Last summer we took a trip through Munich, Prague, and Vienna. While many European cities have amazing architecture I really enjoyed our visit to the Wien Rathaus City Hall in Vienna. It was one of the free things I mentioned on my post 7 Free Things to do in Vienna. It is beautiful and definitely much larger than I envisioned before our visit. I loved that it was built in Gothic style, with a tower similar to Gothic cathedrals. Just the tip of the iceberg so to speak, lol
The best part was that they offer free tours. Most tours get a Council Chamber, the two Coat of Arms Halls, the Stone Halls, Festival Hall, Senate Chamber, Grand Staircases and the Arcade Courtyard with a view up the Rathausmann. Tours take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1pm. Guided tours are conducted in German language and are free of charge!
I was a little concerned about this as we don’t speak much German at all. However they have multilingual audio guides available, also for free, in English, French, Italian and Spanish. You just have to make sure to leave them your ID until you return the guide.
Earlier I mentioned about the tower on the Rathaus, but I didn’t mention that it is 103 meters tall. It is also surrounded by 4 further towers, and has over 1575 rooms! Like I said it is HUGE. We climbed up and down so many stairs that I lost track, but seemed like it was at least 5-6 stories. It was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt between 1872 and 1883, is 20,000 square meters, 2000 windows, and has seven large courtyards.
I can’t recall the name of the first room we visited, which has the most stairs, but it is where they have the Governors' pictures, flags and banners. Really nice looking but we didn’t have much time to look around or take pictures. But it was very nice.
Another interesting room at the Rathaus was the Coat of Arms Room. They call them the "Little Wappensaal" and features wall-hangings representing the coats-of-arms of all nine federal provinces and the Republic of Austria, as well as the coats-of-arms of the provincial capitals.
Just like here in the US, I always love to look at the Chamber rooms. The most striking feature of this 14-metre-high room is a huge chandelier in the historicist style, with a diameter of five meters and 213 lights. It is amazing. Gene joked about having to change the light bulbs, lol. I couldn’t get a good picture of the ceiling, but it is beautiful too. The stained glass windows were also quite impressive.
What wasn’t impressive was me falling on the steps during our tour of this beautiful room. I was sitting on the edge of one of the seats in the gallery and was trying to move for another person on the tour. What I didn't realize, was that I was on the end of the aisle. Down I went and hit my head, my side, and my back. I was not feeling good after we left that room. However, this was the last room, so I was able to make it. Sadly, I also have an unwanted souvenir, a broken fitbit However, the rest of the tour was amazing.
I knew I had wanted to see the Vienna CIty Hall, but I was shocked at how huge and how beautiful it was. I was thrilled to be able to see it, and I will definitely remember our visit, lol. Here is a link to a website with more information. If you are in Vienna, it should definitely be on your list.