The Vienna Prater is a large public park located in the Leopoldstadt area. It consists of the Wurstelprater which is considered to be the oldest amusement park in the world, also including is the Hauptallee, the Krieau, and the Prater stadium which hosts sports events.
The Viennese take pride in the fact that the park was first mentioned back in 1162. Part of it used to be hunting grounds for the Habsburg dynasty but in 1766 the park was made public. Shortly after that, it got merry-go-rounds and other attractions. Nowadays, the park offers all sorts of rides—bumper cars, roller coasters, carousels, shooting galleries, a Madame Tussaud's waxworks cabinet, ghost trains, and much more. The best-known and a symbol attraction is a Ferris wheel—Wiener Riesenrad. Apart from the rides, the park welcomes its visitors with various traditional Viennese restaurants and souvenir shops.
The majority of attractions operate from mid-March till the end of October. Some rides including the Ferris wheel operate year round. There are also seasonal events like Wintermarkt am Riesenradplatz (Christmas market).
In the shadow of a roller-coaster, in the western section of the park visitors can see a peculiar spherical house. It was built by an Austrian artist Edwin Lipburger. In 1984 Lipburger declared it an independent country—the Republic of Kugelmugel. The artist even faced a lawsuit for refusing to pay taxes and printing stamps. Kugelmugel ended up in Prater park, where it has become a kind of tourist attraction.