Postkarte_Wiener_RingstraßeThe Ring Road is a circular thoroughfare that surrounds the Innere Stadt district of Wien (Vienna). Late in 1857, Emperor Franz Josef I decreed that the old ramparts that encircled the inner city were obsolete and should be torn down. In their place he ordered a wide new boulevard to be constructed that would be accompanied by ample green areas and parks. The Emperor also laid out opulent new public structures to be built along the ring. The entire project was intended as a way to show off the glory and splendor of the Habsburg Empire. Construction was not completed until 1913. Some of the major buildings include the Academy of Fine Arts, Burgtheater, Museum of Art History, Museum of Natural History, Palace of Justice, Parliament, Rathaus and the University of Vienna.