Vienna

Vienna
Wien (German)
Wean (Bavarian)
Capital city, federal state and municipality
Flag of Vienna
Official seal of Vienna
Map of Vienna
Map of Vienna
Vienna is located in Austria
Vienna
Vienna
Location within Austria
Vienna is located in Europe
Vienna
Vienna
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 48°12′30″N 16°22′21″E / 48.20833°N 16.37250°E / 48.20833; 16.37250
CountryAustria
Federal stateVienna
Government
 • BodyState and Municipality
 • Mayor and GovernorMichael Ludwig (SPÖ)
Area
 • Capital city, federal state and municipality414.78 km2 (160.15 sq mi)
 • Land395.25 km2 (152.61 sq mi)
 • Water19.39 km2 (7.49 sq mi)
Elevation151 (Lobau) – 542 (Hermannskogel) m (495–1,778 ft)
Population2,002,821
 • Rank10th in Europe
1st in Austria
 • Density4,326.1/km2 (11,205/sq mi)
 • Urban2,223,236 ("Kernzone")
 • Metro2,890,577
 • Ethnicity
Demonym(s)German: Wiener (m), Wienerin (f)
Viennese
GDP
 • City€101.960 billion (2021)
 • Per capita€53,000 (2021) (2nd)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
ISO 3166 codeAT-9
Vehicle registrationW
HDI (2019)0.947
very high · 1st of 9
Seats in the Federal Council
11 / 61
GeoTLD.wien
Websitewien.gv.at (in German)

Official nameHistoric Centre of Vienna
TypeCultural
Criteriaii, iv, vi
Designated2001 (25th session)
Reference no.1033
UNESCO RegionEurope and North America
Endangered2017 (2017)–present

Vienna (German: Wien [viːn] ; Austro-Bavarian: Wean [veɐ̯n]) is the capital, largest city, and one of nine federal states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's most populous city and its primate city, with about two million inhabitants (2.9 million within the metropolitan area, nearly one-third of the country's population), and its cultural, economic, and political center. It is the fifth-largest city proper by population in the European Union and the largest of all cities on the Danube river by population.

The city lies on the eastern edge of the Vienna Woods (Wienerwald)—the northeasternmost foothills of the Alps, that separate Vienna from the more western parts of Austria—at the transition to the Pannonian Basin. It sits on the Danube, and is also traversed by the highly regulated Wienfluss (Vienna River). Vienna is completely surrounded by Lower Austria, and lies around 50 km (31 mi) west of Slovakia and its capital Bratislava, 60 km (37 mi) northwest of Hungary, and 60 km (37 mi) south of Moravia (Czech Republic).

The once Celtic settlement of Vedunia was converted by the Romans into the castrum and canaba Vindobona (province of Pannonia) in the 1st century, and was elevated to a municipium with Roman city rights in 212. This was followed by a time in the sphere of influece of the Lombards and later the Pannonian Avars, when Slavs formed the majority of the region's population. From the 8th century on, the region was settled by the Baiuvarii. In 976, the Babenbergs established the Margraviate of Austria. In 1221, Vienna was granted city rights by Leopold VI. The reign of the Habsburgs started in 1278. In 1558, Vienna became the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, which it remained until 1806. It was the capital of the Austrian Empire from 1804 to 1867, and of the Cisleithanian part of Austria-Hungary from 1867 to 1918, and subsequently became the capital of Austria.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, Vienna was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had two million inhabitants. Today, it is the second-largest German-speaking city after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations, OPEC and the OSCE. In 2001, the city center was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Vienna has been called the "City of Music" due to its musical legacy, as many famous classical musicians such as Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Haydn, Mahler, Mozart, Schoenberg, Schubert, Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II lived and worked there. It played a pivotal role as a leading European music center, from the age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. Vienna was home to the world's first psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud. The historic center of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque palaces and gardens, and the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.

