The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







This article is about the city and federal state in Austria. For other places or things called Vienna, see Vienna (disambiguation).

Vienna (German: Wien [viːn]) is the capital of Austria, and also one of Austria's nine federal states (Bundesland Wien). Situated on both sides of the river Danube, Vienna is 40 kilometres from the Slovakian border, and 50 kilometres from the Slovakian capital, Bratislava. Vienna is surrounded by the Austrian federal state of Lower Austria. With a population of about 1.6 million, Vienna is the largest city and the cultural and political centre of Austria.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as many other international institutions and companies, are located in Vienna.



Main article: History of Vienna

Vienna was originally a Celtic city founded around 500 BC. In 15 BC, it became a frontier city ("Vindobona") 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 Ottoman Turkish invasions of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries were stopped two times in total at Vienna. See the Battle of Vienna (1683). In 1815, Vienna was the site of the Congress of Vienna which redrew national boundaries in Europe after the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the 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 features include the Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School, the Vienna Boys' Choir (Wiener Sängerknaben), Wiener Schnitzel, Sachertorte, and various pastries. Viennese cafes claim to have invented the process of filtering coffee from the captured baggage after the second Turkish siege of 1683.

Historical population

The population of Vienna increased sharply during the Austro-Hungarian period (1867-1918), when there was a lot of immigration from other parts of the country. However, after World War I, a lot of Czechs returned to their ancestral country, which resulted in a decline in the population. Following the immigration at that time, about one third of the population of Vienna has a Slavic or Hungarian family name.

As can be seen, the population gradually declined up to the 1980s.

1800: 231,900 inhabitants
1830: 338,700
1850: 446,400
1880: 724,800
1900: 1,769,137
1910: 2,083,630
1923: 1,918,720
1934: 1,935,881
1939: 1,770,938
1951: 1,616,125
1961: 1,627,566
1971: 1,619,885
1981: 1,531,346
1991: 1,539,848
2001: 1,550,123
2004 (estim.): 1.60 million.


 complex in Vienna, with the non-affiliated Austria Center Vienna in front - picture taken from TV tower in nearby park. This photo was taken before the massive expansion of this area, which started in the 1990s. Today there are several and dozens more low-rise buildings on this site.
UN complex in Vienna, with the non-affiliated Austria Center Vienna in front - picture taken from TV tower in nearby park. This photo was taken before the massive expansion of this area, which started in the 1990s. Today there are several skyscrapers and dozens more low-rise buildings on this site.

The city itself is composed of 23 districts (Bezirke), which although they all have their own names are numbered for the sake of convenience. Legally, they are not districts in the sense of administrative bodies with explicit powers (such as the districts in the other Austrian states, but mere subdivisions of the city administration. However, there are elections on the district level, which gives the representatives of the districts some political clout (e.g. in matters of planning, traffic etc.).

  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 (see [1])
  16. Ottakring
  17. Hernals
  18. Währing
  19. Döbling
  20. Brigittenau
  21. Floridsdorf
  22. Donaustadt
  23. Liesing

By looking at the postal code it can be determined in which district a given address is located; 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. Exceptions of that are 1300 for the Vienna International Airport located in Lower Austria near Schwechat , 1400 for the UN Complex, and 1500 for the Austrian UN-Forces.


Vienna is the seat of the Viennese archdiocese, and its acting Archbishop is Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. The religions of the Viennese resident population is divided according to the 2001 census as follows:

Roman Catholic 49.2 %
No religion 25.6 %
Muslim 7.8 %
Orthodox 6.0 %
Protestant (mostly Lutheran): 4.7 %
Other or none indicated 6.7 %


Memorial against and (1981-1991) by at Albertinaplatzin the
Memorial against War and Fascism (1981-1991) by Alfred Hrdlicka at Albertinaplatzin the First District

