Social Program

  • Mayor’s Reception, June, 3rd together with the participants of ECOTS (Vienna City Hall, Friday 8.00 pm)
  • Conference Party, June, 4th (Palmery, Saturday 7.30 pm)
  • Accompanying persons program, jointly organized with ECOTS

The Vienna City Hall

The monumental building on Vienna’s Ringstrasse was erected between 1872 and 1883 according to designs by Friedrich Schmidt (1825–1891). The City Hall is 152 metres wide and 127 metres long, covering a built-up area of 19,592 square metres, with a total surface of 113,000 square metres. Its façade is a splendid example of secular architecture in neo-Gothic style but also features individual Renaissance elements. The building’s exterior design, especially the 103-metre-high steeple, is inspired by the tradition of Flemish city halls during the Gothic period, thus reflecting the medieval tradition of civic freedom. The floor plan, by contrast, is more similar to the layout of a typical Baroque palace. It is therefore difficult to classify the building’s architecture as strictly neo-Gothic. The many rooms of the Vienna City Hall include the offices of the Mayor and the Council Chamber where the Vienna City Council convenes. As Vienna is both a federal province and a city, the City Council members also form the Provincial Parliament of Vienna. 


The Rathausmann

The iron standard-bearer atop the City Hall steeple is generally known as the Rathausmann. It weighs 650 kilograms and is 5.4 metres high (including the standard). The Rathausmann would have some trouble finding comfortable footwear – he takes size 63 (size 29 in GB). The statue is held in place by a counterweight of 800 kilograms, enabling it to sway up to 25 centimetres from the vertical in high winds. The Rathausmann was crafted by artisan metalworker Alexander Nehr to a design by Franz Gastell. Since its renovation in 1984/85, an exact copy of the standard-bearer stands in the park in front of the City Hall (Rathauspark).

The Arkadenhof and the Grand Staircases

With a surface of 2,804 square metres, the Arkadenhof is one of the biggest inner courtyards in Europe. An oriel along its western wall is a reminder of the original project to build a chapel in the City Hall. Lined by five-metre-wide arcades, the courtyard offers a fascinating setting for a wide variety of events. A specially designed folding roof protects visitors against wind and rain. 

The two Grand Staircases with their broad flights of stairs and wrought-iron railings are bathed in brilliant light effects created by multi-coloured tracery windows. As everywhere in the building, stones from different regions of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were used. The mezzanine features the longest cloakroom of Austria: designed in historicist style, it is 50 metres long and has room enough for 1,700 coat hooks.


The Festival Hall

When it was built in the late 19th century, the Festival Hall was the biggest hall in the whole country – 71 metres long, 20 metres wide and 18.5 metres high. The ceiling was designed as a barrel-type vault with a web compartments and raised cross ribs as decorative elements. Numerous arcades and the gallery loggia enhance the impression of vast, airy space. The corners of the two orchestra niches are decorated with relief portraits of four great composers: Mozart, Haydn, Gluck and Schubert. Lighting is provided by 16 chandeliers. The parquet floor is made of special oak preserved for centuries in upland bogs, and was reconstructed in 1999 according to the original plans

The Palmery at the Burggarten in Vienna // Location for Conference Dinner

The conservatory (“Palmenhaus”) in the Burggarten was constructed during the epoch of Historicism and nature was substituted by "urban green". Upon demolition of a structure dating back to 1698, an orangery was built in the Burggarten in 1823–26 by Ludwig von Remy, Imperial and Royal Councillor and Head of the Court Construction Directorate. Designed to emulate the Schönbrunn conservatory, the orangery was a Classicist greenhouse of some 130 metres in length and served in its original capacity until the turn of the century. Razed in 1901, it was replaced by a "new" palmery which was designed by Court Architect Friedrich Ohmann and which was recently given a complete refurbishment. 


The palmery is a late specimen of the fashion for architectural conservatory construction. In its early years it was used for different purposes ranging from the winter garden of the imperial palace to simply a flower room or a greenhouse. 


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