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Prater

Originally an imperial hunting ground, the woods and meadows between the Danube and its canal were opened to the public by Joseph II in 1766. The Hauptallee (central avenue) was for a long time the preserve of the nobility and their footmen. During the 19th century, the western end of Prater became a massive funfair with booths, sideshows, shooting galleries, merry-gorounds and beer gardens. Today, it is one of Europe’s best-equipped amusement parks, with high-tech rides. Its most famous attraction is the giant Riesenrad (ferris wheel) built in 1896 by the English engineer Walter Basset. The setting for the tense final scene in Carol Reed’s film The Third Man (1949), it is now one of the city’s symbols. The Prater is also a vast sports park, home to a soccer and a trotting stadium, the Freudenau Racetrack, swimming pools, tennis courts, a golf course and cycling trails, as well as a planetarium and open-air restaurants and bars. Nearby are the pavilions and vast grounds of the annual Vienna Fair for numerous temporary exhibitions.

Prater Photo Gallery

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