Prater Museum

The Prater is 1300 ha park between the Danube and the Danube Canal, an area donated to the city by the Emperor Joseph II in 1766, where bowling greens were laid out, merry-go-rounds erected, and gingerbread bakers (Lebzelter) set up their stalls. It was the site of the World Exhibitions of 1873 and 1897. The symbol of the Prater is a 60 m diameter Ferris wheel (Reisenrad) built for the latter by the English engineer Walter B Basset. The fairground of the early twentieth century, the Wurstelprater, was destroyed in the last days of the Second World War but such was its significance to the city that the Ferris Wheel was restored in 1946, and featured memorably in the film The Third Man, directed in 1949 by Carol Reed (1906-76). Another momento of the Wurstelprater, an 8 m high figure of a Chinese man, formerly displayed on a merry-go-round owned by the magician and restaurant owner Basili Calafati (1800-78), stands at the centre of the Prater amongst the modern rides. Painted figures from other rides and booths were collected by the schoolmaster and historian Hans Pemmer (1886-1972), and are displayed in the Prater Museum. The museum, originally established in 1933, also holds paintings and photographs of the Prater, and exhibits relating to clowns.

Prater Museum
2 Prater, Hauptallee
1020 Wien
+43 (0) 1 - 7267683