If you walk down Vienna’s Ringstrasse you will find a building that will make you believe that you have traveled to Ancient Greece. But it is a much more modern building, from the 18th century, and it is one of the jewels of neoclassicism, the imposing Parliament of Austria.
It is impossible not to turn your eyes when you pass by and it is even possible to pay a visit inside. Do not miss it if you are going to visit Vienna.
Here we tell you what to see in the Vienna Parliament.
The history of the Austrian Parliament building
The construction works of this unique building began in 1874 to house the Parliament for the Habsburg Empire and the works lasted 10 years.
It was built thanks to the Danish architect Theophil von Hansen, who designed a building inspired by Ancient Greece since that civilization was the cradle of democracy.
Despite the fact that its design was highly criticized by some sectors, today it is one of the most valued and visited buildings in Vienna.
It must also be said that it was damaged in World War II, like many others, so it had to be restored. Today it houses the two chambers, the National Council and the Federal Council, which make up the Parliament of Austria.
Visit the Austrian Parliament
The exterior of the Vienna Parliament is simply amazing.
Along its façade we can see different statues of Greek and Roman historical figures.
The most famous statue is the one in front of the main façade and represents Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom.
Under Athena, there are four figures representing the most important rivers of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Elbe, the Danube, the Vltava and the Inn.
If you want to visit its interior, it is also possible to do it on a guided tour, but be careful, because this visit is only in English and German.
If you do not master any of these languages, it is better that you only admire it from the outside, since it could be heavy for you.
The visit begins in the lobby where the main entrance is located, which is only opened on rare occasions.
Among the rooms that can be visited are the Hall of the Columns, which is reminiscent of the Acropolis in Greece, the Historical Sessions Room, which is reminiscent of a Greek theater and was where the former imperial deputies met, the Council Sessions Room Nacional, completely rebuilt after the war with a much more modern look, and the Sessions Hall of the Federal Council, which was used in imperial times as an antechamber.
You can find more information on the official website of the Austrian Parliament.