Heroes' Square

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Heroes' Square
Vienna Wappen.svg
Place in Vienna
Heroes' Square
Heldenplatz with a view of the Hofburg (2007)
Basic data
place Vienna
District Inner city
Confluent streets Castle ring
Buildings Hofburg , castle gate , presidential office
User groups Cars , pedestrians , cabs
Space design Archduke Carl's monument , green spaces

The Heroes' Square is a historic square in Vienna , of the grounds of the Imperial Palace belongs. The Federal President resides in the adjoining part of the Hofburg, the Federal Chancellor at Ballhausplatz , which is connected to Heldenplatz .


View over Heldenplatz from the balcony of the Corps de Logis ( Weltmuseum Wien ) (2015)
The Heldenplatz from the Volksgarten (2014)
Provisional parliament building on Heldenplatz

The Burgbastei was originally located on the site of today's Heldenplatz as part of the Vienna city walls . As part of the Fifth Coalition War , Napoleon's troops occupied the city of Vienna in 1809 and subsequently blew up parts of the city fortifications, including the castle bastion. The remains were not removed until 1817-1819, creating the "outer castle square". (As part of construction work, the foundations of the castle bastion were excavated in 2016.) The newly created square was popularly called Promenadeplatz and officially Neuer Paradeplatz .

In the course of the establishment of the Ringstrasse zone, the “outer Burgplatz” was designed under Emperor Franz Joseph I as part of the Imperial Forum , which, however, was never completed. The plan was to create a rectangular square that was to be framed by the Leopoldine wing , the New Hofburg , the Habsburg collections (today's Museum of Art and Natural History ) and a never-built counterpart of the New Castle at the site of the Volksgarten . The space between the museums today as Maria Theresa Square known because there, the Maria Theresa monument by Kaspar von Zumbusch is. The remaining undeveloped northwest side offers a comprehensive panoramic view of the western Ringstrasse with Parliament , Vienna City Hall and Burgtheater .

The name Heldenplatz was established in 1878; it comes from the two equestrian monuments , both of which come from Anton Dominik Fernkorn (with the superstructures from Eduard van der Nüll ). The older is that of Archduke Charles , which was unveiled in 1860. It served for the military glorification of the dynasty, especially since one of its members is celebrated here as a general. However, shortly before the monument was unveiled, Austria succumbed to Italy in the Battle of Solferino . The monument is remarkable in that the horse is shown jumping up so that only the two hind legs touch the base. The memorial is inspired by the famous battle picture by Johann Peter Krafft . In 1865 the counterpart was completed, the equestrian statue of Prince Eugen , which was unveiled shortly before the defeat of Königgrätz . After Fernkorn's strokes, it was completed by students. The technical perfection of the Archduke Karl Monument was no longer achieved, here the horse's tail also touches the base.

The end of the Heldenplatz forms the outer castle gate , which was designed by Peter von Nobile in 1824 and was intended as a memorial for the soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars . Today it is generally used as a memorial for those who died in war . The interior of the building is only accessible during state ceremonies. Seen from Heldenplatz on the right side of the castle gate is the memorial of the executive , a memorial for the police officers and gendarmes in Austria who were killed on duty . Florian Schaumberger was responsible for the artistic design and the monument was unveiled on May 2, 2002.

Ballhausplatz is connected to Heldenplatz and is located between the Leopoldine wing and the Federal Chancellery . The latter comes from Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt and has been a central political place since the late 18th century.

After the loss of the First World War , the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy under the rule of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty and the establishment of the first Austrian republic , Heldenplatz served as a rally for all political camps and as a parade ground for the Austrian army . A “hero memorial” with the Habsburg double-headed eagle in memory of all the battles in Austria was laid out inside the castle gate and inaugurated on September 9, 1934 by Federal President Wilhelm Miklas . The balcony of the New Hofburg was used as a political speaker's platform on official occasions as early as 1935 under Federal Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg .

On March 15, 1938, as a gesture of triumph over the previous government, from the balcony of the Neue Burg , Adolf Hitler proclaimed the " connection of Austria " to the German Reich (commonly referred to as the Nazi state ) to the gathered masses on Heldenplatz . The title of the play Heldenplatz by Thomas Bernhard refers to this event. Likewise the famous poem wien: heldenplatz by the Viennese poet Ernst Jandl , which tries to capture the atmosphere during the Hitler speech on Heldenplatz.

