Circle Of Fame - Ring Boulevard


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 Ringstraßenstil of the 1860s to 1890s. The street was built to replace the city walls, which had been built during the 13th century and reinforced as a consequence of the First Turkish Siege in 1529, and instead of the glacis, which was about 500m wide.

In 1857, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria issued his famous 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 building. The Ringstraße and the planned buildings were intended to be a showcase for imperial Habsburg grandeur and the glory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On the practical level, Emperor Napoléon III of France already demonstrated with his oulevard-building in Paris how enlarging the size of the streets effectively made the erection of revolutionary barricades impossible.

Vienna Ring Boulevard is 4 kilometers long and circles the city centre. The construction of the Ring Boulevard was initiated by Emperor Franz Joseph I in December 1857. The magnificent road was erected on the free space. Ring Boulevard was generously planned, leaving sufficient space for a shaded avenue and monumental buildings like Hofburg, Austrian Parliament, State Opera House, and Museum of Fine Arts, the first public observatory Urania and Vienna University among others.

Even though most buildings have been planned and build at pretty much the same time, their styles vary strongly. This mix of architectural styles is often referred to as 'Ringstrassenstil' and takes its principles from Historicism. Various styles were copied to underline the function of the buildings: the Museum of Fine Arts and its counterpart the Museum of Natural History were built to resemble Italian Renaissance, so was the Vienna Opera House. Parliament echo's Greek classicism as this was the epoch of the birth of democracy. The Ring Boulevard was ceremoniously inaugurated on 1st May in 1865 and is one of the biggest and most beautiful boulevards of its kind.

Stroll along Vienna's splendid boulevard and admire it as a window on the former Habsburg monarchy. One can take a trip turn around the old city on streetcar lines Number 1 or 2 and see Otto Wagner's Post Office Building, the Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna's City Park, the Vienna State Opera, the Imperial Palace, the Museums of Fine Arts and Natural History, Parliament, the Burgtheater, the University and the Stock Exchange.

The Ring Boulevard begins on Julius-Raab-Platz in the vicinity of Urania. At Stubenring crosses the government building. After that, one gets to Parkring, which is past Statuary. Further on one goes to Schubertring, Kärnter Ring and Opernring with the State Opera. Later on, one goes to Burgring, with the Burg Garden, the New Hofburg, the Heldenplatz and Maria-Theresien-Platz. Opposite Hofburg there is the museum of Fine Arts and the museum of Natural History.

Next to Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring are the Parlament and the Volksgarten. On Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring there is the City Hall with the City Hall Park, and the university, a bit behind that, you find the Votivkirche. At Schottenring you go past the Vienna Stock Exchange. The Ring Boulevard finally ends at the Ring Tower on Franz-Josef-Kai.