Theatre and opera

Translated from here

Art and culture have a long tradition in Vienna, in the areas of theatre, opera and the fine arts. Aside from the Burgtheater which, together with its branch, the Akademietheater is considered one of the best theatres in the German - speaking world, the Volkstheater and the Theater in der Josefstadt also offer high - quality theatre entertainment. Also, there is a multitude of smaller theatres, often equal in quality to their larger counterparts and in many cases devoted to less mainstream forms of performing arts such as modern, experimental plays or cabaret. Vienna also offers a great many opportunities for fans of the opera: The Staatsoper and the Volksoper offer something for everyone, the latter being especially devoted to the typical Viennese operetta. Concerts of classical music are performed, among others, in the well - known Great Hall of the Wiener Musikverein and in the Wiener Konzerthaus . In recent years, the Theater an der Wien has become widely known for hosting premieres of musicals. The most successful by far was "Elisabeth" which was afterwards translated into several foreign languages and performed all over the world. With the opening of the Haus der Musik in 2000, Vienna also has a "Museum of Sound" for all ages now.


To be translated from here

In the Hofburg , the Sisi Museum allows visitors to see the emperor's apartments as well as the silver chamber. Directly opposite the Hofburg, is the Kunsthistorisches Museum (along with Vienna's Natural History Museum ) that houses multple paintings by the old masters.


To be translated from here

There are buildings all architectural styles in Vienna, from the Romanesque Ruprechtskirche to the Baroque Karlskirche, and classicist buildings all the way to modern architecture. Likewise, art nouveau left many architectural traces in Vienna, such as The Secession, Karlsplatz Metropolitan Railway Station , and the church at Steinhof by Otto Wagner rank among the best known examples of art nouveau in the world.

Other culture

Between Michaelerplatz and Josefsplatz is the Spanish Riding School. It is a famous equestrian school. In terms of folk dancing, the Viennese Kathreintanz is the best known.


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

Vienna is also Austria's main center of education and home to many universities, professional colleges and gymnasiums.



12 Danube bridges connect the city, which is divided by the Danube and the Danube Canal .

Public transporation

Vienna has a large public transportation network.

Vienna has an extensive tram network, which is one of the largest in the world, and also large number of bus routes. As all routes in densely populated areas operated at dense intervals, even during off-peak hours, it usually not necessary to remmber the time when the train or bus goes. Public transportation is thus used quite a lot.

The Viennese public transport is connected to services of train and bus lines operating 50 kilometres into the surrounding countryside, which can be used under the same system of tickets.

Public transportation mostly closes during night hours, but there is a special bus service, the Nightline, operating on the most important routes. However, those buses go only every thirty minutes.

In Vienna there are also two park railways: the Liliputbahn Prater in the Viennese Prater and the Donauparkbahn in Danube Park .


Historically, all traffic facilities were oriented towards the main capitals and residential cities of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy consequently, Vienna has several train stations that form the beginning of several train lines:

as well as several through train stations:

  • Vienna Hütteldorf on the West Railway
  • Vienna Heiligenstadt on the Franz Josefs Railway
  • Vienna North (Viennese lines: Praterstern) on the North Railway. The convenient North Station was destroyed in World War II and was not built again after the decay of the Danube monarchy, especially when the Iron Curtain closed almost all passenger traffic to the north.
  • Vienna Meidling (Philadelphia bridge) - South Railway. This is Vienna most frequented transit station.
  • Vienna Central (Landstraße)

Between these, there are still many smaller stations that are particularly important for local passenger traffic.

In order to bundle all long-distance traffic it has become necessary to build a tunnel, colloquially known as the Wildschweintunnel ("boar tunnel"), underneath Lainzer Tiergarten linking the West Railway to the South Railway. The new bundled train line will connect to a new train station called Vienna-Central Europe that will be constructed somewhat to the south of today's South Station. This new station will give Vienna a main train station for the first time.

