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Besides Schönbrunn Palace, the Opera, or the Riesenrad in Prater, the Donauturm (German name for the Danube Tower) is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Vienna. Visitors can take the express elevator ride to the observation deck 160 metres above the ground and enjoy the wonderful view of the whole city of Vienna and its surroundings. There is also a restaurant and cafe at the top.
The total height of the Donauturm is 252 metres – this is from the ground to the very top, where naturally people can’t get. The observation deck, which visitors can reach, is about 160 metres high.
With this height the Danube Tower comfortably beats the South Tower of Stephansdom as well as the Prater Ferris Wheel as a way to see Vienna from the bird’s perspective (both have about 60 to 65 metres).
The diameter of the tower goes from 12 metres at the bottom down to about 6 metres around the observation deck (which is broader itself). Then it narrows down further towards the top.
The total structure of the Donauturm weighs 17.6 thousand tonnes. It is therefore clear that the tower does need a really strong foundation – 8 metres deep and 31 metres in diameter.
The Donauturm is to be credited to Hannes Lintl (the architect) and Robert Krapfenbauer (the static). It was built in 20 months and opened on 16 April 1964 on the occasion of the International Viennese Gardening Show.
The Danube Tower has 2 fast elevators which take people from the bottom to the observation deck with the restaurant and cafe. Each elevator can carry up to 15 passengers at decent speed of 6.2 metres per second. You get to the observation deck in 35 seconds. Combined operating capacity of the two elevators is 1,600 people per hour – definitely more than what fits in the observation deck area. Besides the elevators, there is also a stairway consisting of 776 stairs.
There are two restaurants at the top of the Danube Tower: Panorama and Donauwalzer. Both are turnable, so by sitting there you will see all 360 degrees of Vienna each 26, 39, or 52 minutes (the speeds are adjustable).
According to the official information, there were 15.6 million visitors to the Donauturm since the opening until 2001 and then about 450,000 visitors each year. That brings us to somewhere about 20 million people already.
You can get more details and contact information at the official website of the Donauturm.
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