The Ringstrasse boulevard & State Opera


Seeing and being seen hr

The world-famous Vienna Ringstraße is a total of 8.4 miles long. Numerous monumental buildings of world renown can be found on this boulevard, which were built during the historicism period in the 1860s to 1890s. Construction lasted more than half a century. Today the ring road is one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world – visitors can experience it on foot, by bike or with the Vienna Ring Tram (just 8 minutes walk from Hotel Drei Kronen). 
 Constructing the ring road was a feat of urban planning as 2.4 million square meters were used for buildings; the planners reserved 1.5 million square meters for streets, squares and parks. Today, buildings such as Vienna City Hall and the parliament, as well as cultural palaces such as the State Opera and the "Kunsthistorisches Museum" attract millions of tourists to Vienna every year. Today, the ring road is more than a magnificent mile of museums – it has also gained reputation as a vibrant urban space to be experienced in its own right. From the "Rainbow Parade" to the mass spectacle which is the "Vienna Marathon": the Vienna Ring is living. Sometimes, you can even feel it moving beneath your feet.

Rising from the ashes

On 12th March 1945, the opera was severely hit during an air raid and was completely destroyed except for the main walls and large staircase. The building was renovated in 1949 according to designs by Erich Boltenstern, Otto Prossinger and Ceno Kosak. It closely followed the style of the original and cost 260 million Schilling. The grand reopening took place on 5th November 1955 with a performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio" directed by Karl Böhm. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra play here and the State Opera Ballet also preforms its own ballet.

Let the waltz begin!

However, on one night a year the Vienna State Opera is transformed into a large dance floor – for the Vienna Opera Ball. Year after year this festive event, where artists, politicians and entrepreneurs from all over the world meet, is broadcast worldwide by countless television stations. Over a hundred debutante couples open the ball of balls in the State Opera in long evening gowns and tailcoats.