Rathaus Paternoster - Atlas Obscura

Rathaus Paternoster

A non-stop elevator ride in Vienna's city hall. 

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Moving at a whopping speed of 0.3 meters per second, the Viennese City Hall houses one of only six Paternosters in the whole city. The city hall paternoster (Latin for “Our Father”) was built in 1918 and houses enough space in each cabin for two brave people.

The creaking as it moves might make you start praying for its namesake, but have no fear, no harm will come to you if you go past the final floors on the top and bottom. Just stay calm and watch the lift switch directions. And who knows, you might just come out the other side a braver person.

Know Before You Go

The paternoster is open to the public, but it's strongly encouraged to participate in a free tour of city hall for supervised use of the paternoster. Because of its constant motion and lack of doors on the cabins, this might not be a suitable life for those with mobility issues or delayed reactions. Luckily there is a modern elevator just across the hall. The paternoster is open until 4 p.m. on working days but is best visited early in the morning when there are fewer visitors. While you're there, get off at the 1st floor (1. Stock) and check out city hall's large library and reading rooms.

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