維也納環城大道(Vienna’s Ringstrasse)是一條建於十九世紀末，呈「C」字型，以多瑙運河連接大道兩端，長5.2公里、寬56公尺的林蔭大道，它把維也納市區劃分成「環裡」、「環外」。 十二世紀第三次十字軍東征時，英國國王「獅心王」查理，在回國途中誤闖李奧波特的領地而被囚禁，李奧波特藉此向英國要求大筆贖金，並將勒索來的錢建設了保護維也納的城牆，就位於現今的環城大道上。這座城牆讓維也納得以逃過土耳其鄂圖曼帝國於西元1528年及西元1683年兩次圍攻的災難。
西元1857年，奧地利國王Franz Joseph I進行城市改造，花了9年時間，把維也納城牆和護城河拆除，改建為環城大道，於西元1865年5月1日開放。 西元1869~1888年，當時歐洲最優秀的建築師競相為環城大道設計建築，一幢幢中世紀、巴洛克及現代主義建築，如雨後春筍般拔地而起，譜成了著名的環城大道風格，像是歷史文化藝術古城的縮影，維也納也因此贏得了「建築博覽會」的美譽。
Sights along the Ringstrasse：The Ringstrasse is divided into sections, all of which have a different name, starting in the north with the Schottenring and ending counter-clockwise at the Stubenring in the northeast. (http://www.wien.info/en)
【Börse】 The most important building along the Schottenring is the Börse, the former stock exchange building.
【Votivkirche】 At the end of the Schottenring, bordering Sigmund Freud Park, stands the Votivkirche, a large neo-Gothic church designed by Heinrich von Ferstel.
Construction of the church started already in 1856, even before the decision was made to demolish the city wall. The church stands on the spot where a deranged man tried to kill Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Dr. Karl Rennerring and Dr. Karl Luegerring：This section of the Ring is named for two Viennese mayors and appropriately enough, this is also where Vienna’s city hall – the Rathaus – was built.
【市政廳 Rathaus】 The Rathaus was built between 1872 and 1883 after a neo-Gothic design by Friedrich von Schmidt.
A beautiful loggia at the east side of the Rathaus brings visitors to the interior where they’ll find majestic stairs which lead to the Festsaal, an enormous banquet hall.
p.s. The square in front of the city hall is the site of several yearly events, the most famous of which is the Christmas market.
【Burgtheater】 Originally founded in 1741, the Burgtheater – affectionately known as the ‘Burg’ – is one of the most prestigious theaters in the German-speaking world. It is housed in a magnificent building, situated at the Ringstrasse opposite Vienna’s City Hall.
The theater was built from 1874 to 1888 by Karl von Hasenauer and Gottfried Semper in Italian high-Renaissance style. After the Comédie Francaise, the Burgtheater in Vienna is Europe’s second-oldest theater. Many sculptures decorate the ornamented façade.The central statue shows a seated Apollo, with the muses Melpomene (muse of Tragedy) and Thalia (muse of Comedy) on either side. Below these figures is a large frieze depicting Bacchus and Ariadne, designed by Rudolf Weyr.
Corinthian pilasters and columns frame the windows which are crowned with busts of famous writers such as Molière, Shakespeare, Goethe and Schiller. The balustrade is decorated with figures of putti, each of them playing a different musical instrument.
【Parlament】— http://www.parlinkom.gv.at/ENGL/ The Parlament is the seat of the Austrian Parliament, designed by Theofil von Hansen between 1874 and 1884. Hansen had studied architecture in Athens and the Greek influence clearly shows in his design for the Austrian Parliamentary Building. The neo-classical architecture is an obvious reference to Ancient Greece, the cradle of democracy. Today the building houses sessions of the Nationalrat (National Council) and the Bundesrat (Federal Council).
The imposing structure is dominated by the central portico with eight monumental Corinthian columns. Sculptures on the tympanum depict Franz Joseph who grants his subjects a constitution. Wide ramps lead to the portico.
The Greek theme is continued with the Athenebrunnen, a monumental fountain in front of the Parliament Building, named after the Greek goddess Pallas Athene – goddess of wisdom – who is portrayed with a colossal statue on top of a fluted column. Below her are two female statues, representing the legislative and executive powers of the state. At the base are four allegorical statues of the four most important rivers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: the Danube and the Inn in the front and the Elbe and the Vltava in the back.
