Lainzer Tiergarten in Wien
The Lainzer Tiergarten is a 24.50 km² (6,054-acre) wildlife preserve in the southwest corner of Vienna, Austria, 80% of it being covered in woodland. It dates back to 1561, when Ferdinand I of Austria created it as a fenced-in hunting ground for his family to use. Since 1919, it has been open to the public. Its name consists of its location by the Lainz district of Vienna's 13th District, and Tiergarten, which means zoo (literally, "animal garden").
The Lainzer Tiergarten is located mostly in Vienna's 13th district, with a small adjacent portion lying in Laab im Walde, Lower Austria. The Wien River is located to its north, the Liesingerbach to its south.
The Lainzer Tiergarten was created by Emperor Ferdinand I in 1561, when the area was fenced off by a wooden fence, to allow for a private hunting ground. In 1781, the wooden fence was replaced by a stone wall. After the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the hunting grounds became a public nature preserve, and have remained so ever since, with the exception of the time period of 1940 to 1955, when the entire grounds were closed. An admission fee existed until 1973, after which the preserve became accessible for free.
A large portion of the Lainzer Tiergarten was lost after World War I, when the Friedenstadt ("Peace City") neighborhood was constructed in its eastern portion. The old wall can still be seen in the Hörndlwald woods east of the Lainzer Tor.
Due to construction of the Westautobahn in the 1960s, a corner in the northwest of the preserve was also lost. This time there was compensation, however, as a portion of the Laaber Wald, adjacent to the southwest corner, was annexed.
Today the Lainzer Tiergarten is home to between 800 and 1,000 wild boars, 200 to 250 fallow deer, approximately 700 mouflons, and 80 to 100 red deer (elk).
The preserve is surrounded by approximately 22 km of wall. There are seven gates, with different operating hours. Clockwise these are:
- Lainzer Tor (main gate)
- Laaber Tor
- Sankt Veiter Tor
The entire preserve is open for approximately nine months of the year, from early March to early November. In the remaining months only the park around the Hermesvilla, accessible from the Lainzer Tor is open. Between Christmas and the New Year, the entire park opens, but is only accessible from the Lainzer Tor and Nikolaitor.
As it is open year-round, and is home to a visitor center, the Lainzer Tor is the preserve's main gate. It is also the origin and the terminus of a 2.2 km walk to the Hermesvilla, which can often also be ridden via horse carriage. Public restrooms are also located near the gate, as is a water fountain. This is also one of two gates that has a parking lot.
The Lainzer Tor is located at the end of Hermesstraße, and is reachable using the 60B bus, which connects the gate to the 60 and 62 trams line at 15 to 30 minute intervals. These tram lines can be taken from the stop Hermesstraße, and connect to multiple U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines. Line 62 can also be taken directly from the Vienna Staatsoper to Hermesstraße.
The Gütenbachtor is located on Gütenbachstraße, and accesses the southeastern corner of the Lainzer Tiergarten. It also features a water fountain and a parking lot, but is a 45-minute walk from the nearest public transportation, regional bus line 254.
The Laaber Tor is located by the Lower Austrian town of Laab am Walde. It accesses a separate corner of the Lainzer Tiergarten that was added in the 1960s as a compensation for territory that was lost in the north of the preserve when a highway was built. Visitors using this gate will pass the Dianator, which was the gate in this corner before the annexation of additional land. The Laaber Tor also has a water fountain.
Similar to the Gütenbachtor, the only public transportation within reach is the regional bus line 254, which is a 15-minute walk from this gate.
The Pulverstampftor is located in the northwest corner of the preserve, near the Auhof neighborhood of Vienna's 14th district. It features a water fountain, and can be accessed from the Umspannwerk Auhof stop of the regional bus line 151 from Hütteldorf (five minute walk).
Due to its location near the Hütteldorf railway station, the Nikolaitor is an important gate of the Lainzer Tiergarten. Hütteldorf can be accessed with the U-Bahn U4, S-Bahn S3/S15, S45, and S50, tram line 49, as well as multiple regional bus lines. From the station it is a 10 minute walk across the Wien River to Nikolaigasse. This gate also features a water fountain.
The Adolfstor was located along the eastern wall of the Lainzer Tiergarten. It is now closed until further notice.
Sankt Veiter Tor
The Sankt Veiter Tor is directly accessible using a special hourly-served branch of the 55B bus line from the Ober Sankt Veit U-Bahn station, which only runs during the main season. Higher-frequented bus lines to Hütteldorf and the terminus of the 62 tram line, Wolkersbergenstraße, are available by walking down Hanschweg to Stock im Weg.
Locations in the preserve
There are three eateries, two scenic viewpoints, and one museum located within the Lainzer Tiergarten.
Hermesvilla and park
Franz Joseph I of Austria commissioned the construction of the Hermesvilla, which was completed in 1886, and served as a getaway mansion for his wife. Today it serves as a museum and also contains a restaurant and café, which is highly frequented due to its close location to the Lainzer Tor. The property around the Hermevilla is a special area of the Lainzer Tiergarten, fenced off from the rest of the preserve. Separate gates on the paths leading deeper into the park allow access to the larger section when this is open.
Hirschgstemm and Rohrhaus
Besides the Hermesvilla, visitors to the Lainzer Tiergarten can also eat and drink at the Hirschgstemm and Rohrhaus eateries. These are located deeper in the preserve than the Hermesvilla, but also feature full menus.
The Hubertuswarte is an observation tower, built in 1927, and located on the Kaltbründel Berg, the highest point in the preserve (508 meters/1667 ft). From the top of the tower, visitors have a 360-degree view of the region, including Vienna and neighboring villages.
Closer to the city side of the Lainzer Tiergarten, the Wiener Blick offers a view of the city from 434 m (1424 ft). In July 2002, this observation point was visited by the Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife Michiko.
- Geschichte des Lainzer Tiergartens - City of Vienna Website
- Karl Johann Tichy, Hannes Mayer: "Das Eichen-Naturschutzgebiet Johannser Kogel im Lainzer Tiergarten, Wienerwald". Sonderdruck aus: Centralblatt für das gesamte Forstwesen, Jahrgang 96. 1979, Heft 4. Österreichischer Agrarverlag, Vienna, 1979.