On our last day in Vienna we took an excellent tour of the Opera House. This elegant building was built in 1869, and re-opened in 1955 following restoration after devastation caused during World War II. It is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. The back stage area of the opera house is HUGE, with all the most up-to-date equipment. I really love seeing behind the scenes areas of buildings and this was interesting. Every year there is an Opera Ball, and the opera house is transformed, including the back stage area. In a promotional photo of the event you can see how the space looks. All the seats on the main floor are removed for the evening. What a production! People come from around the world to attend this ball, deemed the epitome of ball culture. Ticket prices start at 230 Euros, and I think these ticket holders are only allowed to watch. Tickets for the 186 couples who dance are much, much more expensive, and sell out years in advance.During our tour the stage was set for a performance and people seemed to be working on prop placement. There was a room with some lovely stone inlay mosaic pieces and gorgeous woven tapestries. So much to see! There were many tours running concurrently in various languages but our guide was able to give a lot of information and answer questions. Tours only run on specific days, so you need to check the schedule when you visit. I would recommend this tour as part of your Vienna visit. As a side note: A recent episode of the t.v. series “Covert Affairs” was filmed in Vienna, with scenes in the Opera House!