Etymology

The place is mentioned as Οϋι[νδ]όβονα (Oui[nd]obona) in the 2nd century AD (Ptolemy, Geography, II, 14, 3) ; Vindobona in the 3rd century (Itinerarium Antonini Augusti 233, 8) ; Vindobona in the 4th century (Tabula Peutingeriana, V, 1) ; Vindomana ab. 400 (Notitia Dignitatum, 145, 16) ; Vindomina, Vendomina in the 6th century (Jordanes, De origine actibusque Getarum, 50, 264).

The English name Vienna is borrowed from the homonymous Italian name. The German name Wien comes from the name of the river Wien, mentioned ad UUeniam in 881 (Wenia- in modern writing).

The name of the Roman settlement on the same emplacement is of Celtic extraction Vindobona, probably meaning "white village, white settlement" from Celtic roots, vindo-, meaning "white" (Old Irish find "white", Welsh gwyn / gwenn, Old Breton guinn "white, bright" > Breton gwenn "white"), and -bona "foundation, settlement, village", related to Old Irish bun "base, foundation" and Welsh bon, same meaning. The Celtic word vindos may reflect a widespread prehistorical cult of Vindos, a Celtic deity who survives in Irish mythology as the warrior and seer Fionn mac Cumhaill. A variant of this Celtic name could be preserved in the Czech, Slovak, Polish and Ukrainian names of the city (Vídeň, Viedeň, Wiedeń and Відень respectively) and in that of the city's district Wieden.

The name of the city in Hungarian (Bécs), Serbo-Croatian (Beč, Беч) and Ottoman Turkish (بچ, Beç) has a different, probably Slavonic origin, and originally referred to an Avar fort in the area. Slovene speakers call the city Dunaj, which in other Central European Slavic languages means the river Danube, on which the city stands.

History

Early history

Evidence has been found of continuous habitation in the Vienna area since 500 BC, when Celts settled the site on the Danube. In 15 BC, the Romans fortified the frontier city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north.

Overview of the Roman legion settlement Vindobona in the center of today's Vienna

Close ties with other Celtic peoples continued through the ages. The Irish monk Saint Colman (or Koloman, Irish Colmán, derived from colm "dove") is buried in Melk Abbey and Saint Fergil (Virgil the Geometer) served as Bishop of Salzburg for forty years. Irish Benedictines founded twelfth-century monastic settlements; evidence of these ties persists in the form of Vienna's great Schottenstift monastery (Scots Abbey), once home to many Irish monks.

In 976, Leopold I of Babenberg became count of the Eastern March, a district centered on the Danube on the eastern frontier of Bavaria. This initial district grew into the duchy of Austria. Each succeeding Babenberg ruler expanded the march east along the Danube, eventually encompassing Vienna and the lands immediately east. In 1145, Henry II, Duke of Austria moved the Babenberg family residence from Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria to Vienna. From that time, Vienna remained the center of the Babenberg dynasty.

In 1440, Vienna became the resident city of the Habsburg dynasty. It eventually grew to become the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) in 1437 and a cultural center for arts and science, music and fine cuisine. Hungary occupied the city between 1485 and 1490.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Christian forces twice stopped Ottoman armies outside Vienna, in the 1529 siege of Vienna and the 1683 Battle of Vienna. The Great Plague of Vienna ravaged the city in 1679, killing nearly a third of its population.

Austrian Empire and the early 20th century

Vienna from Belvedere by Bernardo Bellotto, 1758

In 1804, during the Napoleonic Wars, Vienna became the capital of the newly formed Austrian Empire. The city continued to play a major role in European and world politics, including hosting the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15. The city also saw major uprisings against Habsburg rule in 1848, which were suppressed. After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, Vienna remained the capital of what became the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city functioned as a center of classical music, for which the title of the First Viennese School (Haydn/Mozart/Beethoven) is sometimes applied.

Vienna's Ringstraße and the State Opera in around 1870

During the latter half of the 19th century, Vienna developed what had previously been the bastions and glacis into the Ringstraße, a new boulevard surrounding the historical town and a major prestige project. Former suburbs were incorporated, and the city of Vienna grew dramatically. In 1918, after World War I, Vienna became capital of the Republic of German-Austria, and then in 1919 of the First Republic of Austria.

