Vienna City

LINKS to pages in the Vienna site and to the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Schloss Schönbrunn
2 : Vienna City
3 : Churches and Cathedral
4 : Hoffburg and Environs
5 : Statepark and Opera House
6 : Journey to and from Vienna

The English name of Vienna, the German name Wien and the names of the city in most languages are thought to be derived from the Celtic name of a settlement, but opinions vary on the precise origin. Some claim that the name comes from Vedunia, meaning "forest stream", which subsequently became Venia, Wienne and Wien. Others claim that the name comes from that of the Roman settlement Vindobona, probably meaning "white base/bottom", which became Vindovina, Viden and Wien. ViennaCity10.jpg

The Imperial Hotel (right) on the Ringstrassa: It was here (see below) that Adolf Hitler stayed on his visit Austria immediately following the Anschluß, or union of Germany with Austria, on 12 March 1938. He made his triumphal entry into Vienna on 14 March.


Founded around 500 BC, Vienna was originally a Celtic settlement. In 15 BC, Vienna became a Roman frontier city (Vindobona) guarding the Roman Empire against Germanic tribes to the north.

In the 13th century, Vienna came under threat from the Mongolian Empire, which stretched over much of present-day Russia and China. However, due to the death of its leader, Ogedei Khan, the Mongolian armies receded from the European frontier and did not return.

During the Middle Ages, Vienna was home to the Babenberg Dynasty, and in 1440 AD, it became the resident city of the Habsburg Dynasties, then it eventually grew to become the capital of the Holy Roman Empire and a cultural centre for arts and science, music and fine cuisine. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman armies were stopped twice outside Vienna (see Siege of Vienna, 1529 and Battle of Vienna, 1683).

In 1804, Vienna became the capital of the Austrian Empire and continued to play a major role in European and world politics, including hosting the 1814 Congress of Vienna. After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, Vienna remained the capital of what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the latter half of the 19th century, the city developed what had previously been the bastions and glacis into the Ringstraße, a major prestige project. Former suburbs were incorporated, and the city of Vienna grew dramatically.


Domgasse 5 (Mozarthaus) is the only one of Mozart's apartments in Vienna that still exists today. The narrow street, Domgasse, is seen above left and the four storey apartment house is pictured on the right.

The composer lived in Mozarthaus Vienna from 1784 to 1787 in grand style, with four large rooms, two small ones and a kitchen. It was here that he composed his opera, 'Marriage of Figaro'.

The life and works of Mozart are presented on four exhibition levels. In addition to the historical Mozart apartment visitors can find out about the times in which Mozart lived and his most important works. The exhibition focuses on his years in Vienna, which marked a high point in his creativity.


In 1918, after World War I, Vienna became capital of the First Austrian Republic. During the 1920s and 1930s, it was a bastion of socialism in Austria, and was known as the "Red Vienna." The city was a stage to the Austrian Civil War of 1934, when Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss sent the Austrian Army to shell civilian housing occupied by the socialist militia.

In 1938, after a triumphant entry into Austria, Adolf Hitler famously spoke to the Austrian people from the balcony of the Neue Burg, a part of the Hofburg at the Heldenplatz. Between 1938 (Anschluß) and the end of the Second World War, Vienna lost its status as a capital to Berlin. Also during that time, due to the Anschluss with Germany, the city was known as Vienna, Germany.

In 1945, the Soviets successfully launched the Vienna Offensive against Germans who were holding Vienna. The city was besieged for about two weeks before it fell to the Soviets. Austria then seceded from Germany and regained its independence, as a result, Vienna again became the capital of Austria, was initially divided into zones by the four powers (or the four prevailing nations), and was governed by the Allied Commission for Austria. During the 10 years of foreign occupation, Vienna became a hot-bed for international espionage between the Western and Eastern blocs. The atmosphere of four-power Vienna is captured in the Graham Greene novel 'The Third Man' and by the movie which followed.


Vienna trams, old and new (left and below).


From the website of Grams' wine company - "Christiane und Gerhard Grams, Mathias und Victor Grams" whose shop front is pictured left and below:

"Our family owned company is situated in the heart of Vienna, in Austria, A-1010 Vienna, City, Singerstraße 26, in the more than 700 years old cellar of a formerly Franziskaner monastry in Vienna. Just 2 minutes from the St. Stephan's Cathedral.

"You can reach us easily with the underground (U1 and U3 station Stephansplatz) or with your car (parking space right in front of the shop). We offer international wine and spirits, but also a large range of Austrian white wines. Each bottle has a certificate which guarantees the authenticity.

"We offer also old vintage wines and Armagnac back to 1900 and some bottles even back to 1825. Such bottles are not only rare wines for a collecter's cellar, but also a perfect gift for julilees, bithdays, ...

"We deliver your goods fastly in the EU. Please contact us for further questions."



The city contains a variety of eating places many very sophisticated and others less so (left) ......

....... and the shops sell expensive quality goods as well as almost equally expensive kitch (below).


Alas, one just can't get away from those d****d tourists !!!

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