Austria's highest landmark turns 60

19. April 2024: A popular attraction, in which Wien Holding also participates, celebrates its anniversary: Today, Vienna's City Councilor for Economic Affairs, Peter Hanke, and the shareholders of the Donauturm commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Donauturm.

Since its inauguration in April 1964, the tallest structure in the country, standing at a total height of 252 meters, has attracted more than 23 million visitors and has shaped the Vienna skyline as a symbol of upswing and faith in the future. “The Donauturm is not only Austria’s tallest landmark, but also a widely visible symbol for the economic rise of the city of Vienna,” emphasized City Councilor Peter Hanke. The anniversary of the country's highest attraction is celebrated with a major public event.

252 meters tall, weighing 17,600 tons, equipped with two express elevators, and home to three culinary establishments: These are the impressive details of the Donauturm, which has been shaping the Vienna skyline for 60 years now and remains the tallest structure in Austria. It has become one of the most significant symbols for the modern, innovative Vienna looking optimistically into the future. The Donauturm was inaugurated after nearly two years of construction on April 16, 1964, by the then Mayor of Vienna, Franz Jonas, as a proud symbol of the Vienna International Garden Show. The modern tower construction was and is the highlight of the Donaupark, which transformed this section of the Danube's banks into a local recreation area.

From Post-War Period to Vienna 2.0

The imposing landmark continues to attract visitors after 60 years with its unique architecture. The architect Prof. Hannes Lintl, who was primarily responsible for the design, adopted a design language that was oriented on television towers in other cities such as Stuttgart or Toronto. However, the Donauturm was never used for TV broadcasts, but was from the outset intended primarily for leisure, recreation, and viewing.

"From up here, 150 meters above the ground, one not only enjoys a wonderful view of the city. From the viewing terrace, one can also see Vienna’s success story over the past decades. This includes major urban development projects such as the Seestadt Aspern as well as the expansion of Vienna’s public transport network, the steadily growing proportion of green spaces, and the countless new residential buildings that make living in our city affordable. With 60 years of Donauturm, we are also celebrating 60 years of Vienna's urban development: The construction of the Donauturm on the occasion of the Vienna International Garden Show also marked the beginning of Vienna’s transformation from post-war modernism to a modern metropolis and the world’s most livable city," said Hanke.

With its panoramic view over the city and the surrounding area, the Donauturm offers its guests, in good weather, a visibility of up to 80 kilometers. Combined with a broad range of offerings from top gastronomy to adrenaline-pumping attractions such as the highest slide in Europe, the Donauturm attracts several hundred thousand visitors annually.

Top Culinary and Thrills

The Donauturm, which has been under monumental protection since 2001, has continuously evolved over the years. Renovation works in 2018 modernized the offerings, including digital info screens and a return to the elegant style of the 1960s for the dining establishments.

Today, the famous revolving tower restaurant is among the most exciting culinary offerings in the city – both in terms of exquisite cuisine and the fantastic 360-degree view that guests enjoy while dining.

For adventurous visitors, the tower experience was enhanced in 2023 by an art object with a thrill factor: The Donauturm slide by renowned object artist Carsten Höller is the highest slide in Europe and winds from the central deck at 165 meters height along the north side of the tower down to the viewing platform at 150 meters height. Adventure seekers zoom down the 40-meter-long slide at speeds of up to 18 km/h. An unforgettable high-altitude experience is guaranteed, which since its opening in mid-November 2023, has already been enjoyed by 25,000 people. Thrills have always been a part of the Donauturm experience. From 2001 to 2016, daredevils could bungee jump from a rope.

The Donauturm as a Place of Encounter

Dr. Kurt Gollowitzer, CEO of Wien Holding GmbH, emphasizes the importance of the Donauturm as a place of encounter and diversity. Wien Holding has been a co-owner of the Donauturm again since 2020 and sees it as an important factor for the quality of life in the federal capital. "The motto of Wien Holding is 'For more Vienna to live' – and that is exactly what the Donauturm embodies with its diverse, innovative offerings for young and old. It is an important symbol for Vienna and its residents and stands for our future visions of a livable city. We are proud to be part of this success story and will contribute to ensuring that the Donauturm remains one of the top attractions in Vienna for the coming decades," said Gollowitzer.

Mag. (FH) Paul Blaguss, co-shareholder of the Donauturm, highlights the role and relevance of the Vienna landmark. "In recent years, we have focused on the further development of the Donauturm. Today, the Donauturm impresses with its modern visitor journey and thus joins the innovative tower experiences around the globe. We fascinate our national and international guests with a diverse, original, and digital offering. The thrill of the highest slide in Europe, the comprehensive top gastronomy experience at all levels, the warm service, and the special viewing experience make the visit something very special."

Looking into the Future

The Donauturm has a firm eye on the future: The main focus is on refining the visitor experience and elevating the gastronomic highlights – the Turm Restaurant, the Turm Café, and the Donaubräu – to the next level. The family offering at the Donaubräu is to be expanded in particular, to continue to win the hearts of a wide-ranging audience from Vienna and the surrounding area. The stated goal for the coming years is to exceed the pre-corona visitor numbers of 420,000 and to embed the Donauturm even more firmly in the memory as a Vienna fixture.

Great Interest in Anniversary Action

To celebrate the anniversary in style, all visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the 360-degree view from the Danube Tower free of charge between 10:00-11:00 am today. As a further highlight, all those born in the anniversary year 1964 received a free annual ticket for the Danube Tower on presentation of their ID. More than 1,500 people took advantage of these offers.

"The Donauturm has been a place for leisure, fun, and recreation for six decades. We are delighted that so many Viennese and guests from home and abroad are celebrating this special day with us," said the shareholders of the Donauturm unanimously.