The Wiener Riesenrad is the famous giant ferris wheel in Vienna’s Prater Amusement Park. It is the city’s icon, one of its most attention grabbing structure and one that provides an extraordinary experience for those willing to take the ride up there. Each year, the Riesenrad attracts some 750,000 visitors.
Built in 1897 and designed by English engineer Lieutenant Walter Basset of the Royal Navy, the ferris wheel was meant to mark the golden jubilee of then Emperor Franz Josef I. During the Second World War, the structure was completely destroyed but it was later rebuilt. In fact, it was among the first structures rebuilt after the war.
This Viennese version of the giant ferris wheel made from steel originally had 30 gondolas. It stands at a height of 34.20 meter and weights 430 tonnes. Once on top, anybody riding on the carriage is provided with an amazing view of the entire Vienna City.
At night, the Riesenrad is a beautiful giant clock of light. It features modern lighting effects and search lights courtesy of British light artist Patrick Woodroffe.
If the U.K. has its London Eye, Vienna has its Riesenrad and anybody new to the Austrian capital should definitely not miss taking the ride. You won’t regret you did.