Vienna History

The Austrian capital of Vienna represents the economic and cultural center of Austria. The first documented mention of the city was made in 1137. A settlement history has, however, been shown going as far back as the 5th century BC. Vienna has more than 1.7 million residents. A quarter of all Austrians live in the city and its suburbs. The very particular Viennese charm is due to the numerous architectural monuments of the Hapsburg Empire. Nostalgia characterizes a visit to the Viennese coffee houses, where one can enjoy Sacher torte while listening to waltzes. The skyscrapers of the Danube city center add contrasting notes to the cityscape.

In the very heart of Vienna one can see the towers of St. Stephan’s Cathedral. This Gothic church houses the tomb of Emperor Friedrich III. The remains of the Roman settlement of Vindobona lead to the original core of Vienna on the High Market. The Hofburg, the Imperial residence, is like a ‘city in a city’. Ten buildings offer a rich program for visitors. Strolling through the magnificent rooms, one gets an impression of how Austria’s rulers once lived. In the Treasure Chamber, the imperial crowns are preserved. Also worth visiting is the Museum of Empress Elizabeth, affectionately called Sisi. Another splendid Viennese building is Schönbrunn Palace. Here the endless rooms and the Hall of Mirrors deserve special attention. The Viennese Prater is the green lung of the city and the panorama view from the famous giant Ferris wheel makes every stay in the Danube city unforgettable.

Holiday Homes and Vacation Rentals in Vienna


Vienna Sights

The Hundertwasser house, built from 1983 to 1985, on the corner of Kegelgasse 34-38 and Löwengasse 41-43, is one of the most photographed buildings in Vienna, and that, even though it is just a “simple” apartment house. Characteristic for the building, designed by the Austrian artist Hundertwasser and planned by the architects Krawina and Pelikan, are the colorful facades and profuse greenery. Fifty-two apartments and four stores are located within. With over 250 trees and bushes flourishing on the roof, the apartment house fulfills Hundertwasser’s ideal of living in harmony with nature.

Viennese State Opera
As one of the best-known opera houses in the world, the Viennese State Opera is among Austria’s most celebrated landmarks. Also known as the “First House on the Ring,“ the State Opera follows the cultural tradition of the Viennese Court Opera, which was founded during the Hapsburg monarchy. Construction began in 1861 and was planned by the architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. In all, the work lasted eight years. On 25 May 1869, the neo-renaissance style Opera celebrated its premier with the first performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The Opera has seating for a good 2,300 spectators.

St. Stephan’s Cathedral
Vienna’s trademark is St. Stephan’s Cathedral, which the Viennese also lovingly call Steffl. This Roman Catholic cathedral is named for St. Stephen, considered the first Christian martyr. In 1147, the first church was completed on the present day Stephan’s Square. Even then, the aspiration to achieve great size was recognizable. The present cathedral is 107 meters long. With a height of 136 meters, the south tower is the tallest of the cathedral’s four spires. For a long time, no church was permitted to be built higher than the south tower of this Gothic building.

Viennese Prater
The “Prater” is generally known as an amusement park, but this is in fact only a small part of the Viennese Prater, covering an area of about 6 km², which above all is marked by meadowy countryside. In 1766, the Emperor presented this park to the Viennese, who have since then used the Prater for leisure pursuits like bowls and cinema. The well-known amusement park, also called the Wurstelprater, opened in the 19th century and is located in the northwestern corner of the Prater. Every year it attracts countless visitors with its roller coasters, tunnels of horrors, carousels, houses of mirrors, drop towers and other entertainment possibilities.

Palace of Schönbrunn
Schönbrunn Palace is without a doubt one of Austria’s most beautiful and significant cultural treasures. The often-visited landmark in the Viennese district of Hietzing owes its name to Emperor Matthias, who in 1619 allegedly discovered a fountain on the present location and cried out, “What a beautiful fountain!” The palace and adjoining park received their present form after 1743. At that time, the baroque palace served as the summer residence of the Austrian Imperial dynasty. In 1996, the palace and the ca. 395-acre park were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Among others the palace park is home to the world’s oldest zoo.

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