Inspired by my friend Cathy, of the wonderful Mummytravels blog, I’m going to join in with her Thursday Travel Treat series.
Having spent more than half of my life in the Austrian capital Vienna, it seems only appropriate that I start the series with a post of one of the city’s most iconic symbols – the Riesenrad.
Standing 64.75m tall, the Riesenrad, or giant Ferris wheel, has been spinning for more than 100 years.
Built in 1897 to mark the golden jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I, it has survived two world wars and become a symbol of the city’s perseverance. So emblematic is the big wheel that in 1945, it was one of the first of the city’s buildings to be constructed after the Second World War.
It’s also featured in several films, with its original railway carriage-esque cabins playing host to Timothy Dalton’s James Bond in The Living Daylights and the first kiss between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters in Before Sunrise.
But the Riesenrad will forever be synonymous with British film classic The Third Man and a famous cuckoo clock speech by Orson Welles’ character Harry Lime.
“… In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michalengelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” – The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed
And it’s still spinning, providing visitors with a fabulous view of the whole of Vienna – taking in the Wienerwald hills, the spires of the old town and the bright lights of the surrounding Prater amusement park.
It’s open nearly all year round and provides a wonderful view regardless of season or whether by day or by night. I can testify to this by the fact my other half is such a fan, we’ve been on it nearly 20 times in the last five years. Though they don’t yet do a season pass, sadly.
For more information, including tickets and opening hours, visit the Wiener Riesenrad website.
This post was written as a #thursdaytraveltreat. If you’d like to see more Thursday Travel Treats, check out Mummytravels or search for #thursdaytraveltreat on Instagram and Twitter.
Copyright Natalie Marchant/Tales from Taliena