From the late-19th century to 1938, the city remained a center of high culture and of modernism. A world capital of music, Vienna played host to composers such as Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and Richard Strauss. The city's cultural contributions in the first half of the 20th century included, among many, the Vienna Secession movement in art, the Second Viennese School, the architecture of Adolf Loos, the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the Vienna Circle.

Red Vienna

The Karl-Marx-Hof remains symbolic for Red Vienna

The city of Vienna became the center of socialist politics from 1919 to 1934, a period referred to as "Red Vienna" (Das rote Wien). After a new breed of socialist politicians won the local elections they engaged in a brief but ambitious municipal experiment. Social democrats had won an absolute majority in the May 1919 municipal election and ruled the city council with 100 of the 165 seats. Jakob Reumann was appointed by the city council as city mayor. The theoretical foundations of so-called Austromarxism were established by Otto Bauer, Karl Renner, and Max Adler.

In the Austrian Civil War of 1934 Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss sent the Austrian Armed Forces to shell civilian housing such as the Karl Marx-Hof occupied by the Republikanischer Schutzbund (socialist militia).

Anschluss and World War II

Crowds greet Adolf Hitler as he rides in an open car through Vienna in March 1938.

In 1938, after a triumphant entry into Austria, the Austrian-born German Chancellor Adolf Hitler spoke to the Austrian Germans from the balcony of the Neue Burg, a part of the Hofburg at the Heldenplatz. In the ensuing days the new Nazi authorities oversaw the harassment of Viennese Jews, the looting of their homes, and their on-going deportation and murder. Between 1938 (after the Anschluss) and the end of the Second World War in 1945, Vienna lost its status as a capital to Berlin, because Austria ceased to exist and became part of Nazi Germany.

During the November pogroms on 9 November 1938, 92 synagogues in Vienna were destroyed. Only the city temple in the 1st district was spared, as the data of all Jews in Vienna were collected in the adjacent archives. Adolf Eichmann held office in the expropriated Palais Rothschild and organized the expropriation and persecution of the Jews. Of the almost 200,000 Jews in Vienna, around 120,000 were driven to emigrate and around 65,000 were killed. After the end of the war, the Jewish population of Vienna was only about 5,000.

Vienna was also the center of the important resistance group around Heinrich Maier, which provided the Allies with plans for V-1, V-2 rockets, Peenemünde, Tiger tanks, Messerschmitt Bf 109, Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet and other aircraft. The information was important to Operation Crossbow and Operation Hydra, both preliminary missions for Operation Overlord. In addition, factory locations for war-essential products were communicated as targets for the Allied Air Force. The group was exposed and most of its members were executed after months of torture by the Gestapo in Vienna. The group around the later executed Karl Burian even tried to blow up the Gestapo headquarters in the Hotel Metropole.

On 2 April 1945, the Soviet Red Army launched the Vienna Offensive against the Germans holding the city and besieged it. British and American air-raids, as well as artillery duels between the Red Army and the SS and Wehrmacht, crippled infrastructure, such as tram services and water- and power-distribution, and destroyed or damaged thousands of public and private buildings. The Red Army was helped by an Austrian resistance group in the German Wehrmacht. The group tried under the code name Radetzky to prevent the destruction and fighting in the city. Vienna fell eleven days later. At the end of the war, Austria again became separated from Germany, and Vienna regained its status as the capital city of the Republic of Austria, but the Soviet hold on the city remained until 1955, when Austria regained full sovereignty.

