Hoher Markt is Vienna’s oldest town square, dating way back to Roman times; soon after World War II, sections of the Roman military camp of Vindobona were found below the cobbles and artifacts from these remains are now displayed in the Museum of Rome at No. 3. In the middle of the square stands the marble Baroque Vermählungsbrunnen (Wedding Fountain), designed by Baroque master-craftsman Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach in 1706 to commemorate the marriage of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa to Franz Stephan of Lorraine; it sits under an ornate bronze baldacchino.
However, the architectural highlight of Hoher Markt is the fanciful bronze-and-copper Ankeruhr (Anchor Clock) completed in 1917 by Franz von Matsch, the Jugendstil designer who was a contemporary of Gustave Klimt. It forms a 10-meter (39-foot) bridge abutting two vast townhouses then owned by the Anker Insurance Company and the clock face is four meters (13 feet) wide, portraying 12 copper figures from Vienna’s past, including Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who probably died at Vindobona; Charlemagne, King of the Franks; Emperor Maximilian I; Prince Eugene of Savoy; and Baroque composer Joseph Haydn. These copper figures form a carillon, with one figure emerging every hour accompanied by symbolic music; at midday all 12 appear in rotation.