The Vienna Opera House or Statsoper holds the position of being the first grand Ringstrasse building to be finished. It opened for the first time on May 25, 1869 with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. While the public enjoyed the presentations of the building, they did not like the Neo-Renaissance style of the building, itself. Their distaste was so obvious one of the designers, Eduard van der Nüll, committed suicide shortly after its completion.
In 1945, a bomb destroyed most of the Opera House. Interestingly enough, the Viennese rallied around the structure. It had evolved from a distasteful building to a symbol of reconstruction. In 1955, the building reopened with the addition of a new auditorium and the latest technology. If you enter through the main entrance, be sure to look at the grand marble staircase. It runs to the first floor and features statues of the 7 liberal arts by Joseph Gasser. The Schwind Foyer has scenes from various operas and is by Moritz von Schwind. The various reliefs of opera and ballet are the work of Johann Preleuther. Make time to visit the Tea Room. Its décor consists of several delicate silk hangings bearing the initials of the Emperor Franz Joseph.
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