Innere Stadt (City Center) - 1st district

The city center, Innere Stadt, the 1st district of Vienna, is where most of the historical buildings and palaces are. Only the huge palaces of Habsburg are occupying several blocks. The opera, the parliament and the city hall are also located in this impressive district, with a lot of interesting museums and architecture. The quarters around St Stephen's Cathedral are the very heart of Vienna and consists of 4 main pedestrian streets, with beautiful buildings and exclusive stores. Ringstrasse is surrounding the historical center, that ends north where Danube Canal flows though the city.

Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper). The members of Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra. It was completed in 1869 in Neo-Renaissance style.
Parts of the opera was destroyed during bombings by Americans in 1945.

A Mozart concert taking place in the opera house.



Ringstrasse towards Kärntner Strasse. To the left is the opera and in the background is St Stephen's Cathedral.




Kärtner Strasse is the main pedestrian street of Vienna and feature famous store brands.



A building under deconstruction at Kärntner Strasse.



Donnerbrunnen near Neue Markt Square near Kärntner Strasse.


Mostly Mozart, a typical tourist store at Kärntner Strasse.



To the right on Kärntner Strasse is Steffl, the most famous department store in Vienna.



The view over St Stephen's Cathedral at Steffl's rooftop restaurant.



The exterior glass elevator of Steffl's department store.



A painted building opposite Steffl's.



Kärntner Strasse from the department store, southwards.

Kärntner Strasse, towards Haas Haus.

Fancy facades with elegant stores at Kärntner Strasse.

Window washing at a luxorious classic building.

Haas House with its postmodern facade at the end of Kärntner Strasse is hated by many viennese, probably because it is located opposite the old landmark Stephansdom, that is mirrored in its curved glass.



Haas Hause was completed in 1990 and houses offices, a hotel, shops and restaurants. In my opinion it fits in well at Stephansplatz.



Haas Haus from the other side.

Partly nice building, but a bit odd building with a mix of materials, especially with the Mc Donalds sign.

The top of Stephansdom can be seen above this decorated building.

Stephansdom, St Stephen's Cathedral, is Vienna's mos famous landmark. It was completed in 1160 and is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the archbishop of Vienna. The architecure style is a mix of Gothic and Romanesque.



The top of the spire has a height of 107m and the width is 70m. Stephansdom is one of the world's most famous cathedrals.

When visiting in summer 2009, parts of the cathedral was under renovation. The cathedral is printed on the Austrian 10 cent Euro coins.

The side of St Stephen's Cathedral.

The impressive interior of the cathedral.



Horse carriages outside the cathedral.

Details of Stephansdom.

Mozarthaus Vienna was the residence of Mozart when he lived in Vienna. It is now a Mozart museum. He only lived there from 1784 to 1787.

View from the entrance to Mozart's residence in Vienna.

Stephansplatz with the cathedral to the left and Haas Haus to the right.

A small street between Stephansplatz and Petersplatz.

Exclusive chocolate is a typical Vienna speciality, perhaps because Mozart loved it.

Grauben is beginnning to the west where Kärntner Strasse ends and is, if possible, even more exclusive. To the left is Haas Haus and behind me Stephensdom.

Exclusive stores at Graben pedestrian street.

This beautiful building...

...hosts a Swedish clothes store, H&M.

Graben, looking towards Pestsäule with another statue to the right.

Generali-Hof at Graben also hosts exclusive stores...

...and so is Graben-Hof.

Pestsäule (the plague column) at Gragen is a reminder of the victims of the plague. It was Emperor Leopold I that vowed to erect it. It was designed by Paul Strudel and inaugurated in 1693. During the design period, it changed from conservative style to high baroque.

Overview of Graben.

Pestsäule at Graben.

Phoenix Krawatten building at Graben.

These sculpture imitators can be seen in most big cities these days.

