Celebrating Vienna’s Ringstrasse

From the Eiffel Tower to the Brandenberg Gate, architecture is forever synonymous with a city’s identity. Vienna’s Ringstrasse is certainly one of these timeless icons, and in 2015, the 2.5-mile boulevard will celebrate a milestone anniversary: the 150th anniversary of its May 1, 1865 opening.

More than just a thoroughfare encircling Old Town, the elegant Ringstrasse has been a centerpiece of public life for the past century and a half—certainly worthy of celebration. There are a number of events scheduled for 2015 in tribute to this Austrian national treasure. From May through November, the Austrian National Library will showcase the evolution of Vienna through the eyes of a range of artists, and the Architecture Center will include exhibits on unrealized Nazi plans for the renowned street. Among other events occurring throughout the year is an exhibit at the Belvedere museum, which will focus on the work of symbolist artist Gustav Klimt, who began his career painting murals on the Ringstrasse.

The opening of the Ringstrasse—which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001—commemorates a historical epoch during which Vienna was transformed into a stately European metropolis. Constructed to fulfill Emperor Franz Joseph’s grand dream to demolish ancient city walls and construct a winding path around the Innere Stadt, or Inner City, the Ringstrasse has been the site of parades and political demonstrations over the years, not to mention a superb location for eclectic architecture like the Vienna State Opera, Parliament building, and the Burgtheater. And, it’s also been a wonderful place for Grand Circle travelers to make lasting memories over the years. Join us in 2015 to discover this grand boulevard as part of your discoveries on our Grand European Cruise, The Great Rivers of Europe, or Old World Prague & the Blue Danube river cruise vacations. We also visit Vienna on several pre- and post-trip extensions.