Town halls and mansions frequently had a separate dining room, usually in the cellar, where guests were invited for drinks and sociable get-togethers. Vienna evaded this tradition for a long time.
Even when the city of Vienna built the new grand town hall from 1872 to 1883, no Ratskeller (town hall cellar) was originally planned. However, architect Friedrich Schmidt had made the necessary preparations, which made it possible to add the town hall cellar at a later time.
On 12 February 1899, Vienna finally got its town hall cellar. This cellar restaurant was not merely intended for social gatherings, but was dedicated to Austrian wine. Therefore, a great wine cellar and wine taverns were built. The Ratskeller was only accessible via the courtyard of Magistratsstraße, and paintings gave each room its individual character. The paintings were created by Heinrich Lefler and his brother-in-law Joseph Urban.
Despite renovation works in 1925, 1952 and 2005 the Wiener Rathauskeller retained its special artistic character and unique atmosphere
(Source: Chronicles of the City of Vienna)
Heinrich Lefler and his brother-in-law Joseph Urban were responsible for the artistic design of the Rathauskeller and gave the halls and parlours their unique atmosphere steeped in history.
After extensive renovation works in 1925, 1955 and 2005 the Wiener Rathauskeller retained its unique artistic flair, while the names of some of the rooms were changed.
former names of the halls and parlours
|Ratskeller||Rittersaal (Knights' Hall)|
|Volkskeller||Lanner / Lehar Saal (formerly Green Salon)|