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Ingenieurkammern - Institut für Dialekt- und Namenlexika (12/25)
Innenministerium, Bundesministerium für Inneres Innerhofer, Franz

Innere Stadt

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Innere Stadt: G. Veith, A bird´s eye view of Vienna. Pen-and-ink drawing, around 1880 (Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien).

Innere Stadt, (Inner City) 1st district of Vienna, area 2.88 km2; pop. 18,002 (1991); central part of Vienna; bounded by the southernmost branch of the Danube (Danube Canal), the lower reaches of the Wien river, by Vienna´s magnificent city boulevard, the Ringstraße and the number 2 tram line. The most important public offices are located in the Inner City, Vienna´s centre of cultural, ecclesiastic, scientific and social life and business. Important buildings located in the First District are the Hofburg imperial palace, the most important museums and numerous other sites of cultural interest (State Opera House, Burgtheater, Musikverein (concert hall), the University of Vienna, Art Universities). The First District of Vienna is also the banking and commercial centre (Kärntner Straße, Graben, Kohlmarkt, Wollzeile, Rotenturmstraße, Wipplingerstraße; textile trading firms between Stock Exchange and Franz-Josefs-Kai).

The nucleus of the city centre dates back to the former Roman castellum of Vindobona (Roman ruins have been found under the Hoher Markt and on Michaelerplatz squares). When the former Roman camp was transformed into a medieval city the north-eastern section of the fortification (near Hoher Markt and St. Ruprecht´s church) remained the city´s core; the south-eastern section of the Roman camp near St. Peter´s church was settled immediately afterwards; in the 11th century the area near the south-eastern gate of the fortification (today Bäckerstraße) was settled; at the beginning of the 12th century the area around St. Stephen´s Cathedral outside the ancient Roman wall was settled. In 1156 the Austrian dukes made Vienna their capital and erected their castle on the square called Am Hof ("at court"). New city walls were required around 1200, and several consecutive periods saw a rapid extension of the city centre to almost as far as the present Ringstraße with its numerous monumental 19th century buildings; the bastions erected after 1529 as well as the glacis were replaced by the Ringstraße which finally became Vienna´s city boulevard.

Roman ruins have been found under the Ruprechtskirche (St. Ruprecht´s church, dedicated in 740), St. Stephen´s Cathedral and Michaelerkirche.

There are only a few Gothic masterpieces in the First District: Saint Stephen´s Cathedral; Burgkapelle (chapel of the Imperial Palace); Michaelerkirche (choir and spire around 1327-1350; parts in late Romanesque style from between 1220 and 1250; Classicist façade); Maria am Gestade (church of St. Mary on the Banks, "Maria Stiegen"; probably before 1137, certainly before 1177; rebuilt in 1398); situated on the steep escarpment of the River Danube; interior with stained-glass windows dating from the 14th and 15th centuries; sarcophagus of St. C. M. Hofbauer, who performed pastoral duties there; Minoritenkirche (church of the Minorite order; Italianate church since 1784; first documented mention in 1251; rebuilt in Gothic style before 1339; porch dating from around 1350); paintings by B. and A. Altomonte and by D. Gran; organ dating to late Baroque. Neidhart frescoes (House of Tuchlauben 19), oldest profane frescoes of Vienna (around 1400).

Remains of the Renaissance period after the first siege of Vienna by the Turks: Imperial Stables (around 1558); interior and porch (1571) of the Lower Austrian Landhaus (Herrengasse); Schweizertor gate in the Imperial Palace (1552); porch of the chapel of St. Salvator (Old Catholic church; first documented mention in 1301; porch around 1520; located in Salvatorgasse); and parts of the Franciscan church (1603-1611).

After the Turks had finally retreated, Vienna indulged in an orgy of Baroque building: Josefsplatz square with National Library; churches: Am Hof; Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit church of the University; was redone in Baroque style between 1628 and 1631 and between 1703 and 1705); Kapuzinerkirche (Capuchin church built between 1622 and 1632); monastery (paintings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries) and Kapuzinergruft; Dominikanerkirche (Dominican church, built between 1631-1634); Deutschordenskirche (church of the Teutonic order, established before 1249; Baroque decorations added between 1720 and 1725); considered the best example of church Baroque in Vienna from the 18th century (Gothic winged altar dating from the 16th century); Peterskirche (St. Peter´s church, allegedly of late Roman origin; according to legend established by Charlemagne in 792; first documented mention in 1137; present building by Gabriele Montani; completed by J. L. von Hildebrandt between 1702 and 1715); entrance portal and gallery by A. Galli-Bibiena; murals by J. G. Schmidt (around 1715); altar-pieces by M. Altomonte and L. Kupelwieser (1836); grave of W. Lazius (1586). Other churches: Annakirche with wooden Anna-selbdritt-Gruppe (around 1510; allegedly by Veit Stoß) and Augustinerkirche (church of the Augustinian Order, 1330-1339); served as court parish church between 1634 and 1783; with marble tomb of Archduchess Marie Christine (by A. Canova, 1798-1805) and Georgskapelle (St. George chapel, dedicated in 1341) with cenotaph of Emperor Leopold II (1799) and tombs of Abraham a Sancta Clara, Count L.J. Daun and G. van Swieten; Herzgruft (silver urns containing the hearts of the Habsburg rulers) in the small Loreto Chapel; monastery and church (1631) of the Schotten.

