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Vienna History, Austria

Historic Vienna

It is not surprising that a city as magnificent as Vienna would have such rich history as evidence by its present status of being Austria’s hub for culture politics and economics.  So much of it now is a result of years of influences of events starting from being a Roman settlement to being the capital of the Austrian Empire until what is known today as the capital of the Republic of Austria.

Roman Roots

The modest beginnings of Vienna can be traced during the time it was transformed into a Roman settlement in the 1st century.  The Romans stayed in Vienna until the 5th century and evidence of their settlement can still be seen today in the city’s First District where the walls have withstood the passage of time.

Dynastic Vienna

The birth of Vienna’s zest for art music architecture and culture was during the period when the city was ruled by dynasties.  There were only two of them: the Babenbergs and the Habsburgs.  

The first of the ruling dynasty the Babenbergs came into power in the year 976.  The Babenberg dynasty paved the way towards the development of Vienna in the middle ages.  The most notable contribution of this dynasty to Vienna is making this city a staple port where traders can pass through Vienna with their own goods.  In this way Vienna has opened itself to the world.

The Habsburg family took over Vienna in 1278 when Rudolph I of Habsburg defeated King Ottokar II who was trying to capture the city.  This dynasty ruled Vienna for 640 years which is why it has tremendous influence over Vienna’s history.  It was during this time that the St. Stephen’s Cathedral was built and the University of Vienna was founded.

Vienna was sieged by the Turcs two times. The first was at 1529 and the second at 1638, the Turcs lost both. After the last one their reign over Europe was over and it was free again.

Vienna of the 19th Century

When the Habsburg dynasty ended Vienna eventually became the capital of the Austrian Empire and exerted great influence in the politics of Europe and even the world.  The most noteworthy event of 19th century Vienna is how art and sciences flourished.  This century welcomed such great thinker like Sigmund Freud and Stefan Zweig.  It was also during this time that the Austrian Art Nouveau Movement or the Viennese Secession was born.   

The First Republic of Austria

It was after the First World War that Vienna became the capital of the First Austrian Republic which was ruled by Socialism.  This period in time has come to be known in history as Red Vienna.  It was also during this time that Vienna was taken over by the Germans headed by Adolf Hitler.  

The Second Republic of Austria

By 1945 the Soviets successfully end the German rule and took over in two weeks time.  Soon after Karl Renner declared the reinstitution of the democratic republic of Austria.  The city was divided into five zones between the Soviet Union the USA the UK and France which were also known as the Allied Commission for Austria.  

Ten years later Austria regained its independence through the Austrian State Treaty.  Since then the city of Vienna has developed into what it is now seen today as a modern city that has successfully preserved its history.

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  • MadSuhFive hours of Vienna
    review by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    This stop over was also gonna be fun. I had never been to Vienna really. Actually, I have but I was way too young to remember. We arrived at the Vienna train station all exhausted. I first had to have something to drink to wash down my hang over. When we got to my friend's apartment, we...
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Vienna City Ratings

  • Rating88%
    City Rank97
  • History & Culture: rated for 96%
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  • Family & Fun: rated for 80%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 70%
  • Food: rated for 83%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 96%
  • Shopping: rated for 88%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 93%
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