Important recreational area of the Viennese
Like to enjoy Vienna from above? Then take a walk in the western part of the city. At 449 meters above sea level, from the Jubiläumswarte (“Jubilee Panorama”) on the Wilhelminenberg Mountain, the Danube metropolis is spread out at your feet, and you can catch your breath after the climb. The viewing point in situated in the Wienerwald (the Vienna Woods), the frequently-cited “green lung” of the city which, with its 135,000 hectares, is an important recreational area for the people of Vienna.
“The Wilhelminberg is a perfect Viennese “melange”: a hike, a walk and sightseeing tour in one. With the Jubiläumswarte as the suger cube.” Freely adapted from the Viennese author Thomas Rambauske.
Creation of the Jubiläumswarte
The Jubiläumswarte was erected in 1898 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I. Originally just a wooden tower, it was replaced in the 1950s by a concrete pier with a spiral staircase and a viewing platform. Once you’ve climbed the 183 steps you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking 360° panorama. But be prepared if you ask locals for directions to the Jubiläumswarte: you could be sent to the “Predigtstuhl” (pulpit) or “Gallitzinberg”, as these three names are used side by side. The hill was originally known as the Predigtstuhl, and was given the name Gallitzinberg by the Russian ambassador to Vienna, Demetrius Michailowitsch Gallitzin, who owned large estates in the area which was in those days still largely pasture land.
We owe it to Prince Moritz von Montléart that in the vernacular the name “Wilhelminenberg” prevailed; he gave the hill, complete with castle, to his wife Wilhelmine, and applied to have the name changed. When his request was rejected by the authorities, he had signs reading “Wilhelminenberg” erected at all entrances to the castle. But there’s no need to be confused by the different names: the seven-kilometer Stadtwanderweg (city hiking trail) number four leads you on a comfortable walk to the Jubiläumswarte and then back to the city!
Text: Kornelia Kopf, Fotos: Christine Wurnig