The Vienna State Opera
The Opera is an obvious starting point to visit the 'Ringroad' thanks to its position in relation to St Stephen's at the centre of the city (the Opera is at the end – or beginning - the main shopping street which leads off from the cathedral), but it's also a fitting one as it was the first building Franz Josef had built along the route of the old city walls.
While you might just glance at some of the other sights along the way, the Opera is such a part of Viennese culture that is deserves more attention.
Opened in 1869 to Mozart's Don Giovanni, it re-opened in 1955 after war damage with Beethoven's Fidelio and nowadays the company performs some 200 times (Sept.-June) from a repertoire of over 50 productions.
Try to get a ticket if you can, although depending on the performance and the time of year, some nights might be sold out. However last minute tickets are usually available even if they might be standing room only. No joke, there are over 500 places set aside for people willing to stand through an entire performance.
Otherwise settle for a tour. Even here you can't just turn up and expect to get in however, as tours are determined according to performances and rehearsals, so you need to check the board outside the building.
It's worth a look inside to get a feel of the grandeur and opulence of 19th century Austria. The facade, the foyer and the stairway all survived the bombs in the Second World War and so you're seeing what the well-to-do would have seen when they made their way to their seats for a night out at the opera – lots of marble, statues, stone columns and arches everywhere, wonderful high ceilings, beautiful paintings and finally the magnificent red and gold of the auditorium.
Hard to believe that the Viennese didn't like it at first, in fact the story goes that one architect killed himself due to the adverse criticism and the other died of a heart attack shortly afterwards!!
With the map of Vienna and the Staatsoper below, you can zoom in or out or move in all directions by using the controls to the left. And the buttons on the top right switch between a traditional map view, a satellite view and a mixture of the two.
Details of Circular Walk
Doktor Anton Krabichler Platz 3
Tel: +43 (0)2249 2353
The forestry service provides a leaflet entitled "Napoleon - Rundwanderweg" which describes the 11km walk.