Road traffic

To be translated from here

Like the train lines, Bundesstraßen leave the city in a star shapped pattern. They are designated after their final destination (Prager Straße -- to Prague, Linzer Straße -- to Linz, Triester Straße -- to Trieste and Brünner Straße -- to Brno). Bundesstraßen can be compared to Federal Highways in the United States, being two-lane in rural areas and multi-lane in urban areas.

Three national autobahns leave Vienna in the westerly (A1), southernly (A2), and easterly directions (A4). Similar to the rail lines, they are commonly referred to after their exit direction (Westautobahn, Südautobahn, and Ostautobahn). In addition, several spur and branch autobahns circle around the southern and eastern areas of the city. The western and northern areas were left mostly untouched because of the Wienerwald protected forest.

Air traffic

Southeast of Vienna is Vienna International Airport. In 2004, there were over 224,809 separate flights departing or arriving, and the airport was used by 14.8 million passengers.

Water transportation

To be translated from here

Vienna is connected to water by the Rhine-Main-Danube canal via the port in Rotterdam and its nearby German Industrial areas, as well as Eastern European countries up to the Black Sea. The planned Danube-Oder canal remains unfinished.

Leisure activities


Vienna has a variety of nightlife options. Its low crime rate and extensive public transportation network make going out at night safe and convenient. Regular public transportation (subway, tram, and bus) runs until approximately 12:30. After this, nighttime bus lines provide service every half hour (fifteen minutes on some segments). Almost all night lines circle the inner city before heading outbound. Most lines are numerated the same as their corresponding daytime line. For example, if you take the 60 tramline followed by the U4 subway into the city, you can take the N60 bus directly from the city back out. At approximately 5 a.m. the daytime lines resume. Day and night lines now use the same tickets.

Starting in the 1980s, the pedestrian zone between the St. Ruprecht's Church (the oldest in Vienna) and the Bermuda Bräu microbrewery became the now-popular "Bermuda Triangle." It is the one area of the inner city district where relative loud music and noise is tolerated. Many bars and small clubs are located in this neighborhood.

The First District in general has an abundance of night life options for any budget. There are many Irish pubs with pint prices starting at €2. On the other side of the price-spectrum are bars such as Sky Bar and Do & Co., which are frequented by the Austrian elite. Opening hours vary essentially by neighborhood noise ordinance agreements. In the summer, bar's outdoor seating often has to be vacated by 11 p.m. Generally there is an abundance of establishments open until 4 a.m. or later, especially on the weekend.

Larger nightclubs are generally located further out. Popular ones include U4 Disco, located on the U4 subway line, two medium sized clubs in the wine-producing neighborhood of Grinzing , and an ever-increasing amount of large clubs on the eastern side of the Danube, often located in shopping malls and cinema complexes. One popular club located near the center of the city is Flex, which is on the shores of the Donaukanal, and, like U4 is also located on the U4 subway line. Flex often features world-acclaimed dance music DJs.

In the summer, the eastern shore of the Danube is very popular. It is called Copa Cagrana, which is a word-play of Copacabana and Kagran , which is a sub-district nearby.

Starting in the late 1980s, the city undertook much effort to revitalize the area around the Westgürtel (Western Beltway), which had become a red-light district. Today, large portions of the Westgürtel have been modernized, with many restaurants, bars, and mini-clubs now located under the elevated tracks of the U6 subway line.

Recently the Freihausviertel , right outside the First District by Karlsplatz has also gained some popularity for its restaurants. It includes the Naschmarkt, the major market in Vienna.

Useful Nightlife Terminology: Austria, particularly Vienna, has very unique terminology for drinks. Here is the terminology commonly used:

Beer Sizes: These are either ordered by name or small/large for the 0.3/0.5 L sizes. The names are usually one used for draft beer, as it is dispensed into glasses of the same name.

