AUG 17,2011 - AUG 17,2011 (1 DAYS)
Vienna - Donau City (DC), Donau Park and along the Danube:
Main attractions: Reichsbrücke (The Empire Bridge), Kaisermühlen VIC U-Bahn station, Andromeda Tower, Tech Gate Tower, DC 1 and DC 2 towers, Austria Center, IAEA building, Saturn Tower, Mischek Tower, Donaupark (Danube Park), Iris Lake, Donauturm (Danube Tower), Brigittenauer Brücke, Donau Insel (Danube Island), Millenium Tower, Northern Railway Bridge (Nordbahn Brucke), Neue Donau U-Bahn station.
Duration: 1/2 day.
Distance: 5-6 km.
Orientation: We ended our "Vienna - Hundertwasserhaus, the Prater, Messe Wien and the Empire Bridge" blog in the DonauInsel (Danube Island), in the eastern end of the Reichsbrucke (Empire Bridge), over the Danube river - the most famous bridge of Vienna. You can, easily, combine this itinerary with the second half (2nd Tip) of the former blog and THIS blog - making it a leisurely walking full day.
Donau City, or Vienna DC or UNO city, is a new part of Vienna's 22nd District Donaustadt, next to both the Reichsbrücke and the left bank of the Danube's 21.1 km new channel, Neue Donau. Construction work for the first building on this site, the Andromeda Tower (see below), started in 1996. The establishment of Donau City had its origins only in 1964. Unlike in many other cities, the Danube River, because of the numerous floods it regularly caused, was omitted from the urban area planning and construction. Only after extensive flood-control engineering and the creation of the New Danube relief channel, with Danube Island (DonauInsel), in the 1970s, was the surrounding cityscape of the Danube of interest to contractors and builders. Not far from Donaupark, in 1967, the planning of the UNO-City was started. It was opened in 1979. The construction of the U1 U-Bahn line and the Reichsbruecke (Empire Bridge) gave an immense boost to the UNO-City various prospects. The foundation for the first building was completed in 1995, with the start of construction of the Andromeda Tower. Within a few years, the district became a thriving urban center in Vienna, with residential and office buildings, research facilities, recreational facilities and event locations. The area bordering the Danube Island has recreation areas, Donaupark and Old Danube. Donau City has two direct connections to the motorway network, and the Vienna International Airport is about 20 minutes away.
Transportation: The metro (U-Bahn) line that goes through Reichsbrücke is U1. Stations near Reichsbrücke include Vorgartenstrasse (near Mexikoplatz on the city centre side), Donauinsel (on the island in the middle of the bridge), and Kaisermühlen-VIC (next to the UNO City).
Reichsbrücke (The Empire Bridge) connects Vienna city centre with newer parts of the city on the left bank of the Danube. On the city centre side the bridge starts at Mexikoplatz, and on the other side it takes you to Kaisermühlen (Imperial Mills) and Vienna International Center, a large complex of convention facilities and United Nations offices, colloquially known as UNO Stadt or UNO City. Halfway over the Danube, Reichsbrücke goes over a large island, Donauinsel (Danube Island), a popular place to walk, jog, and relax for the Viennese. Reichsbrücke, which literally means Empire Bridge, is a two-level bridge. On the top there is a highway (officially not a highway, but a very wide and busy street) and on the lower level there are metro tracks and pedestrian pathways.
This blog starts at the same point we ended our former blog: you end your walk along the Reichsbrucke from west to east, over the Danube river - in the Kaisermühlen VIC U-Bahn station (U1 line) (VIC = Vienna International City) located in the Donaustadt district:
Water colour of the Danube: Though (almost) everything (including water in rivers) is usually very clean in Austria, you may not like the colour of the water in this particular case. The Danube is BROWN. The colour depends on the weather upstream the Danube; rain and erosion may change the colour significantly. Nevertheless, the Danube is normally quite clean and it is even possible to swim in the river or the adjacent bays in or near Vienna.
