In the whole of the German-speaking world, no theater outshines the Burgtheater, the Austrian National Theater. One of the Ringstrasse’s fabulous late-19th-century confections, the theater was built across from City Hall, principally by celebrated architect Gottfried Semper. The roots of the Burg go back to 1741 during Empress Maria Theresa’s reign. High society vied to be in the presence of royalty and Mozart premiered his works there. Busts on Semper’s Burg facade represent Goethe, Schiller, and Shakespeare, while magnificent Klimt frescoes adorn the staircases. These days the Burg is renowned for performances by international stars like Klaus Maria Brandauer, Bruno Ganz, and Christoph Waltz.