The Vienna State Opera was the first major project built on the Ring, between 1861 and 1869. The architects, August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, designed it in a neo-Renaissance style that attracted strong criticism at the time, including from Emperor Franz Joseph I. Van der Nüll committed suicide and Sicardsburg died of a heart attack 10 days later, meaning neither architect saw the building reach completion. The new opera was inaugurated in 1869 with a performance of Mozart's 'Don Giovanni'. The Vienna Opera was the first monument on the Ring commissioned by Franz Joseph following the destruction of the city ramparts. It is one of the most prestigious venues in the world and one of the most important opera houses in Europe. This remarkable building has a magnificent grand staircase and an immense concert hall with 1,700 seats. It enjoyed periods of particular brilliance under the direction of Gustav Malher, and later Richard Strauss. Closed in 1944, it was destroyed by bombs the following year. After being rebuilt by Erich Boltenstern following the original model, the opera ceremoniously reopened in 1955, a few months after the treaty that returned Austria to its full sovereign status. To mark the occasion, Karl Böhm directed Beethoven's 'Fidelio'. The opera also hosts the most swanky and expensive ball in the whole city, attracting a great deal of media coverage in the process. Opernball, the glamorous Vienna Opera Ball, is the uncontested annual highlight of Vienna's high society. Under the flashbulbs of the paparazzi, it brings together 4,400 guests, including heads of state and other dignitaries at the beginning of every year.
This Neo-Romantic style building was inspired by the Renaissance style.© iStockphoto.com / Pavel068
The child, a musician, joins in with the Opera.© ? Bilderbox / age fotostock
An imposing fountain with 3 statues stands in front of the opera, making this spot even more magical.© Alexander Längauer / age fotostock
This equestrian statue stands guard on top of the opera.© MATTES Rene
Thanks to its impressive size and detailed architecture, the opera is the most famous building in Vienna, attracting many curious visitors.© Jakub Cejpek / 123RF