Kärntner Straße (Carinthian Street) is the most famous shopping street in central Vienna. It runs from the Stephansplatz (St. Stephen's Square) out to the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) at Karlsplatz (Charles' Square) on the Ringstraße. The first record of Kärntner Straße is from 1257,
as Strata Carintianorum, which refers to its importance as a trade route to the southern province of Carinthia. The 19th century was characterizing for the present shopping street. Only a few of the noble buildings, from that time, were not destroyed during the Second World War. In 1974 the Kärntner Straße was redesigned to a pedestrian zone according to the plans of architects Wolfgang Windbrechtinger and Wilhelm Holzbauer.
This new function of the street should be used by the citizens and tourists for shopping, strolling and lingering and his task was without doubt very well done. Today this pedestrian zone is a perfect place for shopping in the centre of Vienna. There is a diversified mix of historical buildings, traditional shops and stylish flagship stores of international companies.