At the instigation of the Gauleiter and Reich Governor of Vienna Baldur von Schirach , the architect Hanns Dustmann was to create the unfinished architectural framing of the Heldenplatz from 1940 - the northwest wing of the New Hofburg had not been built. Dustmann did not plan to complete the missing twin to the already existing south-east wing, but designed Heldenplatz as a paved parade area with an open line of sight to the university ring based on Hitler's templates . A cubic museum building with four corner risers was to be placed opposite the Natural History Museum at the Burgring and the Theseus temple was to be moved in the central axis of the Heldenplatz. The temple was to be erected on an approximately ten-meter-high substructure based on the model of the Walhalla near Donaustauf and supplemented with wide flank structures in order to adapt it to the monumental rectangular space.

Heroes' Square today

For decades , an armed forces event has been taking place on Heldenplatz on the occasion of the Austrian national holiday on October 25th and 26th . The traditional inauguration will take place on October 26th under the leadership of the Federal President.

After a Nazi pamphlet was found hidden in the memorial of the dead soldier in 2012 and names of SS people were discovered in the death books, the responsible armed forces emptied the memorial rooms.

On the occasion of the 68th anniversary of liberation from National Socialism , on May 8, 2013, the Federal Army held a vigil for the first time for the victims of National Socialism on Heldenplatz. In addition, initiated by the Mauthausen Committee Austria and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra , a celebration of joy took place for the first time with a large gala concert by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra with free admission on Heldenplatz. This event has taken place every year since then, is attended by around 15,000 people and has also been broadcast on television since 2015.

Since the parliament building will be renovated from 2017 to 2021, two temporary pavilions were built on Heldenplatz; they provide space for offices and public relations. The excavation work was accompanied by archaeologists, with the remains of the castle gate being excavated in summer 2016. The buildings will be removed again in 2020.

In the past few years, large events have repeatedly taken place at Heldenplatz. On January 23, 1993, there was the sea ​​of ​​lights on Heldenplatz , the largest demonstration in Austrian history. On May 5, 2003 the mass start of tens of thousands of white balloons with letters to victims of National Socialism by A Letter To The Stars , the performance show of the armed forces and emergency organizations, the hands-on presentation on Sports Day. In the summer half year, Friday Night Skating starts and ends on the paved part of the course. Since December 2018, Fridays for Future's climate strikes have been taking place regularly on Heldenplatz , the largest of these so far (as of February 2020) on September 27, 2019 with up to 80,000 participants.



  • Margaret Gottfried: The Vienna Imperial Forum. Utopias between the Hofburg and the Museumsquartier . Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-205-99196-6 .
  • Florian Oberhuber: Keyword “Heldenplatz” . In: Oswald Panagl , Peter Gerlich (Hrsg.): Dictionary of political language in Austria. Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 2007, ISBN 3-209-05952-7 .
  • Peter Stachel: Myth Heldenplatz . Pichler Verlag, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-85431-286-5 .

Web links

Commons : Heldenplatz  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. TV documentary ZIB 2 History: Hitler am Heldenplatz, broadcast on March 15, 2018, 10.30 p.m., 44:52 minutes; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls8fVk5ouRM , accessed February 17, 2019.
  2. ^ ORF documentary: Vienna - Hitler's City of Dreams, 2017, film by Anna Sigmund; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InzK_KSM1UY , accessed on February 9, 2019.
  3. ^ Festival of Joy, organized by the Mauthausen Committee Austria
  4. Vigil on Heldenplatz , Ö1. ORF.at, May 7, 2013
  5. ^ Vigil: "Heldenplatz freed from the eternal yesterday" , Die Presse May 8, 2013
  6. Construction work on Heldenplatz , Der Standard from July 18, 2016, accessed on August 26, 2016
  7. https://www.derstandard.at/jetzt/livebericht/2000109165686/earth-strike-oesterreich-haben-vor-groesstem-klimaprotest-seiner-geschichte?responsive=false

Coordinates: 48 ° 12 '24 "  N , 16 ° 21' 47"  E