The Austrian Parliament building was built as part of the Ringstrasse renovation project. Construction of the enormous Neo-Classical style building began in 1874, and took ten years to complete.
The Parliament building was designed to resemble classic Greek architecture, in true Historicist style, in homage to ancient Greece as the birthplace of democracy. Amongst the building's impressive 1600 rooms are two chamber halls connected by a large door, where the two house of Austrian Parliament, the National Council and Federal Council, convene.
History of the Parliament
After its construction, the building was the parliamentary seat of the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and over its more than 100-history since then, it has housed many different institutions.
After the fall of the Habsburg Empire in 1918, the Parliament building in Vienna saw one of the country's most important moments, when the country's transition to a Republic was officially proclaimed.
During World War II, half of the building was destroyed by bombing. Reconstruction work went on until 1956, and most of the building was rebuilt as close as possible to its original style, with the exception of the National Council Chamber, which was redesigned in a more modern and functional style.
Visiting the Parliament
If you're interested in discovering more about Austrian history and government, and seeing more of the beautiful architecture in Vienna's 'Democracy Quarter', there are a number of guided tours on offer.
While the Parliament building itself is currently closed for renovations until 2021, guided tours are still running of the Hofburg, where parliamentary business is being carried out in the meantime, and of the nearby Palais Epstein and of the Heldenplatz.
While the Parliament building itself is closed for renovations until 2021, guided tours are still running of the Hofburg, where parliamentary business is being carried out in the meantime, and of the nearby Palais Epstein and of the Heldenplatz.
Guided tours of Palais Epstein:
Tickets for the guided tours are available from the Bau.Stelle information point directly in front of the adjacent Parliament building.
Saturdays: 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.
Guided tours of Heldenplatz:
This 90-minute free English language guided tour tells the history of democracy and parliamentarianism in Austria. Meet at the Platz.Mit.Bestimmung information point in Heldenplatz.
Monday to Saturday: 12 pm and 3 pm.
Guided tours of the Hofburg Palace, Palais Epstein and the Heldenplatz are currently free.