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The Upper Belvedere Palace in Vienna
Historic Centre of Vienna *
Country  Austria
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv, vi
Reference 1033
Region ** Europe
Inscription history
Inscription 2001 (25th Session)
State Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms of the city/state of Vienna
General Information
Country: Austria
State Capital: Vienna
ISO 3166-2: AT-9
Vehicle Registration: W
Community Identification Number: 90101–92301
Postal codes: 1010–1239, 1400, 1450
Area code: 01
State Flag of Vienna
State Flag of the city/state of Vienna
Map: Vienna in Austria
Map of Austria (Vienna)
Mayor and governor Michael Häupl (SPÖ)
Governing Parties SPÖ and Greens
Seats in the Municipal Council
(100 seats):
SPÖ 49
ÖVP 13
Greens 11
FPÖ 27
Last Election: 10 October 2010
Next Election: October 2015
Population: 1,651,437 (31.12.2005)[1]
2,165,357 metro area
Population density: 3,931.3/km²
Area: 414.90 km²
- percent land: 395.51 km² (95,33%)
- percent water: 19.39 km² (4,67%)
Location: 48°13′N 16°22′E
Dimensions: North-South: 22.4 km
East-West: 29.2 km
Highest Point: 543 m
Lowest Point: 151 m
Administrative Structure
Districts: 1 Statutarstadt
23 Bezirke
Map: Districts of Vienna
Bezirke of Vienna

Vienna (German: Wien) is the capital city of Austria.

It is in the east of the country on the river Danube. More than 1,600,000 people live there. It is the largest city in Austria. It is also an administrative district (Bundesland) of its own.

Before World War I, it was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The history of the city goes back to the Roman Empire. The Romans started a military camp called Vindobona.[2] The camp was in today's first district on the Danube river. The name came from the Celts, so there was probably a Celtic settlement before the Roman invasion. The Romans stayed until the 5th century. In medivial times, the settlement was still in use. The name was mentioned in 881 in the Salzburger Annalen, where a battle ad weniam is mentioned.

In 976 the Babenberger became rulers of the area. They made Vienna their capital in 1155. Vienna was already an important city. In 1156, Austria became a Duchy, and Vienna was where the Duke who was in charge of the Duchy lived. In 1221, Vienna got the municipal law and is the second oldest city in Austria (Enns, in Upper Austria, is the oldest).

In 1278, the Duchy came to the Habsburg family. Duke Rudolf IV started the university in 1365 and while he was in charge, the nave of the Gothic St. Stephans cathedral was built. Quarrels within the Hapsburg family caused an economic decline in Vienna. In 1438, Vienna became the residence town of the Holy Roman Empire.

During the time of reformation Vienna was a Protestant town, but in the times of the Counter Reformation, Austria and Vienna were mostly Roman Catholic.

In 1529, Vienna was first besieged by the army of the Osman Empire, which had a border only 150 km east of Vienna. This hurt Vienna economically, but led to people fortifying the city (making it stronger). After a second siege, the Osmanic Empire could not take over Vienna, and the city started getting larger.

During the baroque era, Vienna was rebuilt. Many residences for the nobility were built. Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach was an important architect in Vienna.

At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century Vienna was the home of important composers like Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert.

After the revolution in 1848 Franz Joseph I. became emperor of the Austrian empire, which was founded in 1806 after the liquidation of the Holy Roman Empire. He ruled till 1916. Vienna became a center of arts, culture and architecture. The city grew because the suburbs became part of the city. Since 1858 the walls of the city were destroyed and the Ringstraße replaced them. Along these, streets houses of the rich citizens were built, as were public buildings like the city hall and the Burg theatre. The industrialisation started at the beginning of the century and made more people ive there. In 1870, Vienna had one million people, and in 1910, two million people. With the creation of a large working class and poverty in Vienna the Labour Party (Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei) became stronger.

Karl Lueger was the most important mayor in the time of Emperor Franz Josef. During his time important community plans were realized what made Vienna to a modern city. However, Lueger was a radical anti-Semite. He was admired by the young Adolf Hitler, who spent some years before the First World War in Vienna. At this time, Vienna was an important place for the arts. Composers like Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg and Ernst Krenek were important for the development of modern music. Also the psychoanalysis was founded in Vienna by Sigmund Freud. Also the so called Jugendstil in arts was part of Vienna's modern arts scene. Founding fathers of modern architecture lived and worked also in Vienna at this time (Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos)

After the end of the First World War the Austrian-Hungary Empire was dissolved and Vienna became capital of the Republic of Austria. In 1938, Austria was occupied by Germany. In Vienna began the suffering of the Jewish inhabitants. A lot of their properties was given to Austrians (Arisierung).

After the Second World War, which destroyed 20% of Vienna's buildings, Vienna was divided into four parts. The city was controlled by the allies as the other parts of Austria. In 1955 the state treaty between the allies and Austria was signed in Vienna's Belvedere. Since then Vienna became an important city for international organisations. The first was 1957 the International Atomic Energy Organisation (IAEO) and 1965 the OPEC followed. 1980 the Vienna International Center was opened and Vienna is now the third UNO-city together with New York and Geneva.


There are 23 districts in Vienna. They include:

  1. Innere Stadt (city centre)
  2. Leopoldstadt
  3. Landstraße
  4. Wieden
  5. Margareten
  6. Mariahilf
  7. Neubau
  8. Josefstadt
  9. Alsergrund
  10. Favoriten
  11. Simmering
  12. Meidling
  13. Hietzing
  14. Penzing
  15. Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus
  16. Ottakring
  17. Hernals
  18. Währing
  19. Döbling
  20. Brigittenau
  21. Floridsdorf
  22. Donaustadt
  23. Liesing


Vienna has many things worth seeing. Here are a few of them.

  • St. Stephens cathedral and St. Stephens square:
    • Today St. Stephens square with the cathedral is the very center of Vienna.The Graben and the Kärntner Straße which lead away from the square are shopping streets with a lot of different shops. Opposite the cathedral you can find the Haas-House, a very modern building by architect Hans Hollein.
  • Ringstraße:
    • The Ringstraße leads around the first district and was build in the second half of the 19th century. The street follows the old city walls which were destroyed for this street. Along the street you can find different important buildings like the Staatsoper(opera house), the parliament, the Burgthater, the two museums of natural history and arts. Also the Wiener Postsparkasse which is an important building of the architect Otto Wagner is along the street.
  • Hofburg:
    • From the 13th century till 1918 it was the residence of the Habsburg rulers. Today it is the residence of the President of the Republic of Austria and you can also visit different museums like the Schatzkammer where you can see the different crowns of the Habsburg family and the crown of the Holy Roman Empire. Also the National library is in the Hofburg.
  • Schloss Schönbrunn:
    • Today's buildings were built by the architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach an important architect in the baroque era in Austria. Another building of Fischer is the Karlskirche.
  • Schloss Belvedere:
    • Schloss Belvedere was built by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt another important Austrian baroque architect. It was built for Prinz Eugen von Savoyen who defeated the Osmanic empire. Today the castle is used as museum (Austrian Gallery Belvedere).


St. Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna is amongst the most famous buildings in Austria.

There are many old buildings, churches and museums in the city centre. Classical music and opera are popular in Vienna. The composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Brahms all worked in Vienna. Vivaldi also died in Vienna. The city has two world-famous orchestras: the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony.

Vienna is also the name of a song about the city, by the British group Ultravox.

Vienna is the home of the national successful soccer clubs SK Rapid Wien and FK Austria Wien.


  1. [1]
  2. "Vindobona (Vienna)". 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011.

Other websites

This article is about a World Heritage Site