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The Ringstrasse in Vienna The European City Transformed in the Late 19th century.

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Presentation on theme: "The Ringstrasse in Vienna The European City Transformed in the Late 19th century."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Ringstrasse in Vienna The European City Transformed in the Late 19th century

2 The transformation of the city of Vienna from mid- to late-19th century exemplifies ideas and attitudes brought about by a changing political climate, growing industrial economy, and the need to make the city a larger urban organism rather than an old walled center divided from its newer surrounding suburbs. Emperor Franz Josef sponsored a competition in 1858 to lay out a new band of public and private buildings on the territory formerly occupied by the fortifying walls of the Austrian capital. This very wide boulevard, with its provision for monumental cultural and government buildings interspersed with parks, ringed the old town and therefore gained the name “Ringstrasse” (lit. ring street). The project was underwritten by the sale of a substantial amount of the land comprising the ring district to private developers in order to create the funding for the public buildings.

3 Volksgarten (Public Park) by Ludwig Remy, 1819-23 with the Theseus-Tempel by Peter Nobile

4 The Volksgarten (or Public Park) antedates the Ring project but was incorporated into it.

5 The Theseus-Tempel (1820- 23) by Peter Nobile in the Volksgarten is a Greek revival monument intended to display a statue of Theseus carved by the Italian neo-classical sculptor Antonio Canova.

6 Äusseres Burgtor (Outer Castle Gate), by Peter Nobile, 1821-24

7 The Outer Castle Gate, by Peter Nobile, 1821- 24, is another Greek Revival addition to the imperial castle in Vienna prior to the Ring project.

8 Votivkirche (Votive Church), by Heinrich von Ferstel, 1856-79

9 The neo-Gothic Votivkirche (Votive Church) by Heinrich von Ferstel, 1856-79, commemorates the Emperor Franz Josef’s escape from death by a Hungarian would- be assassin’s attempt on his life. It was built by public contributions as a sign of the solidarity between the people of Austria and the imperial house.

10 Main portal (left) and Chevet

11 Former Hofoper (Court Opera House), now Staatsoper (State Opera House) by August von Siccardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, 1861-69

12 The State Opera (formerly Court Opera) on the Ring, by August von Siccardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, 1861-69. The design was scaled to the public space of the Ringstrasse with porticoes at two levels from which opera-goers could see the pedestrian and carriage traffic of the boulevard

13 French renaissance detailing provided another kind of revivalism at the outset of the Ring project.

14 Burgtheater (Castle Theatre) by Gottfried Semper, 1874-88

15 Principal (west) façade of the Burgtheater.


17 Burgtheater viewed from the Volksgarten

18 Rathaus (City Hall) by Friedrich von Schmidt, 1872-3

19 Friedrich von Schmidt, the architect of the Vienna City Hall, worked on the project to finish the Cathedral of Cologne before coming to Austria.

20 View of the Rathaus (City Hall) from the Volksgarten. The series of parks along the Ringstrasse serve as a context that connects the various monuments together.

21 View of the Theseus-Tempel with the City Hall in the distance

22 Parlamentshaus (Parliament Building) by Theophil Hansen, 1874-83

23 The Parliament with the City Hall, University, and Votive Church in the background.

24 Theophil Hansen, the architect of the Parlamentshaus (Parliament Building), was a Danish neo- classicist who based his design of this structure on both Roman and Greek models.

25 Political rally for the Austrian Socialist Party on May Day

26 Neue Hofburg (New Castle) and Museum district by Gottfried Semper and Karl von Hasenauer, 1873ff

27 Heldenplatz Maria-Theresia-Platz

28 The Neue Hofburg (New Imperial Castle) by Karl Hasenauer, 1881ff, viewed from Heldenplatz (Heroes’ Square).

29 The garden façade of the Neue Hofburg (New Castle) as seen from the Hofgarten.

30 Heldenplatz is on axis with Maria-Theresia-Platz, seen through the colonnade of the Outer Castle Gate.

31 Maria-Theresia-Platz focuses on a monument by the sculptor Zumbusch to the beloved 18th-century Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresia, mother of Marie Antoinette and grandmother of Franz Josef.


33 The Art Historical and Natural History Museums are a matched pair by Gottfried Semper and Karl van Hasenauer. They face each other across Maria-Theresia-Platz. Competition 1866; Construction 1872-81


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