. British engineers Harry Hitchins and Hubert Cecil Booth designed the Wiener Riesenrad and it was constructed in 1897. From 1920 until 1985, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. Today, it is no longer the tallest but it is the oldest Ferris wheel still in operation. The Ferris wheel has just 15 cars but each one has tables in them, so you can have an elevated lunch or dinner while you watch the city go by.
5. Vienna is home to the world’s oldest zoo
The Vienna Zoo, or Tiergarten Schönbrunn, is the only baroque zoo in the world. Established by the Habsburgs in the park of Schönbrunn Palace in 1752, the zoo was once the private menagerie of Emporer Franz Stephen and Empress Maria Theresa. Today, it is the oldest zoo in the world that is still in operation. It has over 700 different animal species and is often voted the best zoo in Europe. With its original baroque architecture, many also consider it to be one of the most beautiful zoos in the world.
6. Vienna is the world capital of music
Vienna is often referred to as the world capital of music. More famous composers have lived in Vienna than in any other city. Famous residents include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Johann Straus and Johannes Brahms. During the Classic Period 1750 to 1825, Vienna was the home of four of the world’s top ten classical composers – Hayden, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven.
7. Vienna is the capital city of wine
Vienna is home to more than 700 hectares of vineyards and more than 276 wine producers. It is the only capital city in the world to produce significant amounts of wine within its city limits. About 80 per cent of the wine-producing region is covered with white wine vines which produce Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon blanc and Gelber Muskatteller grapes that make delicous wines. Red wine grapes that also grow in Vienna are Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Merlot, Pinot noir and Syrah.