The “Russian Wheel” is a relic of a time in which big wheels didn't have to be that big after all, but instead spun their riders much faster than today.
Ancient pleasure wheels, also known as Russian wheels in German, have been a popular fairground attraction in the German speaking area as early as the 18th century, in Russia or Turkey even a century earlier. At the Oktoberfest they have been established in 1818. The incarnation, you can still ride today, was built in 1925 and has already swung grandparents and great-grandparents of today’s riders.
Up until the 60s, it has even been the largest Ferris wheel in southern Germany. Obviously, its moderate height of 14 meters isn’t even its main attraction. It rather spins way faster than you’d expect, making the twelve gondolas swing, which may even cause some thrill.
As easily recognizable, today’s design of the ride doesn’t date back to the 20s, but was altered during a renovation in the postwar period. The artful organ however is supposedly even older that the ride itself. Also, the salt water engine still is original. You can only see the Russenrad at the Oktoberfest or the Auer Dult.