Austria: Vienna V. - Bahnorama
Bahnorama Outlook Tower (it is obvious that each building plot does not have a distress, regarding „mud“, so the title „panorama“, containing German word Bahn = railway or Bahnhof = railway station) is situated close to Vienna Sudbahnhof Railway Station. At present, all this area undergoes an extensive reconstruction to Vienna Central Railway Station. You can reach there from Sudtiroler Platz (one stop of S-Bahn from train terminus, arriving from Bratislava), turning to the left below overbridge in direction towards Favoritenstrasse, and immediately behind a viaduct, you can see the altitude (horizontal) construction, growing up directly from red ground-floor building (exact address: Favoritenstrasse 51).
A project of caffee-house with Bahnorama Outlook Tower is a common work of two main partners, specialized for complete reconstruction of the whole town-quarter in environs of former Sudbahnhof Railway Station, concretely the City of Vienna and Austrian Railways Assotiation (red colour shade is corporate colour of Austrian Railways - OBB). Festive tower opening was effected at the end of summer 2010. However, I had the opportunity to get there during unpleasant, cold and cloudy weather, in January, as you can see it on rather unsuccessfull photos. Anyway, this term had some small advantage. Nobody could prevent me from making pictures, as I was alone on the platform.
The leaflets, alluring to the visit, inform the readers that it is the highest wooden outlook tower in Europe (der hoechste begehbare Holzturm Europas). Its total height makes 66,72 metres and it is approximately comparable with South Tower of St. Stephen Cathedral, provided we do not take into consideration that Bahnorama outlook platform is a couple of metres below the top. The visitors are transferred upstairs, by means of two glassed panoramatic lifts, offering the view at gigantic building ground, which is changing daily. Anyway, you can also admire the city, including its unique monuments. And it is also valid, in such case, that all monuments look in different way from bird´s perspective as from passenger´s view from the street.
An outlook ahead, towards extensive building plot continues further to torso of former Sudbahnhof Ost torso, where the train terminus from Bratislava is situated, typical radio -communication tower - round Gazometer gasholder (changed to flats at present) up to UNO City skyscrapers quarter, including its characteristic tower. Further, in north direction, a panorama of historical city nucleus, including mountain peaks in horizon, is opening, whereas in west and south direction, you can see another quarters of two-million Austrian capital.
In ground-floor building, above coffee-house, the information office is to be found. Each visitor has the possibility to make acquaintance with such „Century Project“. New Central Railway Station is being built on more than 100 ha area of former railway station as well as completely new quarter with approx. five thousand flats, hotel, students´city, offices, shops, parks, etc. will be constructed. It is an estimate that this project would bring at least 20000 working places, and the area would be inhabitated with approx. 13000 persons. It is really imposant! You cannot believe it, what really would be built there till 2015, when Bahnorama probably would lose its importance. So, in the information centre, you can study models of future quarters, the visualization, 3D animation and approval film, as well as several attractions not only for children, such as computer plays or speed-train model. So, in future, this Central Railway Station would be crossed by trains from three trans-European corridors, i.e. from Paris to the east (to Bratislava), from Germany to Balkan countries (Berlin-Athens) and from Polland to Italy.
Bahnorama Tower is open for public in winter daily (since eight a.m. till six p.m.) in summer time period till ten p.m. The entry upstairs the outlook is checked by control point (maximal number of persons on a platform is limited), and ticket automat in caffee floor offers, except entry tickets (Zutrittskarte Lift Vollpreis per EUR 2,50) also styled red tricots with Bahnorama logo.
Text: Jiří Výborný
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
Photo: author and Hauptbahnhof Wien
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