World Tourist Sights The Giant Wheel in Vienna Austria

About the Giant Wheel in Vienna, Austria, location, description and history of the tourist sight.




Sight: The Giant Wheel.

As high as a 20-story building, this huge ferries wheel rises 209 ft. above the ground in Vienna's famous city park, the Prater. A ride on it is like no other you will experience in a lifetime. Ten or more passengers stand in each of 15 carriages, completely enclosed cars with windows all around. The slow-moving giant, constructed in 1873 at a cost of one million English crowns, was designed primarily for sight-seeing rather than for thrills. As you ascend, the only sound you hear is the wind as it whistles and sobs through the great web of cables which support the 230-ton wheel. Lulled into a sense of false security by the gentle back-and-forth motion of your slowly rising carriage, you may be completely unprepared for what happens when you reach the apex of the towering landmark. All the passengers who have, of course, been looking away from the center of the wheel, now turn and move en masse to the opposite side of the carriage so that they may look at the view from the other side as they descend. It's not hard to imagine what that sudden surge of humanity does to your carriage. It begins rocking violently, taking the stomachs of first-time riders completely by surprise. Once the swinging slows down, however, you can again relax and enjoy the panoramic view until the giant of Vienna deposits you safely once again on terra firma. Perhaps, like many riders, you will immediately rush to buy another ticket in order to repeat the memorable experience. If you don't have the time, you may watch for a glimpse of it on the TV late show at home; Joseph Cotton uses the wheel for a meeting place with Orson Welles in The Third Man (1949).

Location: Prater Park, Vienna.

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