The Wiener Prater is a large public park in Vienna’s 2nd district Leopoldstadt. Prater is derived from the Latin word pratum meaning meadow, possibly via Spanish prado. In 1162, the Emperor Friedrich I gave the land to a noble family called de Prato. The land changed hands frequently until it was bought by Emperor Maximilian II in 1560 to be a hunting ground. To deal with the problem of poachers, Emperor Rudolf II forbade entry to the Prater. On April 7 1766, Emperor Joseph II declared the Prater to be free for public enjoyment, and allowed the establishment of coffee-houses and cafés, which led to the beginnings of the Wurstelprater.
KeywordsPrater, Wiener Prater, public parks, Emperor Freidrich I, de Prato, Emperor Maximilian II, Maximiliam II, Emperor Rudolf II, public park, Emperor Joseph II, coffee-houses, cafes, Wursteiprater
DeColange, Leo The Heart of Europe from the Rhine to the Danube (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, Publishers, 1883)