The Austrian Parliament and The Story Behind its Unique Greek Character

One of the most beautiful and impressive Parliament buildings anywhere in Europe is in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Standing in the city’s center since the nineteenth century, the Austrian Parliament impresses visitors to the city with its perfect resemblance to an ancient Greek temple.

Designed by architect Theophil Hansen and completed in 1883, the Austrian Parliament is one of the most characteristic examples of the classical Greek architectural renaissance of the nineteenth century.

Hansen decided to give the building its unmistakable Greek character because he wanted to revive Greek architectural style. During this period, called Neoclassicism, there was an awakened admiration for ancient Greece’s achievements, leading architects across Europe and the Americas to design buildings in the Classical style.

Designing holistically, Hansen was responsible both for the exterior and the interior of the parliament building. The result is a stunning recreation of classical Greece, with columns and pediments of white marble and frescoes along the walls of the entrance.

Hansen’s architectural choices were also certainly influenced by the industrialist and politician Nikolaus Dumba, who argued that the new Austrian parliament’s style should be classical.

The Austrian authorities thought at the time that classical Greek architecture was most appropriate for a parliament building because of its connection to the ancient Greeks and their legacy of democracy.

Hansen, relying on the drafts he had drawn up for Zappeion Hall in Athens, was ready to implement his ideas and give Vienna a landmark which would capture the attention of the world.

His original plans included two separate buildings for the House of Representatives and the House of Lords, but for practical and financial reasons it was decided to house both chambers in one building.

The “Athena Fountain” in front of the parliament was erected several years after the parliament building’s construction, creating an urban complex that gives the impression of being in the city center of ancient Athens.

Where you stay
Have you decided to visit Vienna to see this amazing architectural structure, along with the city’s other countless wonders, for yourself?

The Harmonie hotel is the perfect place if you’d like to explore and fall in love with one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally-rich cities.

With allergy-friendly rooms, suites, conference rooms, gym and a perfect location, only a few minutes from the city’s landmarks, the ”Harmonie” hotel is the ideal place for you, if you’d like to have an unforgettable experience in the stunning Austrian capital of Vienna.