Compelling Architecture in the Golden Quarter
The district is perhaps best known for being a shopping area - it’s recently been revitalized by an impressive collection of luxury stores. But if you are able to pull your eyes away from the store windows, you will have the pleasure of seeing some of Austria’s most impressive architecture. Here are just some of the impressive buildings you can find in the center of this marvelous city.
How could we begin talking about Viennese architecture without mentioning St. Stephen’s Cathedral? Located in the center of the city, St. Stephen’s is striking not only because of its intricate façade but also because it appears almost charred. This black tint is actually the result of pollution and time - not fire. Nonetheless, it gives the magnificent church an almost eerie feel.
The church, constructed from limestone, is a popular place to catch a view of the city. Just climb the 343 steps to the tower room. The South Tower - the tallest of four - reaches 136.44 meters into the air.
Albertina Museum (Albertinaplatz 1)
Built in the mid-18th century, the Albertina Museum is actually a palace. The museum is known for its extensive art collection, but it also houses 20 regal Habsburg staterooms with intricate furnishing and lavish décor. The iridescent Hall of Muses is also in the stateroom area of the palace. Previous tenants include the Archdukes of Nassau-Weilburg and Bavaria.
Minoritenkirche (Minoritenplatz 2a)
Minoritenkirche or the Minoriten Church is a 13th-century church located in the heart of Vienna. It is a French Gothic structure that is considered one of the architectural highlights of the city. It’s also known for its stunning acoustics; visit during a classical music concert to hear for yourself.
Wiener Staatsoper (Opernring 2)
This building is the home of the prestigious Vienna State Opera. Built in the 19th century, it reflects the Italian Renaissance Style. The statues adorning the building’s façade nod to the theatre, music, and the arts. In particular, when looking at the building head-on from Ring Road you can see two horsemen. These statues represent Humor and the Muse of Poetry. The building is actually two separate sections. The back, broader section houses the auditorium. The front welcomes the public.
While the famous Hundertwasserhaus may not be located in the First District, it is a short walk for those looking to see one of Vienna’s most iconic buildings. Hundertwasserhaus is an expressionist creation by Friedensreich Hundertwasserhaus, a painter, and Josefa Karwina, an architect. Just looking at the apartment building, you can tell that it was designed by a painter. The façade is alarmingly colorful and dimensional. Greenery hangs from the building’s many balconies.