10 March 2016 to 21 August 2016
1040 Vienna, Karlsplatz 8
P: +43 (0)1 505 87 47
F: +43 (0)1 505 87 47 7201
Spring 2016 marks the 250th anniversary of a beloved Viennese institution, recalling the time when Joseph II opened the Prater imperial hunting grounds to the general public in April 1766. An oasis of nature close to the center of Vienna, the Prater also offered wide-open spaces for spectacular mass events such as scenic firework displays and experimental hot-air balloon flights. Lemonade stands, snack booths, guest houses, and coffee houses soon became fixtures along the main promenade.
Opened in 1801 and enveloped by a giant circular painting, the Panaroma conveyed to visitors the illusion of being in a foreign city. The Circus Gymnasticus was an impressive structure that served as a venue for magic shows. With the rerouting of the Danube and the World Exhibition of 1873, the Prater entered its prime. The Rotunda and the “Riesenrad” Ferris wheel (completed in 1897) came to symbolize Vienna, and the “Venice in Vienna” theme park attracted countless thousands of visitors. A highlight of Vienna’s social calendar was the annual flower parade organized by Princess Pauline Metternich.
The Prater’s luster faded in the wake of the First World War. Large sporting events and the first exhibitions of the Wiener Messe (Vienna Fair) continued to take place until a fire consumed the Rotunda in 1937, but the age of luxuriant festivals and spectacular events was now a thing of the past. Virtually destroyed during the Second World War, the Prater sprung back to life during the postwar period with a glance back at its golden age.
A portion of the Wien Museum’s large collection of objects relating to the Prater is on permanent display at the Prater Museum housed in the Planetarium.
FREE ENTRY TO THE PRATERMUSEUM
Enjoy free entry to the Pratermuseum between 10 March and 31 October 2016 with the purchase of an admission ticket to the Wien Museum Karlsplatz. The Prater Museum is located in the Planetarium near the “Riesenrad” Ferris wheel. (Oswald-Thomas-Platz 1, 1020 Vienna).
Meet Me at the Prater!
The Pratermuseum will also be open for extended hours for the duration of the exhibition:
Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on public holidays falling on a Monday.
Viennese Pleasures since 1766