As you've read elsewhere, the Riesenrad is the fixture of the Prater amusement park, and was seen in the movie "The Third Man." I thought there were enough pictures of the actual ferris wheel up here, so I chose this one. I don't know if this is still around, but this mosaic of the Austrian state crest was at the Riesenrad entrance in 1991. Even back then there were some areas of the Prater that one shouldn't venture into - be aware of less populated places and, of course, pickpockets. But other than that, we enjoyed the Prater!
The Prater is definitely a must see. It's very odd. Well, not really I suppose...it's more along the lines of a fairground that one would find in America. However, there are all sorts of very fun sculptures to play on and of course the famous ferris wheel is amazing. Instead of seats in a traditional ferris wheel, the passenger compartments are old wooden train cars....that sway. Really neat!
It's kinda pricey...if memory serves me correctly, it's 8 euros. *but* if you buy a combo pass for the ferris wheel *and* the Donautrum (the big needle thingie kinda like in Seattle) then it's totally worth it. The Donautrum is not in the Prater, but it's not *too* much of a pain in the arse to navigate to both fun spots.
The Prater means 'plain'...which it really is...just a large expanse of land with all kinds of buggies, games, go-karts, rides, etc... Typically (esp in the summer and for New Years) there are big tents set up with music, super cheap beer, etc...it basically becomes a big party zone.
This ferris wheel is a contemporary of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I see both of them as monuments of late 19th century engineering.
As I love watching the Eiffel Tower from beneath, for the impression of strength and stability it gives me, so my preferred view of the Riesenrad is from inside a wagon looking towards the centre of the wheel.
This big wheel is situated in a large amusement park...often known as Volksprater or Wurstelprater...; at the western end of Prater District.
This huge Ferris Wheel is known to the world as Riesenrad.
It was built in 1897...
The wheel operates as late as midnight in summer....the fee is about € 4....
The giant wheel, located in a large park in Vienna called the Prater, has been a cherished city landmark for over 100 years. ‘You only know Vienna if you have seen it from the giant wheel,’ proclaims the invitation posted at the attraction’s entrance. But its existence—longer than that of any other giant Ferris wheel in the world—has not been without difficulties. How did this steel colossus come to be? How did it survive the storms of time
THE RIESENRAD (GIANT WHEEL)
Height: 212 feet
Wheel diameter: 200 feet
Weight of wheel: 245 tons
Weight of entire iron construction: 430 tons
Speed: 1.7 miles per hour [2.7 kmh]
The English engineering firm of Walter Basset built the Ferris Wheel in 1896-97. It has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Vienna. The wheel, with its 15 gondolas, turns at a rate of 76 cm/s ( 2.5 ft/s) and offers a magnificent panoramic view of the city.
Famous from an old Orson Welles movie, which unfortunately I have not seen (The Third Man), the Vienna Big Wheel (Riesenrad)is one of the more famous landmarks in Vienna...
Originally opened at the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef more than 100 years ago (the Same Guy that Glacier in NZ is named for...), The big wheel has thirty carriages, is 65 meters tall and weights about 430 tons.
I can't say that it is a thrilling ride, but it does afford a nice view of the city at the top....
Located in Prater, a fairground in Vienna.
We had the opportunity to roam around in the Prater as well. This centrally located part of Vienna is a huge carnival filled with rides and games and stuff. It is only open seasonally, so check if it's open before you go.
It contains the largest ferris wheel in Europe, which has been used in several movies. One ride I did not go on was this pod attached with bungee (sp?) cords to two massive towers. You are then slung-shot into the air with a CCTV camera in your face that everyone back on the ground 100's of feet below can watch. I did not go on this (too much $$ ; ) ), but I did go on this piston ride, which I am pictured riding.
I've got to recommend that you ride the ferris wheel in Prater park with you camera turned on a ready to go. If it's a good day outside, like when I rode the wheel, you'll be rewarded with some very good views of both the whole Prater park and the city Vienna. Don't worry about the fact that you're moving pretty quickly on the ferris wheel, you're photos should blur up at all if you hold your hands still like normal. I though it was pretty cool to get up in the air and see all of the places that I'd been walking around all day long, what a lot I was doing!
Much more romantic than the London Eye! This is the first thing I wanted to see. This is where Orson Welles threatened Joseph Cotten with a sticky death on the floor of the Prater, and spoke of cuckoo-clocks, to the strains of a zither. And this, at least, didn't disappoint!
[The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949). IMHO one of the dozen or so greatest films ever made, with undoubtedly the very best score]
Although a complete and very modern fun fair has been build around it, the old and partially original ferris wheel is still the highest attraction in the Praterpark. It has duplicates of the gondolas from the old days, in which you can ´do a round´ to the top and down again. The view is wonderful and the wood interior of the cabins makes the trip back into time complete. (you can even rent one for a private dinner! (very pricy))
It was towards the end of the 19th century that Kaiser Franz Josef commissioned the building of the Riesenrad - the Giant Wheel - that has since become the symbol of Vienna. The Giant Wheel carries its huge carriages to a height of 200 feet (65 metres) off the ground. One of them is a luxury carriage, which can be hired for weddings and parties for about 250 dollars an hour. The Giant Wheel was also the setting for the famous confrontation between hero Holly and villain Harry in 'The Third Man'. It was as they were leaving the amusement park that Harry pronounced his damning verdict on Switzerland: 'In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.'
Spend a fun-filled day at The Prater and feel like a little kid again.
If you think this is just another amusement park, you're wrong, my friend. It's definitely more than that: It's an institution! And the most note-worthy attraction here must surely be the 65 meter high Giant Ferris Wheel. Oh, but the fun just doesn't end here. Check out the extra-long slides.... and laugh yourselves silly whilst you see a reflection of yourself - bent, fat or thin in the Hall of Mirrors. Or how about savoring the romantic nostalgia of an old merry-go-round.... or...or.... spend a few moments at the Planetarium? They are all not-to-be-missed.
Wiener Reisenrad (Vienna Giant Wheel)
The 'Reisenrad' (Giant Wheel) is a landmark of the Austrian Capital and a symbol of the world famous Vienna 'Prater'. In 1896/97 it was build by an English engineer, Walter B. Basset. Similar giant wheels, constructed by the same engineer, were situated in London, Blackpool and Paris, but they were soon dismantled and sold as scrap - not so this Viennese specimen.
Since 1947 its 15 cabins have been in constant action till today. Highest elevation of Giant Wheel above ground is 64,75 metres (209 feet).
Take a ride on the famous ferris wheel, or it's neighbor, either on will provide you with excellent views of the city of Vienna.