Vienna as a marine biology research center… Yes, this was a real plan.
How it all began …
Now maybe you are thinking that this is a contradiction in terms since Vienna and the sea do not fit together. So, you combine an old, anit-aircraft tower (built 1942-1945) with marine biological research to establish Vienna as the center for this topic. Yet a brilliant fixture in Vienna emerged from these two ingredients, the House of the Sea in the sixth district.
After the end of World War II, peaceful times returned, and Vienna now had six massive anit-aircraft towers, which were no longer needed for their original purpose. As these towers were built extremely stable, really for eternity, tearing them off was not the solution. So alternative usages had to be found.
In 1957 the tower in the Eszterhazypark was transformed into a “House of the Sea,” the first seawater aquarium in Austria, to establish a “center of European marine research” there. Over the years, a fascinating underwater world arose on several floors, now constantly updated with new aquariums and “residents.” And that, although it is for each new aquarium the same challenge, how to get the best through meter-thick reinforced concrete?
The goal to be THE center of European marine research was not achieved entirely; maybe Vienna is too far from the sea. Nevertheless, the study in the House of Sea conducted to highly specialize in some areas and took part in the global research
… today a colorful underwater world exists in the middle of Vienna
Now what awaits you in the House of the Sea? On more than 4,000 m², you can marvel at and watch over 10,000 marine animals. Especially the giant tortoise and the sharks are the stars of the underwater world. Other highlights are the Tropical House and the Krokipark with free-flying birds and funny monkeys. What you should not miss when visiting is the ninth floor. Here you can find the Cafe Ocean Sky, from which you have a fantastic panoramic view over the whole city.
Also interesting is the outside of the tower, rented to the Austrian Alpine Club, which runs a 35m climbing wall there. So you can climb up to the observation deck or take the lift comfortably.
As usual, you will find all information about the Aqua Terra Zoo on their website: www.haus-des-meeres.at. Have fun exploring Vienna’s underwater world!