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10 Interesting Facts About the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna

The Vienna Ferris Wheel, also known as the Wiener Riesenrad, is among the most iconic landmarks in the city that has been featured in many movies. From 1920 to 1985, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, standing at 212 feet tall. Let’s look at some interesting facts about the Vienna Ferris Wheel that make it one of the most visited places in the city.

Interesting Facts About Vienna Ferris Wheel

Vienna Ferris Wheel

1. It can be operated by hand

Engineers Harry Hitchins, Hubert Cecil Booth and Walter Basset designed the Vienna Ferris Wheel so that it can be operated by hand in case of a power cut. The idea was to make the Ferris Wheel operational at all times. In the 20th century, there were many instances where the wheel was operated by hand. But today, there are rarely such instances. It takes a lot of manpower to operate the giant Ferris wheel by hand, owing to its huge size and height.

Gap-toothed Ferris wheel

2. It is called a gap-toothed Ferris wheel

When the Vienna Ferris Wheel was built for the first time in 1897, it had 30 cars for people to sit and ride. However, after the Second World War, when Vienna was significantly impacted, the number of cars on the Ferris Wheel was reduced to 15. This was done for safety purposes, as evacuating people in case of emergencies would be easy. This is why the Vienna Ferris Wheel looks like it has gaps between each car, giving it a gap-toothed look.

Largest Ferris wheel

3. It was the largest Ferris wheel once

The Vienna Ferris Wheel was the tallest in the world from 1920 to 1985, standing at the height of 212 feet. When it was built in 1897, Grande Roue de Paris was the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world. However, it was demolished in 1920, making the Vennis Ferris Wheel the tallest till 1985. The title then belonged to Technocosmos in Ibaraki, Japan, which was built at the height of 85 metres. The Technocosmos (renamed Technostar) was dismantled in 2009.

Vennis Ferris Wheel weighs

4. It weighs 430 tons

The Vennis Ferris Wheel weighs about 430 tons because of the construction material used. Made with iron and heavy metals, the Vennis Ferris Wheel may be old but has not worn down over the years. The weight works in its favour, as it would take a lot of pressure to cause any damage to the Ferris Wheel. It also takes a lot of power to get the wheel running, along with frequent maintenance, which is organised regularly to avoid mishaps.

Vienna Ferris Wheel

5. It is featured in many movies

The Vienna Ferris Wheel has become an important symbol of the city. Its popularity is such that the Ferris Wheel has been featured in many domestic and international movies, including a James Bond movie! Another popular example would be Before Sunrise, released in 1995, which included a scene where the main characters are sitting inside the cars of the Ferris Wheel. You will find it in Scorpio, Woman In Gold, and Letter From An Unknown Woman, among others.

Restaurant Vienna Ferris Wheel

6. The restaurant was added after James Bond

The Vienna Ferris Wheel is depicted in a James Bond movie, The Living Daylights, starring Timothy Dalton. The movie featured a fictional restaurant under the Ferris Wheel where romantic scenes were shot between the leading pair. The locals loved the idea of a restaurant right below the wheel so much that one was made at the same spot featured in the movie. The restaurant offers scenic views of the Ferris Wheel along with lip-smacking food.

Ferris Wheel
The Ferris Wheel

8. The Ferris Wheel was going to be demolished

Lieutenant Walter Bassett was one of the engineers who oversaw the construction process of the Vienna Ferris Wheel through his business. He was the son of British naval officer Charles Bassett. His business was unsuccessful, as a lot of funds were allocated to the functioning of the Vienna Ferris Wheel. In 1907, when Walter Bassett passed away with his business on the verge of bankruptcy, it was decided that the Ferris Wheel would be demolished. But for some reason, it never happened.

Dining experience

9. You can dine while riding the wheel

The Vienna Ferris Wheel offers a unique dining experience where people can have candlelight dinners inside the cars. Each course is served as you complete a round, where you can spend quality time with your partner, dining at one of the tallest points in the city. Watching the city’s skyline while enjoying a 3-course meal with your special someone feels magical. If you’re planning to visit the Vienna Ferris Wheel, add this experience to your itinerary and book in advance.

Vienna Ferris Wheel

10. The Ferris Wheel has its own pace

Austrians believe in making the most of every moment and enjoying each experience at leisure. The Vienna Ferris Wheel’s speed will give you enough time to appreciate each second you are on the wheel. One circle takes about 4 minutes to complete if the wheel moves non-stop. However, it takes about 12-15 minutes to complete one round. The top speed of the Vienna Ferris Wheel is 2.7 km/h, giving you enough time take beautiful pictures of the city.




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Frequently Asked Questions About Vienna Ferris Wheel Facts

Q. What is the Vienna Ferris Wheel?

A. The Vienna Ferris Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel located inside Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt, Vienna.

Q. What is the most interesting fact about the Vienna Ferris Wheel?

A. The Vienna Ferris Wheel was featured in many movies, including Woman In Gold, Letters From An Unknown Woman, Before Sunrise, and even a James Bond movie called The Living Daylights starring Timothy Dalton.

Q. Where is the Vienna Ferris Wheel?

A. The Vienna Ferris Wheel is located inside Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria.

Q. When was the Vienna Ferris Wheel built?

A. The Vienna Ferris Wheel was built in 1897 in honour of Emperor Franz Joseph I completing 50 years of reign as the Emperor of Austria.

Q. When did the Vienna Ferris Wheel open?

A. The Vienna Ferris Wheel opened in 1897.

Q. Who built the Vienna Ferris Wheel?

A. The Vienna Ferris Wheel was built by British engineers Harry Hitchins, Hubert Cecil Booth and Walter Basset.

Q. Is it true that the Vienna Ferris Wheel was the tallest Ferris wheel at one point?

A. Yes, the Vienna Ferris Wheel was the tallest in the world from 1920 to 1985 until the Technocosmos was built in Japan.

Q. Was the Vienna Ferris Wheel featured in a James Bond movie?

A. Yes, the Vienna Ferris Wheel was featured in The Living Daylights, a James Bond movie starring Timothy Dalton.

Q. How tall is the Vienna Ferris Wheel?

A. The Vienna Ferris Wheel is 212 feet tall (64.5 m) and was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world from 1920 to 1985.

Q. How much does Vienna Ferris Wheel weigh?

A. The Vienna Ferris Wheel weight 430 tons due to iron and heavy metal made to construct the structure.