History of the Danube Tower

Go back in time and experience the yearly highlights of our landmark!

2016

1st Vienna

1st Vienna "Trachten" Bungee Jumping

The 1st Vienna bungee jumping in traditional dress for a good cause. Profits from the tombola go to the President of ‘Dancer against Cancer’, Simone Rueff. Mister Austria and many other adrenaline junkies jumped in traditional clothing for a good cause.

20th Danube Tower Run

20th Danube Tower Run

We have another big anniversary in June 2016 – the run up the stairs of the Danube Tower took place for the 20th time. A very special sporting event that saw both professionals and hundreds of keen amateur runners climbing the tower on foot by the stairwell.

2015

Change of ownership

Change of ownership

On December 14th, 2015, the contract of purchase for the Danube tower with the Blaguss group and his strategic partners - Guntram Fessler/Smile Group, Mag. Gilbert Leeb and Matthias Kamp was signed. "Together with our strategic partners, we have succeeded in presenting a concept that will sustain the tourism development of this Viennese landmark in the long term, secure jobs and trigger an innovation thrust!", Says Paul Blaguss.

Easter party at the Danube Tower

Easter party at the Danube Tower

An Easter party for a good cause with the Cliniclowns and Furries for the kids – community involvement with disadvantaged children. The kids had a lot of fun searching for Easter eggs and playing the tombola, with lots of great prizes.

2014

50th anniversary of the Danube Tower

The Danube Tower is celebrating its 50th birthday together with thousands of visitors and a lot of celebrities from the worlds of politics and business. We are looking forward to another 50 years. This was the day with the most visitors in 2014!

2013

Starred chef visits the Danube Tower

Starred chef visits the Danube Tower

The well-known German TV and starred chef, Otto Koch, will honour us with a visit. This will be a superlative guest chef evening with many well-known faces from the worlds of politics and business and also a few stars, big and small.

One menu - two chefs

One menu - two chefs

Jeweils abwechselnd wurde ein Gang vom Gastkoch Otto Koch und vom lokalen Küchenchef Andi Widgruber kreiert und zubereitet.

WEGA trained at the Danube Tower

WEGA trained at the Danube Tower

On Tuesday a large-scale exercise took place at the Danube Tower with the Vienna Task Force Alarm Department (WEGA) and Vienna Ambulance Service. As part of this the task force also abseiled down Austria’s highest building.

2011

A change of generation in the management

A change of generation in the management

After 23 year at the Danube Tower Rudolf Koger is going into well-earned retirement and Bert Copar is taking over management of the operations.

2006

A night at the Danube Tower

A night at the Danube Tower

For the first time in history of the Danube Tower guests were able to spend a “romantic night” on the tower. A complete bedroom was built on our glassed-in observation deck where more than 200 couples spent the night in the very first year. The package included a romantic dinner for two, the overnight stay in a canopy bed on our terrace and breakfast the following morning. There was such a great crush that all dates for 2006 were sold out within two weeks.

2005

New shadowing

In 2005 the Danube Tower café at a height of 160 metres was completely redesigned, the new shadowing on the tower keeps the temperature in a pleasant range for enjoying coffee and cake even during the summer. Besides the shadowing also floors, tables and chairs were readapted and now offer our guests a new and comfortable atmosphere.

2004

40 Years Danube Tower

40 Years Danube Tower

On the 4th, 5th and 6th of June 2004, the Danube Towers celebrates its 40th anniversary. More than 20,000 visitors visited the Tower for the celebrations. A lot of attractions from the Roaring Sixties, a Beatles Coverband, an Oldtimershow and prices like 40 years ago inspired the visitors. With a large fireworks the Danube Tower was illuminated in glittering colors and light reflexes.

2003

New Run Up record

On the 15th of November the Danube Tower Stair Race took place for the twelfth time. New record number of participants – 389 sportsmen and sportswomen took part in the race, therefore we have reached the highest number of participants since the beginning of the event. The male winner was Rudolf Reitberger with a winner’s time of 3:37:62 – the track record of Markus Zahlbruckner (3:31:71 in 2002) could not be broken. The female winner was Andrea Mayr with a winner’s time of 4:31:72. She set a new women’s record.

2002

Weddings at the Danube Tower

Since autumn of 2002 you can get married on our new glassed-in terrace at the Danube Tower. We realized the concept in cooperation with the agency Wedding Planner. The first wedding took place in October 2002.

