Austrian Parliament Building, Vienna
An Imperial Commission under Emperor Franz Joseph I decided in 1857 that the building’s style should be classical and choose classical Greek architecture as appropriate for the Parliament, since the ideal of democracy is connected to the Ancient Greeks.
Democracy under the Empire was a more difficult task than to build (architect Baron von Hansen) a construction inspired by the Zappeion in Athens.
Indeed in 1867 with the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, Hungary obtained autonomy and the Empire became the kaiserliche und königliche Monarchie Österreich-Ungarn (Austro-Hungarian monarchy or k.u.k. Monarchy) also called Doppelmonarchie.
Can you imagine that Emperor and King Franz Joseph I reigned over a multinational realm comprising modern-day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, large parts of Serbia and Romania and smaller parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine with 12 official languages! Emperor Franz Joseph spoke German, Hungarian and Czech fluently, and Polish and Italian to some degree.
All these ethnies were not really in love with each other. For example Hungary and Austria had separate parliaments. Furthermore there were political struggles between conservatives and liberals.
The dual monarchy dissolved on 31 October 1918. Austria and Hungary became republics. But this is the start of another story.
The building housed the first form of a parliamentary system for much of the people of Central Europe and is a success of the 19th century Classic revival.
The fact that the statue of Athena has her back turned to the building was explained by a joke: the Goddess was disgusted by the political infighting at the parliament!
There are public guided tours for individual visitors in both English and German language from Monday to Saturday at specific times. See the website: www.parlament.gv.at
No prior appointment is necessary.
It was wow! This is an impressive building!
It is one of the many monumental buildings located on the Ringstrasse, five of them designed by Theofil von Hansen. This was one of them, and it is a beauty!
Hansen had studied architecture in Athens and obviously had Athens and Greece on his mind when designing Parliament House.
The neoclassical architecture is obviously Greek in appearance. Built between 1874 and 1884, it has eight monumental Corinthian columns in the centre, then another six on either end. On the tympanum are sculptures depicting Franz Joseph granting his subjects a constitution.
Wide ramps lead to the portico. At the foot of the ramps are statues and ones of the Horse Tamers.
Eight more statues on the balustrades show historians from the Antiquity: four Greek historians on the left ramp and four Roman historians on the right ramp. The building is decorated on all sides with more than 100 statues and friezes and four sculpture groups of chariot riders adorn the roof of the Parlament.
A MUST SEE
GUIDED TOURS ARE AVAILABLE, Please check the website link for times
PRICES FOR GUIDED TOURS
Adults € 5,00
Reduced € 2,50
For persons aged 19 or under FREE admission
Another feature that I really liked at Parliament House, was all the wrought iron figures I found.
It was the ornate Lamp posts that grabbed my attention first!
Three round white balls for light at the top, and then further down the post there were figures surrounding it, then at the next level, cherubs trying to sit on Swans . Below this looks to be Goat heads and then some ornate decoration. At the base are four winged Athenas?
Look at the hand-rail, nothing plain about this one. The posts are figures.
Another to take a look at, is the door handles of Parliament house.
Heading down to bottom at street level, I took a closer look at the two very high poles that were either side of the Fountain. At the very top of each pole, was a golden Eagle. The base was fluted and had Griffins surrounding it, plus some nice reliefs of cherubs.
When at Parliament House, don't walk away without having a good look at the Pallas Athene Fountain. It is situated at the front of Parliament House. Once again, the Greek theme has been continued as it's named after the Greek goddess Pallas Athena - goddess of wisdom - who is standing on top of a fluted column wearing a gilded helmet and armed with a lance.
The two female statues below, represent the legislative and executive powers of the state. At the base are four allegorical statues of the four most important rivers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: the Danube and the Inn in the front and the Elbe and the Vltava in the back.
The fountain, which was unveiled in 1902, is a beauty!
As I was heading to Parliament House, I stopped for a moment to read about the "monument of the republic."
This monument commemorates the establishment of the Republic of Austria on 12 November 1918 . .
The monument consists of three busts of Social Democrats - Jakob Reumann , Victor Adler and Ferdinand Hanuschplatz, each resting on a pedestal.
Pallas-Athenebrunnen in front of the Parliament portal was erected between 1893and 1902, as a joined work by Carl Kundmann, Josef Tautenhayn and Hugo Haerldt, based on plans by Edvard von Hansen.
