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Vienna or Wien in German is one of Austria's nine federal states and the state's capital. As the federal state of Vienna covers the area of the city itself, the state is the smallest in terms of surface area, but the largest in population. The city is located in the easternmost part of Austria, on the shores of the Danube river, in proximity to Slovakia's borders.[19] The center of the city's landscape is located on the Danubian Plain. The Northern Alps constitute several eastern parts of the city, whereas Wienerwald or Vienna Woods covers the western part. In general, Vienna is located in the transitional area between the Alps to the west and Pannonian Plain to the east.[7] Vienna was the capital imperial city and the place where Habsburg emperors resided and ruled the Habsburg Monarchy for centuries. The cultural life of the monarchy was concentrated in the city as well. Thus, a considerable number of world-renowned composers, artists, and scientists lived and worked in the town over the years. To this day, Vienna is regarded by a number of people as the cultural hub of the country and as a place where the traditions are kept alive.[19] 

What Vienna is known for

Vienna was the capital city of the Habsburg Monarchy. During the imperial times, several world-renowned figures lived and worked in Vienna. Among them are Habsburg Emperors Maria Theresa and Joseph II, who introduced a compulsory education system in the second half of the 18th century, promoting education and development in the country.[4] Vienna later became the capital of classical music and culture. Composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Shubert, Strauss, Liszt, and others lived and composed in Vienna. Aside from musicians and composers, a painter known as Gustav Klimt additionally resided in Vienna. One of his most famous pieces, The Kiss, is showcased in the museum of Upper Belvedere. In Vienna, there is also the Sigmund Freud Museum, as the neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis lived in Vienna for most of his life.[5] Other scientists, such as Boltzmann, Pauli, Schrödinger have Viennese origins as well.[6]

The Palace Schönbrunn is one of the top attractions in Vienna, among others. It was the primary summer residence of Habsburgs during the times of the Habsburg Monarchy. The rococo-styled palace, with its Baroque gardens and Orangerie, is one of Austria's most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments. Nowadays, the palace is open to the public. Various events occur on the castle grounds, such as the Schönbrunn Palace Concerts in the Orangerie.[13] However, the place where Habsburgs resided most of the time and from where they ruled the monarchy is the Hofburg Palace, which can be found in the heart of Vienna. Hofburg is evidently one of the world's largest palaces, with the oldest parts of construction dating back to the 13th century. Hofburg Palace is currently open to visitors.[18]

Another castle located in Vienna is Belvedere, which, in today's time, functions as a museum. The Belvedere Museum is reportedly among the world's leading museums, with exhibits ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. The most extensive collection of Gustav Klimt's artwork in the world is considered by many tourists to be the most prominent attraction and a highlight of Belvedere.[14] Regarding museums of Vienna, in the city center is located the Imperial Treasury, which cares for and showcases the jewels of the Holy Roman Empire and Habsburg Monarchy, including one of the world's largest emeralds, which belonged to the Habsburgs.[16] Other significant museums in Vienna include Albertina, Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum, and others.[17]

Vienna represents a cultural metropolis of central Europe. The music, life, and traditions from the imperial era can be seen, heard, and lived in the city. The Vienna Mozart Orchestra offers such an opportunity, as the orchestra performs classical music concerts in authentic historical costumes and wigs at Vienna's famous historic concert venues, such as Musikverein Golden Hall, State Opera, and Konzerthaus.[15]


Vienna, the capital city of Austria, is located in the easternmost part of the state, less than 200km from Slovakia's borders. The town is situated on the shores of the Danube river, at the transition between the foothills of the Alps to the west and Pannonian Plain to the east. The city center is located in the Danubian Plain, the Vienna Woods cover western parts, and the Northern Alps represent the easternmost territory. Approximately half of the city area is made up of grassland, with the eastern part called Marchfeld, primarily used for agriculture. The western mountainous area represents a wine-growing region of Vienna.[7]

Concerning Viennese nature and protection, part of the Donau-Auen National Park, Lobau, is located within the city of Vienna. Lobau is often nicknamed "Vienna's Jungle." Located in the eastern part of Vienna, the area covers approximately 2,300 hectares. Donau-Auen National Park, which protects one of the last significant floodplain landscapes in Central Europe, is one of Austria's six national parks. The Lobau part of the park, located in Vienna, is home to Vienna's diverse animal and plant species. Several walking and cycling trails cross the park, however, the area is often visited for the bird and animal watching possibilities as well.[8] 

Besides the national park, the city center of Vienna has many other parks and nature areas. One such example is the Schönbrunn Gardens. Nearly 120 hectares of Baroque gardens as part of the Schönbrunn Palace are enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage List.[9] Belvedere Schlossgarten, Burggarten, Volksgarten, and others are labeled as some of the city's historical parks. Vienna Woods, a UNESCO-protected biosphere territory, can be found on the western part of the Vienna basin. Wienerwald or Vienna Woods is home to approximately 2,000 plant species and 150 bird species. The forest also offers several hiking and walking trails.[10] 

Vienna is in the oceanic climate area, with warm summers and cold, dry winters.[11] The warmest month in Vienna is July, with an average daily temperature of 27°C, while January is reportedly the coldest month, with an average temperature of 3°C. January tends to be the driest month in Vienna, with an average of 38mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during June, with an average of 74mm.[12]


Vienna territory has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with the first archeological finds dating back to Paleolithic Age. Celtic tribes inhabiting the area had been banished due to the Roman invasions in the circa first century AD. To this day, the wall constructions from that era can be observed in the city. During the early Middle Ages, Berghof's viticulture farm represented the city's center. The importance of Vienna increased in the 11th century when the town became a significant trade city.[1] The city developed gradually, and by the 15th century, it had become a center for arts and science, music, and fine cuisine. In 1440, the city became home to the Habsburg dynasty. The 16th and 17th centuries marked the era of Turkish invasions of the Hungarian parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, however, Vienna has never fallen to an invasion before. During the Napoleonic wars in 1804, Vienna became the capital of the Austrian Empire. The city was one of many leading European capitals. Vienna kept the capital city status after the change of administration when Austria-Hungary was formed. At that time, Vienna became the center of culture and primarily classical music, as world-renowned composers such as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven resided and performed in the city.[2]

A considerable number of world figures lived in Vienna. In 1913, Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Sigmund Freud, and Joseph Stalin all lived in central Vienna within a few kilometers of each other. After World War I, Vienna became the capital city of the German-Austria, and later, in 1919, it became the capital of the First Republic of Austria. After the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, Vienna lost its status as the capital city, as Austria became part of Nazi Germany, with Berlin as the capital. Of the almost 200,000 Jewish people living in Vienna during the Second World War, approximately 120,000 were displaced, and 65,000 were killed. After the war, Austria regained its sovereignty, and Vienna regained its status as the capital city.[2]

Nowadays, Vienna is reportedly one of the last remaining Europe capitals, which survived wars and successfully preserved its atmosphere. Viennese Lebeskunt or "the art of living" can be experienced in today's time in terms of music, arts, and lifestyle. Concerning the population and ethnicity, Viennese inhabitants have diverse roots, mostly of Bohemian, Hungarian, Polish, and Balkan origins. Two-thirds of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic church.[3]

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