Prater in Wien
The Wiener Prater is a large public park in Vienna's 2nd district . The amusement park, often simply called "Prater", stands in one corner of the Wiener Prater and includes the .
The name Prater derives from one or the other or possibly both Latin words ' meaning meadow and ' meaning magistrate or lawyer, possibly via Spanish '.
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 in the Danube 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 in 1560 to be a hunting ground. To deal with the problem of poachers, Emperor Rudolf II forbade entry to the Prater. On April 7 1766, Emperor Joseph II 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. Throughout this time, hunting continued to take place in the Prater, ending only in 1920.
In 1873, a World Exhibition 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 line was finished and brought into service on May 11, 2008, which includes three stops along the Prater (see Vienna U-Bahn). 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. The also houses a planetarium and the Prater Museum.