Bojan's Birthday was the main reason for the visit to The Prater which is Vienna’s only theme park ... well maybe it wasn’t the only reason for the visit. I have always wanted to go on the Wiener Riesenrad (Ferris wheel) that was first constructed in 1897 by the English engineer Lieutenant Walter Bassett Bassett. This ferris wheel has survived world wars, a permit for demolition in 1916 and a fire in 1945. You can see the whole city from the top and it is a must see if travelling to Vienna.
Now time for a little bit of history about the famous wheel, a history lesson from a teacher. The purpose of the wheel was to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I and it was one of the first ferris wheels built by Bassett's Ferris wheel manufacturing, although this business was not a success and by the time he died he was almost bankrupt.
It is one of Vienna's most popular tourist attractions, and symbolises the district as well as the city for many people. Constructed in 1897, it was the world's tallest extant Ferris wheel from 1920 until 1985. Riesenrad has also famously appeared in many films most popular in the 1987 James Bond film, The Living Daylights. Before World War II the wheel had 30 gondolas but when it was rebuilt after being severely damaged during the war it was rebuilt only to have 15 gondolas.
The Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt, where the ferris wheel is, was of course another reason for the visit. If you love fast food and an adrenaline rushs then this is the place for you. It is also a great place for a boy’s bucks night, getting drunk and riding the many adrenaline filled attractions is just what guys love. I didn’t try any of the rides but instead I went to lunch with B at one of the Schweizerhaus (Swiss house) where we enjoy beer and wine in the large garden under the old trees. We also managed to enjoy some delicious Viennese food to go with our drinks.
This park is the place to be for adults and children alike. If Walks in the Park, Birthdays, Parties, Hens/Bucks nights or just a general day of fun is what you want then head on down to The Prater.