2001

Bungee Jumping

The sports event agency Jochen Schweizer opens the world’s highest Bungee jump ramp off a tower on the Danube Tower. The ramp is 152 meters above the ground – in the first year 1,000 people ventured the jump into the depths, secured by a Bungee rope. In the following years the bungee center will be open from May to the end of November.

2000

New glass construction

Besides numerous special offers and events around the Danube Tower there will also be exterior news on the tower itself in the new millennium. From this year on a completely new glass construction will protect the visitors against frosty temperatures and stormy hoists on the observation deck.

1999

You need not be able to fly...

You need not be able to fly...

The Danube Towers celebrates its 40th Anniversary. But not only the Tower is able to celebrate. Under the motto: You need not to be able to fly to celebrate your birthday in a height of 170 metres, the Danube Tower annually hosts around 25,000 birthday partys.

1998

Prominent advertising location

Advertising wave for the Danube Tower: In Austria’s most prominent advertising location you can now find the logo of the country’s biggest bank. The assembly of the Bank Austria sign at a height of 230 meters was spectacular. The 17,600-kilogramme-heavy, 10-meters-long and more than 6.5-meter-high logo was mounted right on top of the tower by helicopter. 149 fluorescent lamps provide for brilliant new optics of the Viennese landmark.

1997

Prime boiled beef and cakes

Prime boiled beef and cakes

Guests on the Danube Tower show a great appetite: Since the opening in 1964 about 520,000 servings of prime boiled beef, 122,000 kilogrammes of roast joint, around one million litres of beer and nearly 800,000 litres of non-alcoholic drinks like Coca Cola were consumed in the Danube Tower restaurant. Also, year after year visitors enjoy about 4,500 pieces of cake in the café.

1996

Summit of the towers

Summit of the towers

The dwarf among the World’s biggest towers is scene for a summit at the highest level: In October representatives of the “World Federation of Great Towers” consult on the Danube Tower about how their architectures can be better marketed. At the moment the federation has 21 members, the tower boom continues. Until 2001 seven more giants are expected to join the association.

1995

Hosting astronauts

Hosting astronauts

The Vienna Danube Tower flies into space: Austrian astronaut Franz Viehböck, Apollo 12 astronaut veteran Richard F. Gordon and other cosmic celebrities will visit the Danube Tower for the premiere of the Oscar-winning space movie “Apollo 13”. In this intergalactic year also Mr. Sulu from Spaceship Enterprise and representatives of the Austrian Space Agency were seen on the Danube Tower.

1994

New skyscrapers

New skyscrapers

At the age of 30 the Danube Tower has offspring: High-rise architects and the Viennese city administration plan to build five spectacular skyscrapers along the Danube river, which should jazz up the skyline. Nevertheless, the tower remains unrivalled. Up to now more people visited the 150-metres-high viewing terrace than there are inhabitants in Tokyo.

1993

Light of hope

Light of hope

Danube Tower Memorial: Alongside other big towers in the world the Danube Tower places itself at the service of World AIDS Day. As it will be the case on the Empire State Building and the observation towers in Sydney, Blackpool and Montreal, in the evening of December 1st all lights will go out at the Danube Tower, as a sign for a “light of hope” in memory of all AIDS victims.

1992

1st Danube Tower Run

1st Danube Tower Run

A special sporting event took place for the very first time on the 3rd of October 1992. More than 300 runners climbed 776 stairs and 58 platforms to the top of the Danube Tower on foot. The winner was Michael Körner with a winner’s time of 4:02 minutes. This event marks the starting point of meteoric careers of Austrian stair runners: Participants of the Danube Tower Run successfully climbed the Empire State Building as well as the Muscovite television tower.

1991

11 million visitors

11 million visitors

A total of 11 million guests visited the Danube Tower up to this point. Both express lifts are doing well: With approximately 5.3 million rides since their commissioning they covered the 384,400km-long distance from the moon to the earth almost three times. (Photo: Kone)

1990

Scouts broadcast chain

Scouts broadcast chain

The popular Viennese landmark sends special signals: For two days the Danube Tower was part of a worldwide broadcast chain. About 400,000 boy scouts from all around the world radioed internationally understanding greetings and messages of peace from the world’s 16 greatest towers.

