Roundtrip in Austria-Hungary

1916 War Exhibition building – Praterstern

A year ago, the theme of a post was the 1917 Vienna War Exhibition. Its badge featured the Ferris wheel of the Prater and the entrance building to the exhibition. A reader who is more in-depth on KuK cap badges may have noticed that I did not include the badge of the 1916 exhibition in that post. Its badge shows the entrance building without the Ferris wheel. Well, this badge is coming up now, because I was finally able to find photos on the internet that could be used to find the location of the building. In the meantime it has already been demolished.

The key was the Praterstern transport hub. The building stood on the northeastern edge of the place. The seven main routes to the Praterstern had already developed during the 1700s, so the junction on the outskirts of the city was formed at that time. Railway construction did not avoid this junction either. At the north-western edge of the square was built the Nordbahnhof, the city’s busiest railway junction. It was the Vienna terminus of railway traffic from Czechia and Galicia. The train station and the square were bombed to dust in World War II, and the war exhibition building may have been destroyed at that time as well. The railway ran on an elevated track on the side of the Praterstern. This is important because in the pictures found, the characteristic structures of the Prater were photographed from the height of the railway track, since there was a good view from there.

The earliest picture of 1917 was taken from here, showing the walls of the exhibition pavilion on the right. I found this image first, it gave impetus to further research.

An aerial photograph of the square in 1919 clearly shows the layout of the square, with the war exhibition building in the lower right corner. In front of the square, the elevated railway track runs to the station building in the upper right corner.

Today’s photo of the square looks in the direction where the war exhibition area may have stood at the time. The place is behind the building of the public transport hub established recently in the middle of the square, in a wooded-park.

For the sake of completeness, I also present a poster for the 1916 war exhibition, which shows the entrance building.

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