In 1857, Emperor Franz Josef I had ordered that the old fortifications should be razed to the ground, and the Ring Boulevard should be built as part of the necessary expansion of the city. The adjacent 65,000 m² City Park, opened in 1862, was laid out in the style of an English landscaped park to the design of the landscape painter Josef Selleny.
The Kursalon, built according to Johann Garben’s plans, was intended to increase the recreational value of the City Park by offering curative waters to drink. But after its completion in 1867, it soon experienced a change of use: in 1868 the first concert featuring compositions by Johann Strauss took place. The Kursalon, with its dances and promenade concerts, rapidly became the meeting place for Viennese society, who celebrated the cult of the waltz and joie de vivre. The Kursalon, now being under the management of Josip Susnjara, remains, just as in earlier times, a respected and beloved location for events in exclusive surroundings.