Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel

Vienna, Austria

Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel

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The Wiener Riesenrad (German: [ˈviːnɐ ˈʁiːzn̩ˌʁaːd]; 'Vienna Giant [Ferris] Wheel'), or simply Riesenrad, is a 64.75-metre (212 ft) tall Ferris wheel at the entrance of the Prater amusement park in Leopoldstadt, the 2nd district of Austria's capital Vienna. It is one of Vienna's most popular tourist attractions, and symbolises the district as well as the city for many people. Constructed in 1897, it was the world's tallest extant Ferris wheel from 1920 until 1985.

The Wiener Riesenrad was designed by the British engineers Harry Hitchins and Hubert Cecil Booth and constructed in 1897 by the English engineer Lieutenant Walter Bassett Bassett (1864-1907), Royal Navy, son of Charles Bassett (1834-1908), MP, of Watermouth Castle, Devon. Its purpose was to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I, and it was one of the earliest Ferris wheels ever built. Bassett's Ferris wheel manufacturing business was not a commercial success, and he died in 1907 almost bankrupt.

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