The fountain, which was unveiled in 1902, was created by sculptors Carl Kundmann, Josef Tautenhayn and Hugo Haerdtl.
Burgring：Here Franz Joseph planned his Kaiserforum, an expansion of the imperial palace, the Hofburg.
The sprawling Hofburg complex was the bastion of the Habsburg monarchs, who ruled over Austria – and at times many other regions of Europe – from 1276 until the downfall of the Habsburgs in 1918. Construction of the Hofburg did not start with the Habsburgs, but with king Ottokar II of Bohemia, who was also the Duke of Austria. In 1275 he had a fortress built at the site of current Schweizerhof, a rectangular structure with four towers. After Rudolf I, the first of the Habsburg dynasty, ousted Ottokar II in 1276, he expanded the fortress. 奧地利傳統裡，現任皇帝不能住前任皇帝的房間，因此每一代皇帝都對霍夫堡皇宮進行整修擴建，形成佔地面積達二十四萬平方公尺，擁有18個廂宮、54個出口、19座庭院和2900間房間，混合了哥德式、文藝復興式、巴洛克式、仿古典式等風格的龐大建築群，使得霍夫堡皇宮成為歐洲各種時期建築風格的見證者。 霍夫堡皇宮這個昔日哈布斯堡王朝的居所，如今已成為奧地利聯邦共和國總統府和政府所在地，周邊包含多個景點。
An ornate Baroque gateway, the Michalertor, connects the square with a large courtyard, the In der Burg, sometimes also referred to as the Innenhof. The monumental gateway is decorated with expressive statues of Hercules. At the center of the Michaelerplatz is an open area with Roman and medieval remains.
Entering the courtyard, you can see the Alte Burg – the oldest part of the Hofburg complex – on the left and Amalienburg – a Renaissance palace with a clock tower – on the right hand side. The Leopoldinischer Trakt (Leopold Wing) is straight ahead and opposite is the Reichskanzleitrakt, ornately decorated with monumental sculptures (The Labors of Hercules) created by Lorenzo Mattielli.
At the center of the courtyard – originally a parade ground – is a large monument dedicated to Emperor Francis I of Austria a.k.a. Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. This monument was created in 1824-1846 by the Italian sculptor Pompeo Marchesi.
【Alte Hofburg】 Construction of the complex we know today started after 1533 (completed in 1552), when Ferdinand I decided to move his main residence to Vienna, making it the capital of the Holy Roman Empire.
【Schweizerhof】 The emperor looks in the direction of the Schweizertor, an old gate which leads to Schweizerhof (Swiss Court), the inner courtyard of the oldest part of the imperial palace. Its name is derived from the Swiss guards who were hired in the 18th century to protect the monarchs.
【Heldenplatz】 Heldenplatz (Heroes’ Square) was designed in the 19th century by Gottfried Semper as the central square of the Kaiserforum, a project which was never fully realized due to the collapse of the Habsburg empire in 1918. The square is named for two Austrian war heroes: Prince Eugène of Savoy, the victor over the Turks in the 17th century, and Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen, who defeated Napoleon in 1809 in Aspern, near Vienna.They are honored each with a monumental equestrian statue. Local sculptor Anton Dominik Fernkorn created both statues between 1860 and 1865.
【Burgtor】— a surviving remnant of the defensive wall
In the direction of the Ringstrasse the Heldenplatz is framed by a wide triumphal arch, known as the Äußere Burgtor or Heldentor. The arch was designed by Peter von Nobile, and erected between 1821 and 1824.
【新皇宮 Neue Burg】— Only one of two planned wings of the Neue Burg now border the Heldenplatz. Today the wing is home to a collection of museums.
The most recent part of the Hofburg is the Neue Burg,(an enormous wing with a curved façade), an imposing wing built between 1881 and 1913 after designs by Gottfried Semper. It can be accessed from the Heldenplatz which is reached via a gate through the Leopold Wing coming from the Hofburg or via the Ringstrasse.
To the south of the Burgring is the Maria-Theresien-Platz. The two mirroring buildings that flank the square were built to display the imperial collections of art and other objects. The magnificent buildings of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and Naturhistorisches Museum were designed by Gottfried Semper in a neo-Renaissance style with monumental marble columns and grand staircases. To the southeast of the Maria-Theresien-Platz are the former royal stables, now a museum complex known as MuseumsQuartier.
