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Vienna (Latin: Vindobona, German: Wien) is the capital of Austria. It is situated on the river Danube, and in the federal state of Vienna. With a population of about 1.8 million, it is the largest city and the cultural and political centre of Austria.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency are situated in Vienna.

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History 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. In the Middle Ages, it became the home of the Babenberg and, later, the Habsburg dynasties and through the latter 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. In 1815, Vienna was the site of the Congress of Vienna which redrew national boundaries in Europe after the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.

During the Cold War, Vienna was a hotbed of international espionage owning to its location in neutral Austria, between the Western and Eastern blocs.

Other famous Viennese items include the Lippizaner stallions, the Vienna Boys' Choir (Wiener Sängerknaben), Wiener Schnitzel, Sachertorte, and Danish pastries. Viennese cafes claim to have invented the process of filtering coffee from the captured baggage after the second Turkish invasion of 1683.

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

Memorial against War and Fascism (1981-1991) by Alfred Hrdlicka[?]
at Albertinaplatz in Vienna's city centre

  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

Looking at the postal code one can easily find out in which district the given address can be found; 1XXA - 1 denotes Vienna, XX the district number (if it is a single digit then with a leading zero), A is the number of the post office (irrelevant in this case, usually zero). Example: 1070 for Neubau (which, incidentally, is the only place in Austria with a Green majority).

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.

Trams are widely used in Vienna.

The "Sezession" building. (See also the Austrian ? 0.50 coin)

Intellectual Life

Turn of the century Vienna was home to a thriving intellectual scene. Most prominent was the father of psychonalysis, Sigmund Freud. Other famous products were the philosophers Franz Brentano, Bernard Bolzano[?], Ernst Mach and Edmund Husserl.

The University of Vienna was the cradle of the Austrian School of economics. The founders of this school who studied here included Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Friedrich von Wieser, Joseph Schumpeter,Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. von Hayek.

They were a somewhat more liberal crowd compared to other German speaking intelectuals in Prussia (indeed the very term Austrian was a term of abuse used to suggest a provincial outlook, see Methodenstreit). Simply put in Germany the influence of Hegel led academics to try to "overcome" the ideas of Western Europe, Austrian scholars used these ideas as a basis for their own theories.

See also the Vienna Circle.

Culture For many centuries, Vienna has been a center of classical music and opera. Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, and Anton Bruckner among others, worked in Vienna, and Antonio Vivaldi died there. Johann Strauss II and his family created their waltzes here. Later, the city became the home of the so called Second Viennese School, with Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern all being born there.

Vienna is also noted for its art and architecture. Many Baroque buildings exist although every time period is 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 Stephansdom), which was built in the 12th century, is also notable. The modern architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser has constructed some buildings in the city in his idiosyncratic style.

"Sezession[?]" and Jugendstil were twentieth century art movements related to art nouveau important in Vienna. Gustav Klimt worked here.


See also: Vienna International Airport

External links

  • Vienna (http://www.wien.gv.at/english/) ? Official site

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