In the middle of the fountain is a water basin and the richly decorated base. The four figures, lying at the foot of Athene are allegorical representations of the four most important rivers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the front is Danube and Inn, in the back the Elbe and Moldau (Vltava). On the sides of the fountain little cupids ride dolphins. The female statues above represents the Legislative and Executive powers of the state.
They are again dominated by the Goddess of Wisdom, Athene, standing on a pillar. Athene is dressed in armour with a gilden helmet, her left hand carries a spear and her right carries Goddess Nike. The statue of Athene is work of the sculptor Carl Kundmann.
The bronze statues of the horse tamers are located at the two lower ends of the ramp. They are powerful symbol of the suppression of passion, which is an important precondition for successful parliamentary cooperation. The statues were designed and executed by J.Lax in 1897 and 1900....
The roof of the Parliament contains eight quadrigas made of bronze, decorating both ends of the roof. The ancient quadriga is a symbol of victory, driven by the Greek Goddess of victory Nike. The attic is rich in symbolism with 76 marble statues and 66 reliefs.
There are 44 allegorical statues which represent human qualities and branches of human activities, while 32 statues represent famous personalities from classical antiquity.
The Parliament (Hoheshaus) was built on the site of the ancient city fortifications and walls. It was Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria who decided to laid down plans for a Ringstrasse boulevard to replace the old city walls.
The construction started in 1874 and the building was completed in 1883. It was built in the Greek revival style designed by Austrian architect Teophil Edvard Hansen. Hansen was inspired by the design of the Zappeion in Athens. He is also responsible for the interior decoration, such as statues, paintings, furniture and other decorative elements. For his magnificent work Hansen was honored by Emperor Franz Josef with the title "Freiherr" (baron).
Today the Parliament building is the seat of the National Council (Nationalrat) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat) of the Austrian Parliament.
The Austrian Parliament is another impressive building located on the Ringstrasse. It was designed in Greek revival style by the Danish architect Theophil Hansen, and built between 1874 and 1883. Today, the huge building (over 13,500 square meters) is where the two houses of the Parliament of Austria (the National Council (Nationalrat) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat)) conduct their sessions.
It is possible to visit the Parliament on guided tours, but I just admired the great building with its many pillars from the outside. Here is also a few statues; the Errichtung der Republik Memorial, the quadrigas steered by the goddess Nike on the roof, the horse tamers located at the two lower ends of the ramp, and the Athena Fountain (Pallas-Athene-Brunnen) with the sculptures of the Elbe, the Vltava, the Inn, and the Danube.
After seeing the stunning parliament building in Budapest, the Austrian one in Vienna appears slightly less impressive, although its classic Greek Revival architecture is very elegant. Its construction began in 1874 and was completed in 1884. About half of the building was destroyed during World War II, but all rooms that are open to the public were restored back to their original design whenever possible. Perhaps the most stunning ones are the Hall of Pillars, a spectacular hall featuring 24 marble pillars that acted as a meeting place between the House of Lords and the House of Representatives, as well as the former House of Representatives chamber, which is now used to hold special events and ceremonies. A visit to the Parliament only costs 5 Euros, and guided tours are offered in English from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Saturday. Tours last about 1h, and our guide was super interesting!
This is a beautiful example of Greek Revival architecture, outside and inside the harmony is evident. It is huge and really impressive. It took almost ten years to build.
Originally it was built to house the Imperial Council. It is the largest building on Ringstraße boulevard and located near the Palace of Justice and the Hofburg.
It has served through years of peace and war but since 1918, meetings of the National and Federal Parliament have been held here.
The Austrian Parliament looks like an old greek temple, but in fact it dates back to the end of the 19th century and was constructed by Theophil Hansen as a part of the Ringstrassen-architecture. You may visit the parliament with a guided tour and after the reconstruction-works that ended in 2005 they even have a shop for parliament-souvenirs there. Take a closer look at the great monument of Pallas Athene and various fine details, like the door-handle on one of my pictures. The entrance-hall is beautifully decorated with mosaiques and even the street-lamps are decorated with swans and sculptures out of the greek mythology.
The Austrian National Parliament building was built by architect Theophil von Hansen from 1873-84. He obviously was a great fan of classic antiquity, as the parliament is built in the style of a Greek-Roman temple, with statues of the goddess Athene, chariots and greek-roman historians and politicians.
Even though you are not a member of the Austrian parliament, I think you should have a look at the nice building. I recommend to go up the stairs to have a view on the nice paintings under the ceiling.
For information about the Austrian parliamant follow the link below (English)...
Find the parliament on a map...