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Austria’s capital city is located along the Danube River in the North Eastern part of the country. Vienna now has a thriving population of 1.8 million people and is known for having the highest standard of living on the planet. Here’s a brief history of Vienna.
The history of Vienna dates back to around around 500 BC. it began as a tiny settlement occupied by the Celts. This was one of many Celt occupied settlements in Central Europe at this time.
Around the year 15 BC, the Roman Empire arrived and fortified the region, in order to help protect it from nearby Germanic tribes situated in the North. Over the next 900 years peace and prosperity was apparent, as Vienna kept close ties with other Celtic tribes and groups in Europe. However, in the year 976, the Kingdom of Bavaria began a period of tremendous growth. Their armies marching East, led by Leopold “The Illustrious” of Babenberg and eventually Vienna fell into Bavaria, and became the official royal family residence briefly in 1145.
By the 15th century, the Babenberg reign was over and the city of Vienna was fast developing a strong reputation for the arts, music, science and fine cuisine. It was also around this time that the city became a resident of the Habsburg Dynasty, and as such a territory of the Austrian royal family. The Habsburgs were well known throughout Europe and controlled the Austrian kingdom for almost 300 years.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Vienna thwarted two invasions from the Ottoman Empire of Turkey. By 1867, the royal families of both Austria and Hungary joined their houses to form the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This empire oversaw a time of tremendous prosperity for Vienna, in which much of the city’s famous infrastructure was built. The fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire came in 1918, after the defeat of Germany and their allies in World War One.
From 1918, Vienna became part of the new Republic of German-Austria. Over the next decade, Vienna further developed its reputation for world famous classical music. The city became a place for the elite of Europe and the envy of many other modernising European countries. It was also during this period that Adolf Hitler used Vienna as another platform to push his Nazi Party agenda in the lead-up to World War Two.
Vienna was eventually besieged in 1945, towards the end of the Second World War. With the combined forces of Soviet ground troops and American and British air raids, the city was almost completely destroyed, with the majority of the infrastructure annihilated.
After the end of World War Two, 1945 to 1955, the country was run by the victorious Allies, until the Austrian State Treaty was signed. It was from this point that Austria became a republic, with Vienna being crowned its capital.
To this day Vienna remains a beacon for modernisation and progression which is admired all around the world. Even so, it still retains signs of its imperial times, in the form of Schonbrunn and Hofburg Palace. Vienna offers a great experience to both new and seasoned travellers. It has the rare gift of a city that is always looking to the future while at the same time paying homage to its interesting past.