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Top 10 Great Facts About The Danube Tower

We can find great towers all around the world, and that’s also the case in Vienna, the capital of Austria.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most interesting facts about the Danube Tower, the best place to get amazing views of the city.

1. It’s located in a district called Danube City

The Danube Tower is locally known as the “Donauturm” and is located in Donaustadt or “Danube City.”

This is the 22nd district of the city and is located in the utmost northeastern section of Austria’s capital. It’s situated on the northern bank of the Danube River, one of the most famous Rivers in Europe and the second-longest as well after the Volga River in Russia.

It’s also the largest district in the city, covering an area of 102.24 square kilometers (39.48 square miles), but far from the most densely populated ones.

Donaustadt skyline
Donaustadt skyline / Fabian Lackner /

2. It’s the tallest structure in Austria

The tower stands 252 meters (827 feet) tall. This doesn’t just make it the tallest structure in Vienna but all of Austria as well.

This means that it dominates the skyline of the city, even though multiple skyscrapers are being built in its vicinity.

Unlike some other towers in the world, the Berlin TV Tower or the Sydney Tower come to mind, it’s not located in the middle of the historical heart of the city. It’s still close enough to provide excellent views of Vienna’s most famous landmarks.

Vienna from the Danube Tower
Vienna from the tower / Jay8085 /

3. The structure is equipped with 2 high-speed elevators

Just like most observation towers in the world, the general public can get access to the pods on top of the structure.

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Luckily, it’s not needed to take the stairs to reach it as the tower is equipped with 2 fast-moving elevators.

Even though the observation platform near the top of the tower is located at a height of 150 meters (490 feet), it only takes 35 seconds to reach it.

Danube Tower location
View of the tower / Christian Lendl /

4. It was built for a special event during the 1960s

As you surely noticed already, the tower is located in a piece of nature referred to as the “Donaupark.”

Both the park and the tower were built for an event that took place in the area called the “Viennese International Horticultural Show 1964.”

This event is also referred to as the “WIG” and attracted over 2.3 million visitors interested in gardening and growing plants.

This also means that, just like countless other towers and monuments around the world, it was built and completed for a special occasion in 1964 and has become a special landmark in the city ever since.

Danube Tower facts
The tower in the park / Funke /

5. The tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vienna

Ever since its completion in 1964, the tower has been a prominent landmark and tourist attraction in Vienna.

The tower not only features an observation deck at a height of 150 meters (490 feet) but also 2 revolving restaurants.

These are located at a height of 161.2 and 169.4 meters (529 and 556 feet) and provide 360-degree views of Vienna and its surroundings.

The lower establishment is referred to as the “Turm-Café,” while the upper one is an upscale restaurant called the “Turm-Restaurant.”

Danube Tower restaurants and observation deck
Detail of the pod / Robert F. Tobler /

More interesting facts about the Danube Tower

6. Just because the 2 elevators are the only means for visitors to reach the top of the tower, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t feature a staircase.

The tower can be reached by foot by climbing a total of 775 steps, quite a trying endeavor indeed.

The only way you can access this staircase is by enrolling in the Donauturm run, a sports event that is held once every year. On all other days throughout the year, this way of ascending the tower is off-limits for visitors.

7. Although the tower would be the perfect location for this purpose, it has never been used for television broadcast transmissions.

That’s because the main TV tower is located on top of a nearby hill called “Kahlenberg Hill.” This hill reaches an elevation of 484 meters (1,588 feet) and is topped with a tower that stands 165 meters (541 feet) tall.

The tower does, however, feature an antenna and satellites which are used by mobile phone networks and private radio stations.

Kahlenberg hill near vienna
Kahlenberg Hill with the antenna / Bwag /

8. The groundbreaking ceremony of the construction took place on October 12, 1962. Just 18 months later, on April 16, 1964, the tower was completed.

This was just in time for the international event of 1964 and the tower was officially by the President of Austria at the time, Adolf Schärf (1890-1965).

9. The tower was designed by renowned Austrian architect Hannes Lintl (1924-2003). Apart from the famous tower in Vienna and various other structures, he designed a couple more similar towers as well.

These include St. John’s Beacon (1969) in Liverpool, the Montreal Television Tower in Canada, and the Baghdad Television Tower. The latter was destroyed during the war in Iraq.

To emphasize the perceived importance of this Austrian architect, he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class, back in 2000.

10. While the elevators inside the tower can reach a height of 150 meters (490 feet) in 35 seconds, it takes double as long if there is a strong wind.

The revolving restaurants can also adjust their speed as they can revolve completely in either 26, 39, or 52 minutes.

Donauturm at night
The amazing tower at night / BambooBeast /