Have you ever wanted to see all the most interesting and beautiful architectural achievements in one place and during one day? Do you think that it’s impossible? Oh, then you have never visited Vienna with its elegant Ringstrasse Street which gathers a wonderful bouquet of the key sightseeing attractions. You are a really lucky person, if you are in Vienna. Just prepare comfortable shoes or take a tram and look around sitting on board.
Vienna’s Ringstrasse may be well known as a commercial district but not many people know that palaces also abound in the area. In fact, during the construction of this famous boulevard, several palaces were also built by the royal families and wealthy residents including Jewish families of the Austrian capital. Public buildings also occupy the area along with the 13 magnificent palaces.
The Ringstrasse surrounds the historic center of Vienna on three sides. This boulevard was built in the mid-19th century at the site of the medieval city fortifications. The length of the modern Ringstrasse is about 5 km. Its shape is more like a horseshoe, rather than a circle. However, the name can be translated as a “circular” or “round street”. The beginning and the end of the street go to the banks of the Danube Canal which rounds out the horseshoe.
It is well known from the history of the city that some palaces from the Ringstrasse were occupied by the royal families together with their servants. In some palaces, however, some areas were rented out. Other palaces had been turned into hotels.
Interestingly, two members of the Habsburgs lived in the Ringstrasse in the past. The youngest brother of Kaiser Franz Joseph, Archduke Ludwig Viktor lived in the palace on the Schwarzenbergplatz while Archduke Wilhelm had a grand palace built on the Parkring.
But the most pleasant for every tourist thing is that there are more than ten graceful, magnificent, and delightful palaces. You will of course find the one which you like most of all and where you would like to stay for a night, in order to get up early in the morning, look at the awaking city and people around. So, let us present some of these unique Vienna’s palaces.
This palace is the most famous in the Ringstrasse. It was originally constructed for the Auspitz family. Later, the Lieben family lived there too. How one can understand that he is near this palace? First of all, it is a five-stored building with the Café Landtmann on the street level. This Viennese coffee house has been working since 1873. It is the largest and most elegant café-locality in Vienna, where such famous people had a cup of coffee: Sigmund Freud, Marlene Dietrich, Hillary Rodham Clinton and even Sir Paul McCartney. The entire café is a non-smoking area, so the time will be spent in the light and relaxed atmosphere. Secondly, the famous Salon оf Berta Zuckerkandl opens the doors to its visitors inside the building of the Lieben-Auspitz Palace. It is a popular meeting place among intellectuals and artists. Join them!
Todesco Palace is a great white building in the neo-Renaissance style with figures of the Atlanteans and ancient sculptures adorning the facade. The palace was erected in 1864 for the Todesco family, who came to Vienna from Romania. Eight halls of the palace are decorated with works by the artist Carl Rahl. Significant damages to the building were caused by the Second World War. The Todesco Palace was rebuilt several times; the last restoration was in 1979.
Now, the palace is under the state protection. A few salons for celebrations of weddings are open on the first floor. The Gerstner Restaurant located in the Todesco Palace will become a pleasant and romantic stop. Tarts and cakes are amazing here. You should definitely have breakfast in its ancient halls to the strains of the Viennese waltz.
This palace by Schottentor is well known for its main role in the bestseller entitled “The Hare with Amber Eyes”. It was originally built for the Ephrussi family and was designed by Theophil Freiherr von Hansen, the same architect, who took part in the constructing of the Austrian Parliament building. The palace was significantly damaged during the Second World War and experienced hard times till 1950, when it was sold by the Emphrussis because of the difficult economic situation. Since then, it was renovated and became the place for the main office of the Casinos Austria AG (till 2009).
One more beautiful palace with an interesting history is the Koningswarter Palace (Palais Königswarter). This small and unnoticeable from the first sight building was constructed by the architects August Schwendenwein and Johann Romano. The owner of the palace was Jonas Freiherr von Koenigswarter, the Director of the Austrian National Bank and President of the Jewish Community in Vienna. It is interesting to know that a famous Austrian actress Katharina Schratt lived on the third floor of the palace from 1890 to 1940.
The Hotel Imperial started its history as a palace. The Wuerttemberg Palace (Palais Württemberg) originated as one of the first building on one of the best and most expensive grounds, with open view to the St. Charles’s Church (Karlkirche). Among the famous people, who stepped on the floor of the hotel, are Richard Wagner and Rainer Maria Rilke. The Queen Elizabeth became its guest during her visit to Vienna in 1969.
We could continue telling you a small part from the history of each palace on the Ringstrasse Street, but we should better stop and recommend you visiting Vienna and walking along these palaces yourself, becoming a part of the long-long history of this city and country indeed.