The Life Ball is Europe\'s largest and most spectacular annual charity event dedicated to raising support for the worldwide fight against HIV and AIDS. Celebrating the beauty of life and the diversity of world cultures, the Life Ball reinvents the great Viennese Ball tradition with glamorous, outlandish performances and inspirational speeches. It attracts huge interest in the media and is broadcast live on Austrian National TV prime time, with delayed airing in Germany. The 2009 Life Ball was hosted in the City Hall of Vienna.
The City Hall is one of the most splendid among the numerous monumental buildings in Vienna. Designed by Friedrich Schmidt (1825-1891), it was erected between 1872 and 1883. The architecture is dominated by Historicism. In Historicism, various stylistic elements of the past are combined into a style in its own right. Friedrich Schmidt, however, focused primarily on the gothical style, designing a tower similar to gothic cathedrals.
Today, the City Hall is the head office of Vienna\'s municipal administration. More than 2000 people work in the building. Visitors are stunned by the magnificent appointments of the state rooms, which frequently provide an atmospheric backdrop to various events such as press conferences, concerts and balls.