City Hall

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Christkindlmarkt on plaza in front of City Hall
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Children's activity area inside building
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Roasting Chestnuts
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History of the Rathaus

Friedrich von Schmidt, who had been the architect of the Cathedral of Cologne, designed and built Vienna's City Hall, the most important secular building in the neo-Gothic style in the city, between 1872 and 1883. The tower measures 321 feet, not including the "Iron Knight of City Hall" (Eiserner Rathausmann) who measures almost 20 feet to the top of his pennant. This knight on top of the tower has become one of the symbols of Vienna.

The City Hall is the seat of the mayor and governor of Vienna ( with Vienna being both a city and a state since 1922, these functions are combined in one person ), of the City Council and of the Assembly.

It also houses the Municipal and State Libraries and Archives which hold many key documents of Vienna's history and a large collection of local memorabilia.

On both sides of the approach from the Ring ( closed to motor vehicles ), statues honor personalities who left their mark on the history of the city.

The Park of City Hall (Rathauspark) is a very attractively laid-out garden with two fountains and several interesting monuments, among them the memorial to the painter F. G. Waldmüller and the statues of two great composers of waltzes, Johann Strauss and Joseph Lanner. Facing the Burgtheater across the Ring are monuments to President Theodor Körner (1873-1957) and Mayor Karl Seitz (1869-1950).

Off the spacious Arkadenhof (Arcade Courtyard) and also accessible from the back of the complex is the Stadtinformation (City Information Office), which is not a tourist information center but a referral office for citizens and a source of information and statistics, on the city, its administration, its operations and its public services. This is also the starting point for guided tours through City Hall.

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