Great Places Wednesday: Ringstrasse Vienna, Austria


The Ringstrasse is a circular road surrounding the Innere Stadt district of Vienna, Austria and is one of its main sights. It is typical of the historical style called Ringstrasse Style of the 1860s to 1890s.

The street was built to replace the city walls, which had been built during the 13th century and funded by the ransom payment derived from the release of Richard I of England, and reinforced as a consequence of the First Turkish Siege in 1529.
In 1850, the Vorst├Ądte (today the Districts II to IX) were incorporated into the municipality, which made the city walls a simple impediment to traffic. In 1857, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria issued the decree “It is My will” ordering the demolition of the city walls and moats. In his decree, he laid out the exact size of the boulevard, as well as the geographical positions and functions of the new buildings. The Ringstrasse and the planned buildings were intended to be a showcase for the grandeur and glory of the Habsburg Empire.

Since the Ringstrasse had always been meant primarily for show, a parallel road was built on the outside of the former glacis. This street is commonly known as 2-er Linie, named after the index “2” in the identifiers of the tram lines which used it. It is still important for through traffic.