The Lainzer Tiergarten is a 24.50 km² (6,054-acre) wildlife preserve in the southwest corner of Vienna, Austria, 80% of it being covered in woodland. It dates back to 1561, when Ferdinand I created it as a fenced-in hunting ground for his family to use. Since 1919, it has been open to the public. Its name consists of its location by the Lainz district of Vienna’s 13th District, and Tiergarten, which means zoo (literally, “animal garden”).
The Lainzer Tiergarten is located mostly in Vienna’s 13th district, with a small adjacent portion lying in Laab im Walde, Lower Austria. The Wien River is located to its north, the Liesingbach to its south.
There are three restaurants, two scenic viewpoints, and one museum located within the Lainzer Tiergarten.
Hermesvilla and park
Franz Joseph I of Austria commissioned the construction of the Hermesvilla, which was completed in 1886, and served as a getaway mansion for his wife. Today it serves as a museum and also contains a restaurant and café, which is highly frequented due to its close location to the Lainzer Tor. The property around the Hermesvilla is a special area of the Lainzer Tiergarten, fenced off from the rest of the preserve. Separate gates on the paths leading deeper into the park allow access to the larger section when this is open.
Hirschgstemm and Rohrhaus
Besides the Hermesvilla, visitors to the Lainzer Tiergarten can also eat and drink at the Hirschgstemm and Rohrhaus restaurants. These are located deeper in the reserve than the Hermesvilla, but also have full menus.
The Hubertuswarte is an observation tower, built in 1927, and located on the Kaltbründel Berg, the highest point in the preserve (508 meters/1667 ft). From the top of the tower, visitors have a 360-degree view of the region, including Vienna and neighboring villages.
Closer to the city side of the Lainzer Tiergarten, the Wiener Blick offers a view of the city from 434 m (1424 ft). In July 2002, this observation point was visited by the Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife Michiko.