Taking up a block in the centre of Vienna is this impressive neoclassical building, where Vienna’s Parliament has met for over a century.
Vienna’s Ringstraße is full of stately 19th-century structures, but the Austrian Parliament Building is one of the grandest of all. While the building was designed at the end of the 19th century, it was built in the style of ancient Greece. Accordingly, marble statues and imposing pillars mark the building’s façade, and the halls and chambers inside are lined with many classical elements as well.
As you walk up to the building, inspect its intricate exterior. Over 100 sculptures are arrayed along the front of the building alone. These include a collection of figures grouped around the Pallas Athena fountain, which was designed by the building’s architect Baron Theophil Hansen. Here, a gold-decorated Athena stands atop a pillar above other statues representing the various areas that historically belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Return by night to see the building’s statues and its colonnade impressively illuminated.
Explore the interior of the Parliament Building on a guided tour. See highlights like the Imperial House of Representatives, patterned after a Greek theatre, and the Hall of Pillars, where dark-brown columns surround a massive skylight. Peek into the building’s various bars and libraries as well.
Keep in mind that the Austrian Parliament Building is the functional headquarters of Austria’s legislature, so much of the building is often closed to visitors. If you visit on a day when Parliament is in session, head to the visitor centre, where you can learn about the structure of Austria’s government via a small exhibition.
Walk, bus or take a tram along Vienna’s Ringstraße to find the Austrian Parliament Building, which is located along the western portion of the street. Visit any day of the week except Sunday to join up with one of the guided tours, which run throughout the day.