1989

World Federation of Great Towers

World Federation of Great Towers

With a total of 558,000 guests the Danube Tower experienced the most visitors in a year which was also acknowledged on an international level. The tower gets to join the World Federation of Great Towers although the Vienna Danube Tower (8th place of the international tower ranking), is a dwarf compared to the 553-meter-high Toronto tower.

1988

Growing number of visitors

Growing number of visitors

After rather unspectacular visitor numbers from 1965 to 1980 the tower tourism is picking up again. For the first time since 1964 there were over 500,000 visitors on the Danube Tower. Half of the guests came from Austria, but also Italian and Dutch people stormed the tower during that year. Therefore sales increased by 13 percent to about 95 million ATS.

1987

Fault-free operation

Fault-free operation

The express lifts of the Danube Tower report more than 115,000 interference-free operating hours. Per lift journey which lasts about 35 seconds, i.e. with 22.3 km/h, 14 people reach aerial heights and level floor. Both lifts cover more than 2,700 kilometres per year.

1986

Stability

Stability

Currently the Vienna Danube Tower does not celebrate an anniversary. It is about 22 years old, 252 metres tall and slender. The bottom disc is in actual fact the observation deck. The cylinder turns out to be a two-storied turning restaurant without Gault Millau toques but fine Austrian food, as the tower tapers at the top.

1985

Liftboys in Vienna

Liftboys in Vienna

There are only a few liftboys left in Vienna. It has been a dying trade since the 1970s. Only a few afford the luxury of a liftboy – the Danube Tower is one of them since its elevators are still not self-driven. As elevator operator on the Danube Tower you have secure promotion prospects with 6.2m/sec, up to 600 times a day. This job in Europe’s quickest elevators has no effects on health. The Danube Tower liftboys retire no earlier than at the age of 60.

1984

20 Years Danube Tower

20 Years Danube Tower

Even after 20 years and 7 million visitors the Danube Tower is still in top form: The building is characterized by 3,750 cubic metres of concrete and 514 tonnes of concrete steel, which are anchored in an eight-metre-deep and 31-metre-wide foundation. With a diameter of 12 metres on the bottom and about 6 metres at the platforms the Danube Tower keeps its slender figure: During its 20 years the tower has not lifted, lowered or inclined for even one centimetre.

1983

Visit of the pope

Visit of the pope

The Danube Tower lies in the centre of the Catholic world. During the pope’s visit in autumn 1983, the Danube tower provided space for a mass celebrated by church leader Johannes Paul II on the 11th of September for more than 300,000 believers at Donaupark. (Photo: Vodicka)

1982

New Danube Bridge

New Danube Bridge

All roads lead directly to the Danube Tower: On the 25th of October, the fifth Danube bridge – the Brigittenauer bridge – was opened. Per year about 400,000 visitors reach Vienna’s highest building by this route.

1981

The Danube Island

The Danube Island

Anyone who climbs the Danube Tower not only gets to taste culinary highlights in the restaurant, but can also enjoy a great view to the northern part of the Danube Island for free. (Photo: Foltinek)

1980

Tower maintenance

Tower maintenance

The maintenance of Vienna’s highest landmark mobilizes top forces: The unclouded view through the 400m2 large windowpanes in our restaurants and on our viewing terrace require 20 cleaning hours per year. Three times a year cleaning employees of a Viennese company who are free from giddiness do an amazing job in their securely tied gondolas and under the applause of the restaurant guests.

1979

Danube Skyline is growing

Danube Skyline is growing

Guests of the Danube Tower have become increasingly international: With the completion of UNO City many of the 4,700 UNO employees enjoy their lunch or dinner in the Danube Tower restaurant. The Danube Skyline has been expanded by another tower. The 32-metre-high minaret, the new religious home of 17,000 Muslims living in Austria, almost seems like an offspring of the Danube Tower.

1978

Meeting point for celebrities

Meeting point for celebrities

The Danube tower which was planned by architect Prof. Ing. Hannes Lintl and structural engineer Robert Krapfenbauer in the early 1960s and built in only 20 months has established itself as a hotspot for celebrities. Actors like Gert Fröbe, Franz Antel, Paul Hörbiger, Waltraud Haas, conductor Leonhard Bernstein and many other stage and film stars are welcome guests at the Danube Tower. (Photo: Votava)

1977

Summit

Summit

The Danube Tower takes part in world politics: The leading politicians of Jordan and Austria deepen their relationship during an informal summit in the Danube Tower restaurant. At a height of 160 metres the Hashemite crown prince Hassan bin Talal conferred with Austrian Federal Chancellor Dr. Bruno Kreisky about the relations between Austria and the Arab world.