The most important Baroque palaces were built by J. B. Fischer von Erlach and J. E. Fischer von Erlach (former Bohemian Court Chancery - now the constitutional and administrative courts; town mansion of Prince Eugène - now the Ministry of Finance; Lobkowitz Palace - now the Österreichisches Theatermuseum; National Library; Schönborn-Batthyány Palace; Hungarian Embassy; sections of the Imperial Palace) and by J. L. von Hildebrandt (Privy Chancellery of the Dynasty, Court and State, today Federal Chancellery; Daun-Kinsky palace, today auction house; Reichskanzlei tract of the Imperial Palace.) Other Baroque buildings: Archiepiscopal Palace (from 1632; houses the Diocesan Archive); Mollard-Clary palace (after 1689; between 1924 and 1997 provincial museum of Lower Austria); Starhemberg palace (after 1650; at present houses the Federal Ministries of Science and Transport and of Education and Cultural Affairs); former armory (16th century and 1731/32, today central office of the Vienna fire brigade, Am Hof); façade of the Old Town Hall. Most important Baroque monuments: Pestsäule (Holy Trinity or Plague Column, Graben), Providence Fountain (Donner or Providentiabrunnen, Neuer Markt); Column dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Am Hof) and Vermählungsbrunnen, showing the marriage of Joseph and Mary (Hoher Markt).

The Old University building (Aula) is one of the first buildings in early French Classicist style.

The Schönlatern, Seitenstetten, Schotten and Rauhensteingasse streets, Fleischmarkt, Seilerstätte, etc are dominated by buildings in the Josephinian, Empire and Biedermeier styles. Monumental buildings on the Ringstraße, in various historicist styles which nevertheless form a homogeneous whole, date from the 2nd half of the 19th century.

The city centre also played an important role in turn-of-the-century modern architecture (Postsparkasse Post Office Savings Bank built by O. Wagner between 1904 and 1906; "Loos-Haus" on Michaelerplatz square, erected between 1909 and 1911; Secession building erected by J. M. Olbrich between 1897 and 1898). New buildings were erected in those parts of the city centre which had been destroyed in massive air raids in 1944 and 1945 (Opernringhof buildings, 1956; built on the site of the former Heinrichhof; Ringturm tower, erected between 1953 and 1955). From 1955 pedestrian underground passages were built beneath busy crossings on the Ringstraße (passage near the State Opera house and near the Albertina museum; Babenberg, Bellaria, and Schottentor passages). Important new buildings erected since 1970: Law Faculty building (1974-1984); Hotel Marriott (1984/85); Haas-Haus (1987-1990) and Ringstraßengalerien shopping malls (1990-1993).

The First District of Vienna is encircled by parks and gardens: Stadtpark with Kursalon café and numerous monuments (F. Schubert, J. Strauß the Younger, H. Makart, A. Bruckner, F. Amerling, E. J. Schindler); Volksgarten (monuments to Empress Elisabeth and Grillparzer; Greek Theseus temple, monument to J. Raab); Burggarten (monuments for Emperor Franz I, W. A. Mozart, Emperor Franz Joseph I); park in front of the New Town Hall (monuments to J. Strauß the Elder and J. Lanner, F. G. Waldmüller, E. Mach, J. Popper-Lynkeus, A. Schärf, K. Seitz, T. Körner and K. Renner; the square in front of the Town Hall is lined by eight statues of important men in Vienna´s history). Impressive monuments on Heldenplatz square: equestrian statues of Prince Eugène and Archduke Karl; between the Kunsthistorisches Museum* and the Museum of Natural History is the grand monument to Empress Maria Theresia; monuments to the Austrian Republic and to Anzengruber on Schmerlingplatz square; monument to Karl Lueger on Luegerplatz square; Schwarzenberg monument on Schwarzenbergplatz square; memorial for the victims of war and fascism in front of the Albertina.

A steady decline in population had been observed in the city centre (popularly referred to as "die Stadt"/the city) until 1987, there has been a reverse trend recently and the district is increasingly becoming Vienna´s administrative, shopping (especially luxury articles) and recreational centre (numerous cafés, bars, nightclubs, cabaret and revue theatres, cellar theatres, etc); there are no trams in the city centre, of which increasingly larger parts have been turned into pedestrian zones since 1971; extension of underground transit system since 1978.

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Coat of arms of Vienna´s 1st district, Innere Stadt.

Literature: R. Messner, Wien vor dem Fall der Basteien, 1958; F. Czeike, Wien Innere Stadt, Kunst- und Kulturführer, 1992; idem, Historisches Lexikon Wien, 5 vols., 1992-1997.

References to other albums:
Video Album: Otto Wagner: Modell der Postsparkasse in Wien, 1904-1906.

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