Four-power Vienna

Occupation zones in Vienna, 1945–55

After the war, Vienna was part of Soviet-occupied Eastern Austria until September 1945. As in Berlin, Vienna in September 1945 was divided into sectors by the four powers: the US, the UK, France, and the Soviet Union and supervised by an Allied Commission. The four-power occupation of Vienna differed in one key respect from that of Berlin: the central area of the city, known as the first district, constituted an international zone in which the four powers alternated control on a monthly basis. The control was policed by the four powers on a de facto day-to-day basis, the famous "four soldiers in a jeep" method. The Berlin Blockade of 1948 raised Western concerns that the Soviets might repeat the blockade in Vienna. The matter was raised in the UK House of Commons by MP Anthony Nutting, who asked: "What plans have the Government for dealing with a similar situation in Vienna? Vienna is in exactly a similar position to Berlin."

There was a lack of airfields in the Western sectors, and authorities drafted contingency plans to deal with such a blockade. Plans included the laying down of metal landing mats at Schönbrunn. The Soviets did not blockade the city. The Potsdam Agreement included written rights of land access to the western sectors, whereas no such written guarantees had covered the western sectors of Berlin. Also, there was no precipitating event to cause a blockade in Vienna. (In Berlin, the Western powers had introduced a new currency in early 1948 to economically freeze out the Soviets.) During the 10 years of the four-power occupation, Vienna became a hotbed for international espionage between the Western and Eastern blocs. In the wake of the Berlin Blockade, the Cold War in Vienna took on a different dynamic. While accepting that Germany and Berlin would be divided, the Soviets had decided against allowing the same state of affairs to arise in Austria and Vienna. Here, the Soviet forces controlled districts 2, 4, 10, 20, 21, and 22 and all areas incorporated into Vienna in 1938.

Barbed wire fences were installed around the perimeter of West Berlin in 1953, but not in Vienna. By 1955, the Soviets, by signing the Austrian State Treaty, agreed to relinquish their occupation zones in Eastern Austria as well as their sector in Vienna. In exchange they required that Austria declare its permanent neutrality after the allied powers had left the country. Thus they ensured that Austria would not be a member of NATO and that NATO forces would therefore not have direct communications between Italy and West Germany.

The atmosphere of four-power Vienna is the background for Graham Greene's screenplay for the film The Third Man (1949). The films theme music was composed and performed by Viennese musician Anton Karas using a Zither. Later he adapted the screenplay as a novel and published it. Occupied Vienna is also depicted in the 1991 Philip Kerr novel, A German Requiem.

Austrian State Treaty and afterwards

Graben in 1966

The four-power control of Vienna lasted until the Austrian State Treaty was signed in May 1955. That year, after years of reconstruction and restoration, the State Opera and the Burgtheater, both on the Ringstraße, reopened to the public. The Soviet Union signed the State Treaty only after having been provided with a political guarantee by the federal government to declare Austria's neutrality after the withdrawal of the allied troops. This law of neutrality, passed in late October 1955 (and not the State Treaty itself), ensured that modern Austria would align with neither NATO nor the Soviet bloc, and is considered one of the reasons for Austria's delayed entry into the European Union in 1995.

In the 1970s, Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky inaugurated the Vienna International Center, a new area of the city created to host international institutions. Vienna has regained much of its former international stature by hosting international organizations, such as the United Nations (United Nations Industrial Development Organization, United Nations Office at Vienna and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
163760,000—    
168390,000+50.0%
1710113,800+26.4%
1754175,460+54.2%
1783247,753+41.2%
1793271,800+9.7%
1830401,200+47.6%
1840469,400+17.0%
1850551,300+17.4%
1857683,000+23.9%
1869900,998+31.9%
18801,162,591+29.0%
18901,430,213+23.0%
19001,769,137+23.7%
19102,083,630+17.8%
19162,239,000+7.5%
19231,918,720−14.3%
19341,935,881+0.9%
19391,770,938−8.5%
19511,616,125−8.7%
19611,627,566+0.7%
19711,619,885−0.5%
19811,535,145−5.2%
19901,492,636−2.8%
20001,548,537+3.7%
20051,632,569+5.4%
20101,689,995+3.5%
20151,797,337+6.4%
20201,911,728+6.4%
20232,002,821+4.8%
2023 data
Vienna population pyramid in 2022
Significant foreign resident groups
Country of birth Population as of
31 December 2022
 Serbia 88,715
 Turkey 65,650
 Germany 60,513
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 50,036
 Poland 48,741
 Syria 40,054
 Romania 39,327
 Ukraine 34,285
 Afghanistan 25,084
 Hungary 24,145

