The Vienna City Hall. Photograph, c. 1908

The architect Friedrich Schmidt cannily circumvented the imperial ordinance that the tower on the Rathaus should be no higher than the Votivkirche by placing the figure of the ‘Rathausmann’ on top of the spire as a symbol of protection for municipal freedom. Nonetheless, the figure’s apparel points back to the Habsburg past – it wears a copy of Emperor Maximilian I’s armour.