Vienna

HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

Vienna (lat. Vindobona, German Wien) is the capital of Austria. It is situated on the river Danube. With a population of about 1.8 million, it is the largest city and the cultural and political centre of Austria. The United Nations' agency UNIDO is situated there as is OPEC, and the IAEA - the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Vienna was originally a Celtic city founded around 500 BC. In 15 BC, it became a frontier city guarding the Roman Empire against the German tribes to the north. Later it became the home of the Habsburg dynasty and through them became the capital? of the Holy Roman Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Turkish invasions of Europe in 1529 and 1683 were stopped at Vienna. Vienna was in 1815 the site of the Congress of Vienna which redrew national boundaries in Europe after the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.

Vienna was a center of classical music and opera. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Hadyn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Christoph Willibald Gluck among others work here. Johann Strauss and family created their waltzes here.

Vienna is also noted for its art and architecture. Many Baroque buildings exist although every time period is still represented. The summer palace of the emperors, Schönbrunn, was built to rival Versailles but while huge and ornate, never quite became as large. The Cathedral of St. Stephen or the Stephansdom, which was built in the 12th century, is also notable. The modern architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser has constructed many buildings in the city in his idiosyncratic style.

During the Cold War, Vienna was seen as a Western bulwark against the surrounding forces of Communism, and was a hotbed of international espionage.

Secession and Jugendstil were twentieth century art movements related to art noveau important in Vienna. Gustav Klimt worked here.

Vienna also was home to Sigmund Freud. Other famous Viennese items include the Lippizaner stallions, the Vienna Boy's Choir (Sängerknaben), Wiener Schnitzel, Sachertorte, and danishes. Viennese cafes claim to have invented the process of filtering coffee from the captured baggage after the second Turkish invasion.

To the south-east of the city is the Prater amusement park. This park is the site of a large ferris wheel, built originally in 1897, and made famous as the location where Orson Welles in his role as Harry Lime in the film The Third Man looked down upon the people beneath and compared them to ants, prior to making the now immortally famous remark "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

The city itself is comprised of 23 districts (Bezirke), which although they all have their own names are numbered for the sake of conveniency:

I - Innenstadt
II - Leopoldstadt
III - Landstraße
IV - Wieden
V - Margareten
VI - Mariahilf
VII - Neubau
VIII - Josefstadt
IX - Alsergrund
X - Favoriten
XI - Simmering
XII - Meidling
XIII - Hietzing
XIV - Penzing
XV - Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus
XVI - Ottakring
XVII - Hernals
XVIII - Währing
XIX - Döbling
XX - Brigittenau
XXI - Floridsdorf
XXII - Kagran
XIII - Liesing

Looking at the postal code one can easily find out in which district the given adress can be found; 1XXA - 1 denotes Vienna, XX the district number, A is the number of the post office (irrelevant in this case).