2016 is a major anniversary year for the Prater.
Emperor Joseph II. opened the former hunting grounds to the public 250 years ago.
The Emperor's proclamation went out on 7 April 1766: "It is hereby announced to all [...] that henceforth and from and now, everyone without distinction shall be permitted to walk, ride and drive freely in the Prater and the Stadtgut at all times of the year and at all hours of the year [...], and that nobody shall be barred from enjoying themselves with balloon hitting, bowling, and other permitted entertainments to their liking [...]." -
Thus did the six square kilometer hunting ground of the Habsburgs become an entertainment and recreation area for all residents of Vienna.
The huge World Exhibition was held here in 1873. The famous Giant Ferris Wheel was erected in 1897 to mark the 50th year of Emperor Franz Joseph's accession to the throne.
As part of the festivities in the Prater, showmen were allowed to set up their tents and booths. Many of them remained and so formed the basis for today's Wurstelprater. This amusement park attracts locals and tourists every year. From the old helter-skelter and historic children's carousels to the modern rides and numerous food outlets, the Wurstelprater offers fun for young and old.
The Green Prater continues to be used as an area for sport and recreation.
The Prater has also become interesting in architectural terms: the campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business on the edge of Prater was designed by prominent architects including Zaha Hadid.
10 March - 21 August 2016: Exhibition in the Wien Museum entitled "Off to the Prater! Viennese amusements since 1766". Prater, 1020 Wien