  • "Ein Pfiff": 0.2L / 6 U.S. oz. (not always available) Meaning: "A whistle"
  • "Ein Seidl" or Ein kleines Bier: 0.3L / 10 U.S. oz. (common)
  • "Ein Krügerl" or Ein grosses Bier 0.5L / 17 U.S. oz. (common) Meaning: "A crocky"
  • "Ein Maß" 1 Liter (usually only available in microbreweries) This term originates from Bavaria, and essentially means "a measurement."

Wine Sizes: These are ordered in fractions of a liter

  • "Ein Achtel" 1/8 L / 4.25 U.S. oz.
  • "Ein Viertel" 1/4 L / 8.50 U.S. oz.

It is also common to order a half-a-liter or a liter of wine with mineral water and then mix them to a desired concentration. The above mentioned quantities are also nearly always available pre-mixed with mineral water. This is called "G'spritzt" ("sprayed"). So to order wine one would say "Ein Achtel/Viertel Rot (red) / Weiß (white), followed by the word "G'spritzt" if one wants it diluted.

Viennese coffeehouses

Translated from here

Yet another unique aspect of Viennese culture is represented by the Viennese Coffeehouse, in which is served both a number of coffee-based speciality drinks and light snacks. A number of visitors will take advantage of the opportunity during their visit to read through the typically rich selection of newspapers available. In addition to the many modern chrome-brightened 'Espressi', a number of 'real' Vienna coffeehouses still exist to maintain the original charm of this institution.

Vienna possesses many park facilities and is one of the greenest cities in the world. The most famous parks and green areas are the Stadtpark, the Burggarten and Volksgarten, which belong to the Hofburg, the Schloßpark of Castle Belvedere with the botanical garden, the Donaupark, the Schönbrunner Schlosspark, the Prater, the Augarten, the Rathauspark, the Lainzer Tiergarten, the Dehnepark, the Resselpark, the Votivpark, the Kurpark Oberlaa, the Auer-Welsbach-Park and the Türkenschanzpark, Laaer-Berg with the Bohemian Prater and the foothills of the Wienerwald (Viennese Forest), which reaches into the outer areas of the city. Small parks, known by the Viennese as Beserlparks, are everywhere in the inner-city areas.


To be translated from here

Vienna has become a popular host of many different sporting events including the Vienna City Marathon , which attracts more than 10,000 participants every year and normally takes place in May. In 2005 the Ice Hockey World Championships will take place in Austria, with the final being played in Vienna. After already being the stage of four Champions League (originally European Champion Clubs' Cup) finals (1964, 1987, 1990, 1995) the final of Euro 2008, the European Football Championships, will take place in Vienna's Ernst Happel Stadium.

Austria's capital is also the home of numerous sports teams. The best known of them are the local football clubs FK Austria Wien (22 time Austrian national champions) and SK Rapid Wien (30 time Austrian national champions), though the oldest is First Vienna FC. Other important clubs are the Chrysler Vikings Vienna (American Football), who won the Eurobowl title as Europe's best American Football team in 2004, the Vienna Hot Volleys, one of Europe's premier Volleyball-organisations, and the Vienna Capitals (Ice Hockey).

Native Viennese

Culinary specialities

To be translated from here

Among others, the Sachertorte, or Sacher cake, a chocolate cake form the Sacher Hotel is well known here.

Tourist attractions

Among the most important places of interest are:

other tourist attractions:

other attractions

  • Cafe Hawelka
  • Cafe Demel
  • Mariahilfer Straße
  • Kärtner Straße
  • Graben
  • Kohlmarkt
  • Heurigen in Grinzing
  • Wienerwald (Vienna Woods)
  • Donauinsel (Danube Island) with Copa Cagrana
  • Republik Kugelmugel

other remarkable objects (not accessible for tourists)

International organisations in Vienna


Twin cities

Vienna is twinned with the following cities:

In addition, individual Viennese districts are twinned with Japanese cities/districts:

See also

External links

The contents of this article are licensed from under the GNU Free Documentation License. How to see transparent copy