Built in 1660 as part of Vienna’s city wall, the Burgtor gate (also known as Außeres Burgtor or Heldentor) was a point of attack during the Turkish siege of 1683. It was blown up in the end by the French in 1809 along with the rest of the city wall, rendering the structure useless as a defensive barrier.
Peter Nobile had Austrian army soldiers construct the castle’s exterior gate after Luigi Cagnola’s design. On September 22, 1821, Emperor Franz I attended the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone. On the eleventh anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig, October 16, 1824, it was officially opened.
On the front side facing Heldenplatz, the motto “IVSTITIA REGNORUM FVNDAMENTVM” (Justice is the foundation of rule.) by Emperor Franz I of Austria is engraved in gold-plated writing. The inscription can also be found on the side of the ring road.
The idea for the Grinzing reconstruction of the gate originated with Otto Wagner at the tail end of the 19th century. He proposed replacing it with a massive statue of Emperor Franz Joseph. Hofburg construction manager Ludwig Baumann advocated for the building’s demolition to connect Heldenplatz and Ringstrasse.
There were plans to enhance the architectural significance of Heldenplatz during the time of Nazi administration in Austria. In order to make the balcony of the New Hofburg, from where Adolf Hitler announced the annexation of Austria, the focal point of huge marches, the square’s primary axis was to be rotated by 90 degrees.
They planned to do this by relocating the castle gate to the centre of Heldenplatz and relocating the equestrian statues of Archduke Charles and Prince Eugene of Savoy.
How to get there
Burgtor is very centrally located and can be reached from Hofburg side or from Ringstrasse