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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Viewing towers – Vienna from above
Scaling the heights
For over 45 years the Donauturm has been the most well known viewing tower in Vienna. An express lift takes visitors up 150 metres to the viewing terrace and revolving restaurant.
Now the Donauturm has competition from bahnorama, the viewing tower on the site of Vienna’s new central railway station that is currently being built. It provides a view not only of one of the largest building sites in Europe but also of Vienna city centre including the City Hall. An even closer view of this neo-Gothic building can be obtained from the terrace of the recently opened 25 Hours Hotel on Lerchenfelder Strasse, which also looks out onto the roofs of the Palace of Justice, the Auersperg and Trautson palaces designed by Fischer von Erlach and the Kunsthistorisches and Natural History museums.
On a clear day it is possible to see as far as the Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg hills.
Another high vantage point is available at the recently opened tower in Haus des Meeres (Aqua Terra Zoo). The sun terrace is 35 metres high and can be reached by scaling the 192 steps of the stairway attached to the side of the former ‘flak’ tower (a war-time anti-aircraft blockhouse). With luck it is possible to see the leopard tortoises in their lofty open-air enclosures. All of the new viewing towers are in the inner city, but the real centre remains St. Stephan’s Cathedral, whose 137 metre south tower was the highest structure in Europe during the Gothic period.
Visitors can still climb the 343 steps to reach the top today. For those who do not wish to climb on foot, however, a lift will take them up the north tower to Pummerin, Austria’s largest bell. At all events, it is well worthwhile venturing into the heights to enjoy a panoramic view of Vienna.
Food tower‘das Turm’ restaurant and bar are located on the 22nd and 21st floor, respectively, of the Immofinanz-Tower on Wienerberg hill, offering a new and unique view of Vienna. In the evening visitors can take in the lights of the city from the large open-air cocktail bar terrace.
Running towerAustria’s tallest building, the 202 metre Millennium Tower, was completed in 1999. The fifty floors, used exclusively as office space, tower up from the three-storey Millennium City shopping mall. The 48-storey Tower Run-Up will take place on 1 October.
High towerThe largest skyscraper project in Austria is currently being built in the so-called Donau City. The 220 metre DC Tower will be completed in early 2013. The first 15 floors will be a hotel and the remaining 45 will house exclusive offices and a restaurant.
Art towerThe historical Ringturm built in 1955, which belongs to the Vienna Insurance Group, is once again under wraps. For the fourth time it is covered by an outsize work of art: this year it is Xenia Hausner’s 4,000 m² “A Sense of Family”, which can be seen until mid-September.