Vienna's Opera House lies at the heart of the Austrian capital, on the Ringstraße.
It was built between 1861 and 1869 as part of the Viennese 'city expansion fund' project. The Vienna Court Opera (Weiner Hofoper), renamed the Vienna State Opera (Weiner Staatsoper) in 1920, was not always popular with the people however. Some thought its style less impressive than the Heinrichshof, and it was likened to a 'sunken treasure chest' because the Ringstraße was raised a metre in front of the building whilst it was being erected.
The stage and auditorium were destroyed by flames in a WW2 bombing raid in 1945. It would be another ten years before the Opera House reopened at its original site, restored to its former glory.
The Opera House is also famous for hosting the annual Vienna Opera Ball, which attracts the world's wealthy each year on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.