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Home of Pallas Athene: The Dr. Karl-Renner-Ring

Thursday October 20th, 2016

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Where today’s politicians enter and leave, is one of the most important sections on the ring. Named after the first President of the Republic of Austria in 1956, Dr. Karl Renner (who came to history for his contribution to the formation of the Second Republic as an honorary citizen of the city of Vienna), the Ring section is today considered a home for the Palais Eckstein, the Republic Monument Volksgarten and, of course, the Parliament.

The Parliament Building: the foundation stone of the Republic of Austria

Until the founding of Parliament, there was a long way to go: in the basic plan of the city expansion, after the demolition of the city wall, no parliament building was planned – Emperor Franz Joseph ruled at that time still neo-absolutistic and came out without popular representation. In 1848, however, an initial flare-up of the desire for parliamentarism ensued, and after numerous discussions, the interior minister commissioned the architect Theophil von Hansen in 1865 to build the parliament building.

Theophil von Hansen

“As an architect of the “Reichsratsgebäude”, it was important to me that the construction of the rest of the Vienna Ring Road significantly distanced itself. A tall pedestal and a wide ramp seemed just right to emphasize the monumental dignity of the building. In the interior of the building, it was a matter of great importance to me to erect a marble colonnade to build a link between the House of Men and the House of Representatives, and to give the entree a splendid glow. “Hansen’s words might have been the same, when he began the planning of today’s parliament. With great success! The building is a real eye-catcher on the boulevard and the architect has also thought about the choice of architecture. The Parliament is built in the style of an Attic temple, which points to the Greek beginnings of democracy. And so it came that the foundation stone of this was also laid in Austria.

Always popular for young and old

The Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring has yet another ace in the sleeve: the Volksgarten. Here, young and old get their money’s worth: Whether a romantic walk through the park, a cultural stopover at the Theseus temple, culinary delights or a lively party night – here is something for everyone at any time.

Picture © Photographische Correspondenz, XXVII. Jahrgang, Nr. 358 (1890)