Click on title to view photo in large format. The Vienna State Opera is perhaps the most iconic building in the Austrian capital. The Neo-Renaissance Opera House was the first major structure on Vienna’s Ringstrasse. Construction began in 1861 and was completed in 1869. Interestingly, the building was not initially popular with Viennese. Sentiment changed, however, when it suffered substantial damage from Allied bombing during World War II. After the war, residents of Vienna donated whatever coins they could afford, allowing the façade, entrance hall, and foyer to be restored to their original style. Today the building is considered to be one of the loveliest in Vienna. Though handsome by day, its real beauty is revealed at night when it is illuminated.