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Statue of Athena, Parliament building, Vienna, Austria Photo
Statue of Athena, Parliament building, Vienna
SOURCE: Wikipedia Commons photo.

The Austrian Parliament Building, on Ringstrasse in the first district Innere Stadt in Vienna, close by the Hofburg Imperial Palace and the Palace of Justice, is the setting for the two Houses of the Parliament of Austria.

Erected between 1893 and 1902 by Carl Kundmann, Josef Tautenhayn, and Hugo Haerdlt, based on the plans by Baron von Hansen, the fountain of Pallas Athena, is dominated by a statue of the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Athena, modeled after the her statue on the Accropolis by Phidias. Standing on a pillar, Athena is dressed in armor with a gilded helmet, her left hand holds a spear, her right carries Nike.

In the middle is a water-basin and a richly decorated base. The four lying figures at the foot of Athena are allegorical representations of the four most important rivers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They represent at the front the Danube and Inn, in the back part the Elbe and Vltava (German: Moldau) rivers. On the sides are little cupids riding dolphins. The statues of the Danube, Inn, and the cupids were executed by Haerdtl, those of the Elbe and Moldau by Kundmann.

The female statues above represent the legislative and executive powers of the state, sculpted by Tautenhayn.


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