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Exterior

Looking at the front of the building from the Ring Road, one can see the original structure that has been preserved since 1869. The facades are decorated in Renaissance-style arches, and the veranda on the Ring Road side emphasizes the public character of the building.

The statues of the two riders on horseback were placed on the main facade of the loggia in 1876. They were created by Ernst Julius Hähnel, and represent Erato’s two winged horses that are led by “Harmony and the Muse of Poetry”.

On the arches above the veranda are Hähnel’s five bronze statues representing, from left to right: heroism, tragedy, fantasy, comedy, and love.

On the right and left sides of the opera house are two fountains by Josef Gasser, representing two different worlds: on the left, music, dance, joy, and levity, and on the right, seduction, sorrow, love, and revenge.

The rear part of the two-piece building is clearly broader, and includes the stage and the surrounding rooms. The narrower front part contains the auditorium and the adjoining rooms that are open to the public. The different roof styles are remarkable: the vaulted roof over the stage and auditorium that towers above all the secondary rooms; the hipped roof of the transverse wings; the gable roof of the connecting structures between the transverse wings; and the French roofs of the towers.

The transverse wings, which stand perpendicular to the main building, originally served as driveways for horse-drawn carriages. At the front of the transverse wing, one finds the coats of arms of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  
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