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Iconic Christmas tree in front of Vienna's Rathaus taken down

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Photo: Max Pfandl/Wikimedia
11:48 CET+01:00
As the holiday season comes to a close, Vienna's town hall (Wiener Rathaus) has decided their Christmas tree has completed its task as a bewildering centerpiece to the area's Christmas market. The 27-meter tall evergreen was officially revoked of its duties on Thursday and will go on to be used to heat the city at Vienna's colossal district heating system, Fernwärme Wien.

Just as the trees left out on the streets after domestic festivities are finished, the giant Rathaus tree will go to the same endpoint to be transformed into heat and electricity so that Vienna's residents may better endure the rest of the winter. 

Using power saws and axes, the city administration department MA49 was able to break up the towering decoration into pieces within a matter of minutes. In previous years, the Christmas tree has been used as an "insect hotel" or made into sign posts for hiking routes.

Despite the stormy conditions, the 130-year old tree was brought down without a hitch. MA49 deputy director Herbert Weidinger stated, "it's important to have a forestry expert that can do it.

[He] needs a strong power saw for such dimensions, because a 27-meter tall tree typically has a diameter of about 70 centimeters."

In order to secure the operation against the strong winds, Weidinger said a tractor and cable were used "to make 100 percent sure that it fell in the right direction." 

The ORF reports that the next Christmas tree to see the end of the season will be that in front of Schönbrunn palace. It will be felled next Tuesday and fed to the animals at the palace zoo. 

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