The Vienna Ringstraße – “The Ring”

Following the sights of Vienna

The Ringstraße in Vienna’s 1st district encircles the city’s historical centre like a belt. Many of Vienna’s main sights also extend along this street. Today, the “Ring”, as the Ringstraße is also called, is part of the World Cultural Heritage Site that is the historical centre of Vienna.

The Ring is 5.2 kilometres long and is the site of many public and private buildings. One of its first buildings was the so-called Heinrichhof, but the Ring is also home to other landmarks such as the Parliament, the City Hall, the State Opera, and many more. The Ringstraße is subdivided into sections which have each been adapted to their structures and buildings.

Therefore, you can distinguish between the following sections: Stubenring, Parkring, Schubertring, Kärntner Ring, Opernring, Burgring, Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring, Universitätsring, and Schottenring.

The design and history of the Ringstraße

The Ringstraße is one of the greatest architectural achievements of the 19th century. The construction of this boulevard in the 1850s was aimed at connecting the inner city to the suburbs and making the image of the city complete. The design principle is shaped by an interplay of architecture and nature. Between the street and the structures which adorn it, rows of trees have been were added, rounding off the appearance of the Ring.

parliament in old town of vienna
Tram in front of the Parliament © mikolaj64 /

Most structures surrounding the Ring came into existence before 1870. Construction work ultimately came to an end in 1913. The various architectural styles can be traced to this time period, as can be seen, for example, with the Hofburg and the Austrian Postal Savings Bank by Otto Wagner.

alte Stadtkarte aus dem Jahr 1609
Vienna in 1609 – Gemeinfrei/Wikimedia Commons

The so-called Ringstraße style as a special form of Historicism influenced the architecture of the 1860s to the 1890s. Today, the whole street is part of the World Cultural Heritage Site of Vienna’s historical centre.

Der Wiener Stadtplan von 1858
Map of Vienna from 1858 – Von J & C Walker Sailp – John Murray, Albemarle Steet, London – Gemeinfreil/Wikimedia Commons

sights along the Vienna Ringstraße

Further sights along the Vienna Ringstraße are the Vienna State Opera, the Burgtheater, and the Museum for Applied Arts, the Musem of Art History, and the Natural History Museum.