Prater

Prater

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Prater'
Start a new discussion about 'Prater'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Wiener Prater is a large public park in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

's 2nd district . The amusement park
Amusement park
thumb|Cinderella Castle in [[Magic Kingdom]], [[Disney World]]Amusement and theme parks are terms for a group of entertainment attractions and rides and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people...

, often simply called "Prater", stands in one corner of the Wiener Prater and includes the .

Name


The name Prater derives from one or the other or possibly both Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 words meaning meadow
Meadow
A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants . The term is from Old English mædwe. In agriculture a meadow is grassland which is not grazed by domestic livestock but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to make hay...

 and meaning magistrate or lawyer, possibly via Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 .

History



The area that makes up the modern Prater was first mentioned in 1162, when Emperor Friedrich I gave the land to a noble family called de Prato. The word "Prater" was first used in 1403, originally referring to a small island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 in the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 north of , but was gradually extended to mean the neighbouring areas as well. The land changed hands frequently until it was bought by Emperor Maximilian II
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian II was king of Bohemia and king of the Romans from 1562, king of Hungary and Croatia from 1563, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1564 until his death...

 in 1560 to be a hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 ground. To deal with the problem of poachers
Poaching
Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.It may be illegal and in...

, Emperor Rudolf II
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
Rudolf II was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Hungary and Croatia , King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria...

 forbade entry to the Prater. On April 7 1766, Emperor Joseph II
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I...

 declared the Prater to be free for public enjoyment, and allowed the establishment of coffee-houses and cafés, which led to the beginnings of the Wurstelprater
Wurstelprater
The Wurstelprater is an amusement park and section of the Wiener Prater in the second district of Vienna, Leopoldstadt.This institution dates back to the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire, when Emperor Josef II. made the Prater open to public in 1766...

. Throughout this time, hunting continued to take place in the Prater, ending only in 1920.

In 1873, a World Exhibition
World's Fair
World's fair, World fair, Universal Exposition, and World Expo are various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom, in 1851, under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All...

 was held in the Prater, for which a large area of land was set aside, centered on the Rotunda, which burnt down in 1937. This land now houses the (exhibition centre).

In 2004, major renovations to the began, and a new underground railway
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 line was finished and brought into service on May 11, 2008, which includes three stops along the Prater (see Vienna U-Bahn
Vienna U-Bahn
The Vienna U-Bahn is a rapid transit system consisting of five lines. It is the backbone of one of the best performing public transport systems worldwide according to UITP in June 2009. More than 1.3 million passengers use the Vienna U-Bahn every day...

). The railway station has been in operation for a long time and is only a few dozen metres away from an entrance to the park.

The overall area of the park has also been reduced by the building of the Ernst-Happel-Stadion (Austria's national stadium), the (Austria's busiest piece of motorway) and racecourse.

Other attractions in the Wiener Prater


The (main avenue) is the main artery, lined with horse chestnut trees, closed to motorists and known to sports enthusiasts from the annual Vienna Marathon. The is home to the , a narrow gauge railway. Another unusual object to be found in the is the (Republic of Kugelmugel), a spherical micronation
Micronation
Micronations, sometimes also referred to as model countries and new country projects, are entities that claim to be independent nations or states but which are not recognized by world governments or major international organizations...

. The also houses a planetarium
Planetarium
A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation...

and the Prater Museum.

External links