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A View Above Vienna

Photo courtesy of Clark & Kim Kays

Photo courtesy of Clark & Kim Kays

There’s one attraction in Vienna that towers above all the rest, literally. At 212 feet tall the Wiener Risenrad Ferris Wheel is a historic monument for the city. Originally built back in 1897 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee for Emperor Franz Josef this is the oldest surviving Ferris wheel in the world.

It almost didn’t make it to the present day as back in 1916 a permit was issued for the demolition of the wheel but due to a lack of funds it was never carried out. Then in 1944, during World War II, the Ferris wheel was burned down only to be rebuilt the next year. The only difference in the new model was that the number of carriages was reduced for safety reasons.

A new addition to the city’s landmark is a number of soft glowing lights that make it visible from all over. These lights do more than make the wheel visible, they also tell you time! The lights flash every hour to indicate the time – 8 flashes for 8:00, 9 for 9:00, etc.

While it’s not the biggest this Ferris wheel is in the hearts of many and has also been used in a number of films, 7 to be exact, including the 1987 James Bond film The Living Daylights. If you’re looking for your own Bond worthy experience take your loved one on a one-of a kind candle-lit dinner over the rooftops of Vienna.

Photo courtesy of Stefan Klaas

Photo courtesy of Stefan Klaas