This is a SAMPLE ENTRY from my current app "Vienna Travel: the City & Great Day Trips." The complete app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch may be downloaded at Apple's iTunes App Store. This app takes you to many unusual places within daytrip range of Vienna, and within the city itself — along with the popular favorites. It is also available on Google's App Store for download to most Android devices under the name "Vienna & Beyond Travel Guide."
Vienna: Wiener Riesenrad
The Wiener Riesenrad in VIENNA'S PRATER, one of the oldest and surely the most famous Ferris wheel in the whole world, is not far from downtown. Fans of classic movies will remember its starring role in The Third Man, a film noir of 1949 that defined what suspense is all about. This is a must-see for just about every visitor to Vienna.
Built in 1897, first slated for demolition in 1916 and severely damaged in World War II, it has survived to this day and is now better than ever. Located near the entrance to Vienna's great Prater — described in a separate entry under Amusements — it towers some 212 feet above both arms of the Danube and provides a sweeping panoramic view of the city and its surrounds.
A recent development is the outfitting of a few luxury cabins, which include fancy meal service and must be arranged in advance.
In The Third Man, the movie that made the Riesenrad famous, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) and his erstwhile friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) are riding alone in one of the cabins as it nears the top. Martins then accuses Lime of causing the death of hundreds of poor souls by selling tainted penicillin on the postwar black market, and asks "Have you ever seen any of your victims?" Looking down on the people far below, Lime responds by asking Martins if he would feel any pity if one of those tiny dots stopped moving forever. "If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax."
Back on the ground he adds something to the extent that the Italians under the Borgias had many years of wars, terrorism, murders and bloodshed, but wound up producing Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. "In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace — and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly." Okay, not quite accurate. The Swiss never made cuckoo clocks, and in the past they were anything but peaceful. But the point was made.
Getting to the PRATER and its Riesenrad is easy. Take U-Bahn subways U1 or U2 to Praterstern, or commuter trains S1-S3, S7, or S15 to Wien Nord. Streetcars 0 or 5, and bus 80A go there also. By taxi, ask for Praterstern. Or just walk there.
Touch photo in upper left. It will then fill the screen and morph into a DIAGRAM MAP showing the relationship of the Prater to the Altstadt. Touch that to remain on screen, THEN slide a finger from right to left to see more photos. Touch in upper left to return to text.
There are numerous restaurants and cafés nearby, and in the adjacent Wurstelprater Amusement Area.