【藝術史博物館 Kunsthistorisches Museum】— http://www.khm.at/en/
【自然史博物館 Naturhistorisches Museum】— http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at
【MQ美術館特區 MuseumsQuartier】 MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is a large modern complex of museums and cultural institutions in Vienna. Located at the border of the old city in the former imperial stables, it combines institutions of different art fields, restaurants, cafés and shops in an area of over 640,000 square feet in a post-modern ambiance, a combination of baroque buildings and modern architecture.
附記：在藝術史博物館與自然史博物館之間，是紀念奧地利唯一的女皇帝瑪麗亞‧特蕾莎(Empress Maria Theresia)而興建的瑪麗亞‧特蕾莎廣場，廣場中的女皇雕像，是德國雕塑家Zumbusch的作品。 當你和女王面對面時，右手邊就是自然史博物館，左手邊就是藝術史博物館。而女王背後那片同樣華麗的建築，則是西元 2001年才開幕的新景點MQ美術館特區。
Opernring：As its name suggests, this section of the Ringstrasse is named for the StaatsOper (State Opera House). Here the Ring intersects with Kärntner Strasse, a popular shopping street that leads straight to the Stephansplatz, the heart of the old town.
【國家歌劇院 Staatsoper】—世界歌劇中心、愛樂人的歌劇聖殿 The building was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstrasse commissioned by the controversial Viennese “city expansion fund". Work commenced on the building in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August von Siccardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style with a well-proportioned loggia fronting the immense structure.
The loggia is beautifully decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’. Statues in the arches are allegorical representations of Heroism, Drama, Imagination, Comedy and Love. Perched on top of the loggia are two statues of winged horses, designed by Ernst Julius Hähnel. They represent Harmony and Poetry.
p.s. Vienna’s Opera House opened on May 25, 1869 as the Hofoper (Court Opera) with a performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. 第二次世界大戰末期，英美盟軍對德、奧進行大規模轟炸時，維也納國家歌劇院遭到嚴重破壞，只剩下幾處斷壁殘垣。戰後民生凋敝物質匱乏，熱愛音樂崇尚藝術的維也納人仍堅持要優先重建歌劇院。整個重建工作歷時8年，耗費1億美元，於西元1955年11月5日重新開幕。當天由Karl Böhm指揮演出貝多芬的歌劇《費得里歐》。
Kärntnerring：Here the Ringstrasse takes a back seat to the Karlsplatz to the south, which attracted all the landmark buildings, most notably the magnificent Karlskirche.
【Karlskirche】 The Baroque church was built between 1716 and 1737 after a design by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, who was clearly influenced by his trip to Rome.
The two triumphal pillars were inspired by the Column of Trajan. The reliefs on the columns depict scenes from the life of St. Charles Borromeo, to whom the church was dedicated.
A pond in front of the church is embellished with a large modern sculpture created by Henry Moore, who donated it to the city of Vienna in 1978.
Schubertring and Parkring：A short section of the Ringstrasse known as Schubertring – named after Austrian composer Franz Schubert – connects Schwarzenbergplatz with the Parkring.
【Stadtpark】 City Park, laid out in English landscaped style, is the largest park along the Ringstrasse. The park was created between 1858 and 1862 at the site of the former glacis, the open, sloping terrain behind the city’s fortifications.
The largest structure in the Stadtpark is the Kursalon, built in 1867 in a neo-Renaissance style. It was originally intended solely as a spa pavilion, but the building was soon used as a concert venue.
Stubenring：The final section of the Ringstrasse is the Stubenring, which ends at the Donaukanal.
【Museum für Angewandte Kunst】 The first building at the Stubenring is the Museum für Angewandte Kunst or MAK, yet another creation of Heinrich von Ferstel.
【Kriegsministerium】 The monumental buildings at the end of the Stubenring were built in 1912 as the offices for the Kriegsministerium, the Ministry of War.
The bombastic, neo-Baroque design was a creation of Ludwig Baumann. In front of the complex stands an equestrian statue of Josef Wenzel Radetzky, an Austrian general who was the inspiration for Johann Strauss Sr’s Radetzky March.