Because of the industrialization and migration from other parts of the Empire, the population of Vienna increased sharply during its time as the capital of Austria-Hungary (1867–1918). In 1910, Vienna had more than two million inhabitants, and was the third largest city in Europe after London and Paris. Around the start of the 20th century, Vienna was the city with the second-largest Czech population in the world (after Prague). After World War I, many Czechs and Hungarians returned to their ancestral countries, resulting in a decline in the Viennese population. After World War II, the Soviets used force to repatriate key workers of Czech, Slovak and Hungarian origins to return to their ethnic homelands to further the Soviet bloc economy.[citation needed] The population of Vienna generally stagnated or declined through the remainder of the 20th century, not demonstrating significant growth again until the census of 2000. In 2020, Vienna's population remained significantly below its reported peak in 1916.

Under the Nazi regime, 65,000 Jews were deported and murdered in concentration camps by Nazi forces; approximately 130,000 fled.

By 2001, 16% of people living in Austria had nationalities other than Austrian, nearly half of whom were from former Yugoslavia; the next most numerous nationalities in Vienna were Turks (39,000; 2.5%), Poles (13,600; 0.9%) and Germans (12,700; 0.8%).

As of 2012, an official report from Statistics Austria showed that more than 660,000 (38.8%) of the Viennese population have full or partial migrant background, mostly from Ex-Yugoslavia, Turkey, Germany, Poland, Romania and Hungary.

From 2005 to 2015 the city's population grew by 10.1%. According to UN-Habitat, Vienna could be the fastest growing city out of 17 European metropolitan areas until 2025 with an increase of 4.65% of its population, compared to 2010.

Population by migration background (2023)
Background Nos.
Native born 970,900
1st generation migration background 739,500
2nd generation migration background 242,900
Total 1,953,300

Religion

Religion in Vienna (2021)

 Unaffiliated (34%)
 Islam (15%)
 Other (8%)

According to the 2021 census, 49.0% of Viennese were Christian - among them 31,8% Catholic, 11,2% Eastern Orthodox and 3,7% Protestant (mostly Lutheran) -, while 34.1% were of no religion, 14.8% were Muslim, and 2% were of other religions, including Jewish. One sources estimates that Vienna's Jewish community is of 8,000 members meanwhile another suggest 15,000.

Based on information provided to city officials by various religious organizations about their membership, Vienna's Statistical Yearbook 2019 reports in 2018 an estimated 610,269 Roman Catholics, or 32.3% of the population, and 200,000 (10.4%) Muslims, 70,298 (3.7%) Orthodox, 57,502 (3.0%) other Christians, and 9,504 (0.5%) other religions. A study conducted by the Vienna Institute of Demography estimated the 2018 proportions to be 34% Catholic, 30% unaffiliated, 15% Muslim, 10% Orthodox, 4% Protestant, and 6% other religions.

As of the spring of 2014, Muslims made up 30% of the total proportion of schoolchildren in Vienna.

Vienna is the seat of the Metropolitan Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna, in which is also vested the exempt Ordinariate for Byzantine-Rite Catholics in Austria; its Archbishop is Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. Many Catholic Churches in central Vienna feature performances of religious or other music, including masses sung to classical music and organ. Some of Vienna's most significant historical buildings are Catholic churches, including the St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), Karlskirche, Peterskirche and the Votivkirche. On the banks of the Danube, there is a Buddhist Peace Pagoda, built in 1983 by the monks and nuns of Nipponzan Myohoji.

