1020 Vienna, Oswald-Thomas-Platz 1
(Planetarium, near Riesenrad)
Vienna without the Prater is virtually unimaginable. From the time Joseph II opened the imperial hunting grounds to the public in 1766, the Prater was a sensation. Attractions included carousels, Punch and Judy shows, spectacular fireworks displays, and experimental balloon flights. The Prater entered its heyday with the World Exposition of 1873. Theme parks such as "Venice in Vienna" set new entertainment standards, while the Riesenrad [Ferris wheel] and the majestic Rotunda became Viennese icons.
The roller coaster, cinemas, and folk festivals drew in countless visitors, as did voyeuristic exhibits of "abnormal" and "exotic" peoples. To this day, the Prater evokes a particular flair and no small amount of nostalgia. The Prater Museum in the Planetarium offers us the chance to immerse ourselves in the history of this special Viennese institution.
A new Prater Museum is currently being built on the Straße des 1. Mai, with more space for the growing Prater collection in a modern exhibition architecture. The opening is planned for 2024.