1976

Storm period

Storm period

Huge storm in Vienna: Not even the most violent storm period since 1946 could harm the Danube Tower. Although the highest recorded wind speed reached 166km/h the tower only moved about 1.25 metres at the very top. Even under extreme weather conditions the restaurants only swayed about 30 cm in the wind.

1975

Transdanubia

Transdanubia

All modern things lie in Transdanubia. The 22nd district of Vienna “Donaustadt” distinguishes itself with architectural top achievements as a new part of town. The Danube Tower and Donaupark are now joined by the Danube Island and Donauzentrum, one of Austria’s biggest shopping centers.

1974

International cookery exhibition

International cookery exhibition

Within the international cookery exhibition, which took place in February of 1974 in Vienna, several participating national teams paid a visit to the Danube Tower kitchen. They knew all the culinary and gastronomic tricks. Their creations were then served to and evaluated by various jurors in the turning Danube Tower restaurant at a height of 160 metres. The Austrian team was considered to be a top candidate for a medal.

1973

Vienna International Center

Vienna International Center

Also historically speaking the Danube Tower has hardly any competition: Though the towers of the international satellite town UNO city shoot up with a breath taking speed of three metres per day, the Danube Tower grew quicker. During construction in 1962 and 1963 the tower grew about 5 metres per day. (Photo: Atelier Gerlack)

1972

Tower celebrities

Tower celebrities

Celebrities who visit the Danube Tower don’t always come from abroad: The married couple Wendel from Floridsdorf was the third millionth visitor of the tower and ranks amongst other illustrious Danube Tower guests like UN Secretary-General U Thant, shah Reza Pahlevi, king Hussein from Jordan, the USSR-president Nikolaj Podgorny and many more. (Photo: Votava)

1971

Visiting Bucharest

Visiting Bucharest

The latest Viennese landmark becomes a striking export article: Within the Viennese weeks in Rumanian Bucharest they displayed an image of the Danube Tower to show the gastronomic, architectural and atmospheric highlights of the Austrian capital.

1970

In the service of air improvement

In the service of air improvement

The weather gods take a stand at the Danube Tower: Co2 air measurements are carried out on the 150-metre-high platform of the tower in order to be able to improve air quality. The measurement results are used as a base for an air alarm plan and for modern air pollution control. (Photo: Gerhard Bartl)

1969

Minimundus

Minimundus

Pupils of the higher technical colleges in Klagenfurt and Villach took the Danube Tower as an example: For Minimundus, a miniature world at Lake Wörthersee, the adolescents built a 1:25 model of Austria’s highest tower. The miniature Danube Tower is located in Carinthia and was placed right next to the castle Schönbrunn, the belvedere and the fortress Hohensalzburg. (Photo: Strauss)

1968

Hosting tower architects

Hosting tower architects

The outstanding technical performance of building the Vienna Danube Tower attracted international tower architects to come to Vienna. The specialists examined the characteristics and condition of the tower as well as the operating elevators.

1967

Ice Hockey World Championship

Ice Hockey World Championship

In 1967 the Ice Hockey World Championship took place in the Wiener Stadthalle. The official press conference was hosted at the Danube Tower, where the team leader of the US team Williamson is unaffected by the speed of the Austrian climb. "In the Empire State Building, there are almost 8.2 elevator meters per second," the US coach compares the variations in the game play of the elevators.

1966

Hosting Indonesia

Hosting Indonesia

The Indonesian President Sukarno would like to take the Vienna Tower home with him: the architectural top performance is a model for Djakarta. Sukarno is planning an Indonesian twin tower for his capital, which is about 50 metres higher than the prototype. It is not known whether Wiener Schnitzel will be served there.

1965

Signals for air traffic

Signals for air traffic

The Donauturm sets signals for the air traffic over Vienna. In bad weather conditions, a flashing light system supports the planes for their orientation to the airport in Schwechat.

1964

Rush of visitors

Rush of visitors

What a opening: For the rush of 595,134 visitors there were 13 liftboys working in shifts. Nevertheless people had to wait for two hours to get up.