Exit from the underground station onto Schüttaustraße. On the north-west you see the white Andromeda Tower. The building height: 113 m. It was built during the years 1996-1998. It includes offices only:
Andromeda Tower and the adjacent residence project (of Soravia): The Danube Apartments:
A bit more to the south, still north-west of the station - is the Tech Gate tower Vienna (Wissenschafts- u Technologiepark). It is a science and technology park in the 22nd district of Vienna, Danube city and was built in the years 1999 to 2005, in two construction stages, designed by Wilhelm Holzbauer and Sepp Frank in Donau City district. The approximately 26-meter-high component gate was built in the first phase, from 1999 to 2001. In the second phase of about 75 meters high tower was built from 2004 to 2005:
The most southern couple of towers are the DC 1 and DC 2 towers. The DC Towers (also known as Donau City Towers) will be a pair of towers in Vienna's Donau City. DC Tower 1 is complete and the first tenants moved into the offices in October 2013. Construction of DC Tower 2 will started immediately afterwards. French architect Dominique Perrault has designed both towers:
The four towers: Andromeda, Tech Gate and DC 1 and 2. The last, still, under construction:
Remember ? We are in Schüttaustraße, our face to the north - after exiting the Kaisermühlen VIC U-Bahn station (which is on our right, to the east). Walk in Schüttaustraße about 150 m. and continue onto Platz der Vereinten Nationen, 90 m. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Donau-City-Straße. Go through 1 roundabout, 400 m. Turn right to stay on Donau-City-Straße, 110 m. Turn right onto Bruno-Kreisky-Platz, 270 m - to see the Austria Center, Bruno-Kreisky-Platz 1. As the largest conference center in Austria Austria Center Vienna can accommodate 20,000 people and has 17 rooms for 100 to 4,320 people, 180 meeting rooms and 22,000 square meters of exhibition space.
A bit more eastward is the IAEA - International Atomic Energy Association building (photo below)L
and the VIC (Vienna International Centre) UN building:
The Saturn Tower, leonard-bernstein-straße 10 (should be on your left, north-west) is an office skyscraper in the 22nd district of Vienna Danube city. It was built in the years 2003 to 2004 after plans by Heinz Neumann and Hans Hollein Donau City district. As with other buildings in the Donaucity a mythological figure was name-giving, in this case, the Roman god Saturnus. The 90 meter high (21 floors) building is situated in the northwestern part of the Danube City following the Mischek Tower:
On our way to the Donau Park we see also the Mischek Tower (south-west to the Saturn Tower):
Mischek Tower + Saturn Tower in Leonard-Bernstein-Straße:
Another tower in Donau-City-Straße or Str. Abay (south to Leonard-Bernstein-Straße) is the Ares tower:
Donaupark (Danube Park): This park is easy to access. It has numerous entrances, including ones from Leonard-Bernstein-Straße.
One of the vastest Viennese parks covering an area of almost 800,000 square metres. You can cross it in about 35-40 minutes. Its location on the northern bank of the Danube River in the 22nd district of Vienna determines its neighbouring sights, most of them already browsed earlier in this itinerary. For example, there‘s the United Nations’ headquarters in Austria, the largest conference building in the country, the Austria Centre Vienna (ACV). The Donau City- 'city within the city' was also constructed upon this Danube island. The banks of the Danube close to Donaupark even offer beaches for all to enjoy. Transportation: you can get there by taking the U-Bahn U1 to Alte Donau, turning right as you exit the station and walking a short distance.
Despite being a relatively young green space, as it was established as late as 1964, Donaupark features a rich assembly of sights, such as the Donauturm (Danube Tower) and garden sections with various plants. It was designed for the purposes of the first Vienna International Garden Show in 1964, under the architectural guidance of the Director of Vienna's Parks and Gardens Department – Alfred Auer. During the period 1871-1945, the site was used as a military parade square and a shooting range called Kagran, as well as an execution arena during World War II. Today, a memorial stands there to commemorate those killed by the Nazis. After the war, the spot was a trash depot until 1960, then cleaned up and turned into a park.