Peterskirche (St Peter's Church), seen from Graben though Jungferngasse. Peterskirche, with its origins in medieval times, was transferred in 1970 to the priest of Opus Dei. The dome is 57 m tall. The baroque church was completed in 1733.

Petrikirche seen from Kärntner Strasse.

Kohlmarkt, the short but exclusive pedetrian street that leads to Michaelerplatz and Hofburg Palace.

 

Exclusive brand stores at Kohlmarkt.

Hofburg Imperial Palace at Michaelerplatz. This part is called Michaelerwing and includes the Spanish riding school, to the left. Hofburg has hosted some of the most important people in Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austrian-Hungarina empire. It is currently the official residence of Austria's president. Marie Antoinette was born here in 1755.

The circular place called Michelerplatz is filled with horse carriages and a lot of tourists.

Michaelerkirke (St Michael's Church) at Michaelerplatz is one of the few remaining Romanesque builidngs of Vienna. It was completed in 1792. The church, close to the Michaeler used to be the parish church of the Imperial Court

Looshaus (left) by the secession architect Adolf Loos at Michaelerplatz.

Sculptures stand at the entrance to Hofburg.

The famous Spanish Riding School, Spanische Hofreitschule it is located in the west wing of Hofburg. It is the oldest riding school in the world and a major tourist attraction. The word "Spanish" comes from the exclusive Spanish horses.

Heldenplatz, Heroes Square, is located at the other side of Hofburg's entrance, next to the Spanish riding school.

Heldenplatz is where Hitler declared Austria's Anschluss to the German Nazi reich. The statue portraits military leaders.

An arcade throuh Hofburg, that today is filled with tourist shops, where I bought postcards.

Hofburg has hosted several royal families, the Habsburg dynasty and today the president of Austria. It consists of several grandiose palaces.

Heldenplatz, looking towards Volksgarten and Rathaus.

The statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy in front of Neue Burg.

Hofburg Palace's Neue Burg wing with the National Library.

Austrian National Library, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek is located in Hofburg Palace's Neue Burg section. It has 7.4 million items in its collections, including ancient and rare books, papiry, music and more.

The marble interior of the Baroque library has museums.

The marble interior of Austrian National Library in Neue Burg, part of Hofburg Palace.

The gate to the Hofburg Palace, seen from Ringstrasse.

Asculpture in Volksgarten (the Public Garden).

Volksgarten, a monument and the 2 identical museum buildings.

Volksgarten with City Hall and Votivkirche in the background.

The famous Burgtheater from Burggarten.

The Austrian Parliament Building. Here seen from Ringstrasse, opposite Volksgarten and Hofburg. Theophil Hansen designed it.

The parliament building was completed in 1883 and features many details, like the statue Pallas-Athena-Brunnen. It is house for many Austrian ceremonies, like the state speech on the national day and the swearing-in ceremony of the president. A statue of Franz Josef is in the center of the top.

Trams in front of the parliament.

Rathaus, the City Hall of Vienna. It was designed in a Gothic style by Friedrich von Schmidt and was completed in 1883.

On the top of the city hall tower is the Rathausmann, a symbol of Vienna.

An event was going on in front of the Town Hall this hot day.

Rathauspark, the park in front of Rathaus.

Burgtheater, formerly Hofburgtheater, is the Austrian National Theater. It was created in 1741 by Maria Therese and has since then became one of the world's most important Germans language theaters. Three Mozart operas premiered there. It was designed by Gottfried Semper and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer, just like the twin museums. It was detroyed during WW2, but was restored in the 1950s.

Burggarten with the Mozart statue and Hofburg. Note the G clave in flowers in front of Mozart.



Burggarten, the park next to Hofburg.

The statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Volksgarten with Hofburg Palace's east side behind.


Herkulesbrunnen in Burggarten.

Historical buildings seen from Burggarten.



The East side of Hofburg seen from Burggarten.

Palmenhauses.

Goethe statue at Goethegasse.


 

A Steinway grand piano store.

More of Innere Stadt can be experienced in Part 2.