Vienna’s most famous bridge on the Danube opened (1876)

Vienna’s most famous bridge on the Danube opened (1876)

On August 21, 1876, the Vienna bridge Kronprinz-Rudolf-Brücke was opened, which today bears the name Reichsbrücke. It was originally named after Crown Prince Rudolf, the then Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, who was the son of the reigning Emperor Francis Joseph and Empress Elizabeth (Sisi). Unfortunately, Crown Prince Rudolf died in a mysterious incident in Mayerling in 1889, only about 12 and a half years after the opening of the bridge (the body of young Baroness Vetsere was then found near his dead body in Mayerling).

The bridge bore the name Kronprinz-Rudolf-Brücke until the abolition of the Austrian Empire and the proclamation of the republic, after which its name was changed to the Reichsbrücke. The opening date of the bridge was not chosen by chance. Namely, on that day, the birthday of Crown Prince Rudolf fell, so that the bridge was opened exactly on the heir to the throne’s 18th birthday.

It was a key bridge for the expansion of Vienna into the Transdanubian area, as it directly connected the Viennese core across the Praterstrasse with the other side of the Danube. The bridge was so oriented that passengers who would approach Vienna via it could see directly in its axis the tower of the famous Viennese Cathedral of St. Stephen.

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