Donaupark is a fascinating park from any point of view. Not only is it easily accessible by any means of transport, including bicycle, but there’s also a designated mini-train within the park, Donaupark-Bahn, which offers a romantic round-the-park trip. Its entertainment facilities also shouldn‘t be underestimated, and if one is keen on art they‘ll have the pleasure of discovering great pieces of art such as memorials to Simon Bolivar and Salvador Allende. Chess players will have a chance to try the giant chessboard installed on the park’s premises. Also, sports facilities like skating and playground areas play their role in building the strong bodies and clear minds of the modern youth. All this and more awaits you in Donaupark. A generous park area was created in 1963 and 1964 on an island between the Danube and the Old Danube, between the centre of Vienna and the district of Donaustadt. The target was to gradually clean up the existing site: a rubbish dump and a former site of executions during the Nazi years. Today the existing features of the garden festival include: a giant chess board, skatepark and a petting zoo. The park has become a favorite for all ages:
Art in Donau Park:
The modern view of Donaupark is dominated by its imposing landmark, the 250 meters Donauturm (Danube Tower). The Donauturm was constructed by Hannes Lintl at the same time as the park itself, so it has been an inseparable part of it ever since its inception. The magnificent view over Vienna if offers makes it a famous tourist attraction. Moreover, visitors can have some lunch at the revolving restaurant at the top. In the summer, bungee jumping fans have the opportunity to make their dreams come true. However, the Donauturm functions not only as a tourist hot spot and an impressive figure of Vienna’s skyline, but also holds various kinds of antennae. It might be an amazing alternative to the Ferris Wheel in the Prater. The 1st stop is open balcony, the 2nd is Restaurant-Cafe, and the 4th is Restaurant. The restaurant is revolving around the tower, so you can see the entire city from different perspectives. Perfect panoramic picture-setting opportunities from everywhere (since it rotates, you will get to see every aspect of the Vienna area). Tip: Amazing views if you go at sunset time and wait until dusk. They even have a bungee platform for those wanting to get down even quicker than the lift (not expensive). Open everyday 10.00 - midnight. Adult - 7.40 euros. Students is 5,90€.
Primarily, the Danube Park is an extraordinarily large green space where you can walk, run, or just relax in peace underneath the numerous shaded areas. It is well maintained and has facilities for various sports. There is a nice lake in the centre with a bridge where you can view the birds' life and plenty of seats and picnic tables in both sun and shade. Toilets can be found in multiple locations, and several cafés are dotted throughout. There is mini-train that regularly winds its way through the park. The ride is for approx 30-40 minutes. During May-June the roses are blooming and the air is full with their scent:
I recommend that you cross the park and head north to the big lake (in the centre of the park) from one of the entrances from Leonard-Bernstein-Straße (there are, at least, 3 entrances to the park from this road). The Korea House of Culture has moved into the long-vacant, yet wonderful lake restaurant by the artificial Iris Lake, which dates to the 1960s when the park was opened. It is open to everyone and additionally has a tea house and library to pass the time in. It also offers courses on calligraphy and many other subjects, and also organizes exhibitions and cookery courses. From there head west to the Danube tower and slight to the north-west edge of the park to the Brigittenauer Brücke.
The Brigittenauer bridge is a six-lane road bridge over the Danube. In addition, it has walking and biking trails. Characteristic are the red color and the spiral ramps for pedestrians and cyclists. It connects the two districts of Vienna Brigittenau and Floridsdorf. The relatively new bridge was opened in 1982:
View of Donau City from Brigittenauer Bridge:
The Brigittenauer bridge forms a brace between the Handelskai station and Brigittenau 20th district (on the west bank of the river) and the A 22 - Donauuferautobahn. Walking and cycling tracks will make for an ideal access to the Danube Island, New Danube and Danube Park. The mighty tower you see on the west bank is the Millenium Tower. The Millennium Tower is the second tallest building and fourth tallest structure in Austria at 171 metres. The tower is located at Handelskai 94-96 in the Brigittenau 20th district in Vienna. An antenna mounted on top of the tower brings the architectural height to 202 metres but does not count to its overall height. Millennium Tower was designed by the architects Gustav Peichl, Boris Podrecca and Rudolf Weber. The tower has 51 floors, serves both commercial and residential purposes, and is the focal point of a complex known as "Millennium City". It was completed in 1999 for the coming of the third millennium. The Millennium Tower was built in an extremely short construction time: Thanks to efficient organization of all work steps and modern building techniques have created an average of 2 ½ floors a week and the building completed in 1999:
We continue along the east bank of the Danube - from south to north. The next bridge is the Georg Danzer Bridge (U-Bahn line U6, pedestrian/bicycle path)
and further north is the Northern Railway Bridge (Nordbahn Brucke) crossing between Brigittenau and Floridsdorf districts on the east bank.
The Georg Danzer Bridge is named after singer/songwriter Georg Danzer, who passed away from lung cancer aged 61 in July 2007. The closest public transport station is the Neue Donau U-Bahn station (Line U6).