It was intended to present Austria's renewed self-confidence after the lost wars against France and Prussia. The world exhibition promised international fame for Vienna, and additional enrichment in the entertainment industry for the Prater. Although the Wurstelprater remained physically separate from the world exhibition, it had to put up with total regulation. The layout of the Wurstelprater created at that time has essentially been preserved to this day.
According to an imperial decree, a planned city of enormous proportions was built in the Prater in just 21 months. The largest building was the Industrial Palace, almost a kilometer long, with the central rotunda. This remained - until it burned down in 1937 - a new symbol of Vienna. In addition, around 200 smaller buildings and pavilions were created in the various national styles, in which a total of around 53,000 international exhibitors presented their products. The extensive transport and sanitary infrastructure measures required for this were similar to those in a small town. At the same time, general dircetor Schwarz-Senborn was authorized to carry out a fundamental conversion and expansion of the adjacent Wurstelprater. The long-established place for recreation and entertainment should meet the modern requirements of a world exhibition and be renamed "Volksprater" after the regulation.
Economically, the world exhibition ended as a financial disaster for a number of reasons, but the gathering of people from different national and ethnic backgrounds nevertheless made a significant contribution to establishing the Prater as a global, cosmopolitan place. Although some Viennese had prophesied the end of the "old Prater" as a result of the Prater regulation, the number of Prater companies skyrocketed in 1873 from 82 to 187 shops. (Today: approx. 250 shops) Some of them were ruined by the failure of the exhibition, but on closer inspection it becomes clear that the world exhibition nonetheless ushered in the actual heyday of the Prater.
Misconception: The Wiener Riesenrad was not built for the world exhibition. This was not built until 24 years later for the 50th anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph I. At that time it was the largest Ferris wheel in the world.