Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria. Vienna is located in northeastern Austria, at the easternmost extension of the Alps in the Vienne Basin. Art and culture had a long tradition in Vienna, including theatre, opera, classical music and fine arts. A variety of architectural styles can be found in Vienna, such as the Romanesque Ruprechtskirche and the Baroque Karlskirche. Styles range from classicist buildings to modern architecture. Art Nouveau left many architectural traces in Vienna. The Secession, Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station, and the Kirche am Steinhof by Otto Wagner rank among the best known examples of Art Nouveau in the world. Vienna is Austria's main centre of education and home to many universities, professional colleges and gymnasiums.
The 20 Habsburg Staterooms are spread out over two floors of the Albertina palace. The magnificent Hall of the Muses forms the centrepiece, flanked on either side by stately apartments. The palace’s original Louis XVI decor had been ordered from the royal court ateliers in Paris and Versailles for Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen’s Brussels residence, Laeken Castle. In 2000, work began on the comprehensive restoration of the staterooms. The return of the original furniture was secured through successive acquisitions as well as loans from the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art (MAK) and the Federal Furniture Depot’s Imperial Furniture Collection. International specialists took part in the restoration work, which was largely concluded by 2007.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral is one of the most famous Viennese sights and was built in 1147 AD. For a long time it was uncontested as highest building in Europe measuring almost 137 m. The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral, seen today in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV (1339–1365) and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147. The most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephen's Cathedral has borne witness to many important events in Habsburg and Austrian history and has, with its multi-coloured tile roof, become one of the city's most recognizable symbols. The cathedral has got two very impressive features: The gigantic roof, and the tall, lean tower (136,7 metres of hight).
Vienna Opera House
The Vienna State Opera is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. August von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll built the State Opera House from 1861 to 1869. Wartime bombing destroyed the building in 1945. Its reconstruction, completed in 1955, was financed by taxes, contributions, and U.S. Marshall Plan aid. In the interim, performances of the State Opera were held at the Vienna Volksoper (Folk Opera) and the Theater an der Wien. The outstanding musical director of the period after World War II was the conductor Herbert von Karajan. Performances are financed in part by a state subsidy. The Vienna Opera House has a world-wide reputation for its first-class opera performances and is also known because of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. A night at the State Opera is one of the most impressive events any visitor to Vienna can experience.
The Rathaus is the seat of the City Council of Vienna. The Rathaus was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt in the Neo-Gothic style, and built between 1872 and 1883. On the top of the tower is the Rathausmann, one of the symbols of Vienna. Facing the Rathaus is a large park, the Rathauspark. The tower is topped by a 3.5 meter tall statue of an armored knight holding a lance. The statue, designed by Franz Gastell and created by master smith Alexander Nehr, is known as the Rathausmann. The Rathaus also accommodates the historic 'Wiener Rathauskeller' restaurant. The traditional restaurant consists of several baroque halls, offering small traditional Viennese delicacies to grand gala buffets.