• Short Summary

    VIENNA'S FAMOUS PRATER PARK IS 200 YEARS OLD, AND THE CITY IS MARKING THE BICENTENARY WITH A SERIES OF CONCERTS, FANCY DRESS BALLS AND FLOWER PARADES.

  • Description

    VIENNA'S FAMOUS PRATER PARK IS 200 YEARS OLD, AND THE CITY IS MARKING THE BICENTENARY WITH A SERIES OF CONCERTS, FANCY DRESS BALLS AND FLOWER PARADES.

    THE STORY OF THE PRATER BEGAN IN 1560 WHEN EMPEROR KARL VI FENCED OFF PART OF AN ISLAND IN THE DANUBE, TO BE USED ONLY BY THE ARISTOCRACY. HE GAVE IT A SPANISH NAME, THE PRADO.

    TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER EMPEROR JOSEF 11, THE SON OF MARIA THERESIA, OPENED THE IMPERIAL PARK AND HUNTING GROUNDS TO THE PUBLIC. THE SPANISH WORD HAD ALREADY BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE VIENNESE AND BECOME PRATER, AND IT WASN'T LONG BEFORE ENTERPRISING TRADERS MOVED IN TO SET UP SAUSAGE STALLS, TEA SHOPS AND THE PRATER'S FIRST ENTERTAINMENT, A PUPPET THEATRE.

    FIFTY YEARS LATER THE PRATER WAS FIRMLY ESTABLISHED AS THE CENTRE OF VIENNA'S ENTERTAINMENT WORLD - THERE WERE ALREADY MORE THAN FIFTY STALLS AND SIDE-SHOWS.

    AND, OF COURSE, THERE WERE RESTAURANTS. FOR AUSTRIANS, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SERVICES THE PRATER CAN PROVIDE IS ITS FOOD. A BUILDING ERECTED IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY IS STILL THERE - AS A RESTAURANT. ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS MEALS EVER SERVED IN THE PRATER WAS A VICTORY CELEBRATION AFTER THE BATTLE OF LEIPZIG IN 1814, WHEN 18,000 SOLDIERS WERE FED. THE RECORDS SHOW THAT ON WHIT SUNDAY IN 1852 HUNGRY VIENNESE CONSUMED 300 OXEN, 12,000 CHICKENS AND 4,000 GEESE.

    THE VIENNESE HAVE NOT FAILED TO MAKE THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD OF MUSIC, AND AGAIN THE PRATER HAS PLAYED ITS PART. JOHANN STRAUSS OFTEN PLAYED HIS WALTZES THERE, AND BEETHOVEN CONDUCTED HIS LAST PUBLIC CONCERT IN THE PRATER.

    BUT THE STORY OF THE PRATER HASN'T ALWAYS BEEN A HAPPY ONE. RESENTFUL VIENNESE WATCHED THE VICTORIOUS NAPOLEON REVIEW HIS CONQUERING ARMY IN THE PARK IN 1806, AND DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR AIR RAIDS DESTROYED ALMOST EVERY BUILDING IN THE PARK.

    ONLY THE GIANT FERRIS WHEEL THAT IS THE CITY'S MOST PROMINENT LANDMARK WAS LEFT STANDING. IT WAS BUILT BY AN ENGLISH ENGINEER IN 1896, AND IT MARKED THE START OF A TRANSFORMATION THAT THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION BROUGHT ABOUT.

    THERE ARE STILL TREE-LINED ROADS IN THE PRATER THAT CAN BE USED ONLY BY HORSES OR PEDESTRIANS, BUT MOST OF THE ENTERTAINMENTS ARE BRIGHT AND NOISY, AND STRICTLY PART OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. MINIATURE TRAINS, FLYING SAUCERS AND DODGEM CARS ARE POPULAR WITH YOUNGER VIENNESE, BUT MANY OF THEIR PARENTS LAMENT THE ARRIVAL OF GAMBLING HALLS AND NON-STOP STRIPTEASE SHOWS WHERE IMPERIAL ARISTOCRATS ONCE HUNTED ON HORSEBACK.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAE9D0L74HEBJCS0POJY4TK046N
    Media URN:
    VLVAE9D0L74HEBJCS0POJY4TK046N
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/04/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:38:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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