The Gasometers were built from 1896 to 1899 in the Simmering district of Vienna near the Gaswerk Simmering gas works of the district. The containers were used to help supply Vienna with town gas, facilities which had previously been provided by the English firm Inter Continental Gas Association (ICGA). Once the contracts with the ICGA expired, the city decided to construct facilities to handle its own gas needs. At the time, the design was the largest in all of Europe. The Gasometers were retired in 1984 due to new technologies in gasometer construction, as well as the city's conversion from town gas and coal gas to natural gas. Gas can be stored underground or in modern high-pressure gas storage spheres under much higher pressures and in smaller volumes than the relatively large gasometers. In 1978, they were designated as protected historic landmarks.