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The Urania Observatory, which is owned by the city of Vienna, was opened in 1910. At the end of World War II its cupola, and with it some instruments, had been destroyed. In 1957 the buidling was opened again. People visiting the Observatory, which is the oldest one in Austria open for public visit, get a comprehensive impression of stars, planets and the moon by watching the firmament through the telescope. Attention: Guided tours only in fair weather.
Among the numerous tributes to Viennese musicians that are liberally dotted around the Stadtpark, none are as artistically successful or as often photographed as Edmund Hellmer's 1925 Strauß Monument. Dedicated to the Waltz King, Johann Strauß Junior, this delicate gilded statue perfectly captures the movement of his frenzied violin playing. At night, the illumination shows up the naked nymph-infested stone arch in the background. This is the classic Vienna snapshot - don't go home without one.
Orson Welles' famous speech in the Third Man (comparing the artistic achievements of the degenerate Borgias with Switzerlands 500 years of democracy, culminating in the invention of the cuckoo clock) took place on Viennas Riesenrad ('giant wheel' in German, or Ferris wheel). This epic scene immortalized English engineer Walter Bassetts 19th century big wheel, and now a spin on this splendid creation is an absolute must for all vistors to Vienna. The wheel moves slowly so you can take in the views before descending into the pleasures afforded by the Prater funfair. Not to be missed.
Stretching over a wide landscape of about 65,000 square meters, City Park of Vienna has something for both the locals and the tourists. The Ringstrasse and the Heumarket are on the top of every tourist's sightseeing list. One of the many tourist attractions is also the Strauss Memorial. It a representation of the local hero who is acknowledged and worshiped each year at the New Year's Concert which is also known as the 'Neujahrskonzert'. Be sure to be a part of the celebrations this year!
All Viennese children learn the story of the Basilisk: in 1212, there was a Basilisk, a cross-breed of a cock and a toad, which lived in the well at the baker's house. All who looked into his eyes were immediately turned to stone. The clever apprentice to the baker showed a mirror to the beast and so it was turned into stone itself. An inscription and a drawing still remind us of his heroic deed. Walking down the Schönlaterngasse and the little neighboring roads with their small old buildings is a real trip down memory lane.