Geography

Satellite image of Vienna by Sentinel-2 in 2018

Vienna is located in northeastern Austria, at the easternmost extension of the Alps in the Vienna Basin. The earliest settlement, at the location of today's inner city, was south of the meandering Danube while the city now spans both sides of the river. Elevation ranges from 151 to 542 m (495 to 1,778 ft). The city has a total area of 414.65 square kilometers (160.1 sq mi), making it the largest city in Austria by area.

Climate

Vienna has a borderline oceanic (Köppen: Cfb) and humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb), with some parts of the urban core being warm enough for a humid subtropical (Köppen: Cfa) classification.

The city has warm, showery summers, with average high temperatures ranging between 25 to 27 °C (77 to 81 °F) and a record maximum exceeding 38 °C (100 °F). Winters are relatively dry and cold with average temperatures at about freezing point. Spring is variable and autumn cool, with a chance of snow in November.

Precipitation is generally moderate throughout the year, averaging around 600 mm (23.6 in) annually, with considerable local variations, the Vienna Woods region in the west being the wettest part (700 to 800 mm (28 to 31 in) annually) and the flat plains in the east being the driest part (500 to 550 mm (20 to 22 in) annually). Snow in winter is common, even if not so frequent compared to the Western and Southern regions of Austria.

Climate data for Vienna (Hohe Warte) 1991–2020, extremes 1775–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.7
(65.7)
20.6
(69.1)
25.5
(77.9)
29.5
(85.1)
34.0
(93.2)
36.5
(97.7)
39.5
(103.1)
38.4
(101.1)
34.0
(93.2)
27.8
(82.0)
21.7
(71.1)
18.6
(65.5)
39.5
(103.1)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 3.5
(38.3)
6.5
(43.7)
10.7
(51.3)
17.2
(63.0)
20.7
(69.3)
25.1
(77.2)
26.4
(79.5)
26.1
(79.0)
21.1
(70.0)
14.3
(57.7)
8.8
(47.8)
4.0
(39.2)
15.4
(59.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.1
(34.0)
2.8
(37.0)
6.9
(44.4)
11.9
(53.4)
16.3
(61.3)
20.0
(68.0)
21.9
(71.4)
21.6
(70.9)
16.6
(61.9)
11.2
(52.2)
6.2
(43.2)
1.8
(35.2)
11.5
(52.7)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −1.3
(29.7)
−0.5
(31.1)
2.6
(36.7)
6.7
(44.1)
10.7
(51.3)
14.7
(58.5)
15.9
(60.6)
15.6
(60.1)
12.0
(53.6)
7.3
(45.1)
3.7
(38.7)
−0.4
(31.3)
7.2
(45.0)
Record low °C (°F) −23.8
(−10.8)
−26.0
(−14.8)
−16.3
(2.7)
−8.1
(17.4)
−1.8
(28.8)
3.2
(37.8)
6.9
(44.4)
6.5
(43.7)
−0.6
(30.9)
−9.1
(15.6)
−14.3
(6.3)
−20.7
(−5.3)
−26.0
(−14.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 42.1
(1.66)
38.1
(1.50)
51.6
(2.03)
41.8
(1.65)
78.9
(3.11)
70.0
(2.76)
77.7
(3.06)
69.1
(2.72)
64.1
(2.52)
46.9
(1.85)
46.0
(1.81)
46.8
(1.84)
673.1
(26.50)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 15.9
(6.3)
13.6
(5.4)
5.2
(2.0)
1.1
(0.4)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.4
(0.2)
3.2
(1.3)
10.8
(4.3)
50.2
(19.9)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.7 7.1 8.7 6.5 9.4 8.4 8.9 7.9 7.4 7.2 7.6 8.6 96.4
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 11.4 8.8 3.4 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.6 6.2 31.8
Average relative humidity (%) (at 14:00) 73.4 64.9 57.7 51.6 54.6 54.4 53.3 52.8 58.4 66.2 74.3 76.6 61.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 70.2 104.9 155.1 216.5 248.3 260.5 273.6 266.3 191.7 129.9 67.7 57.1 2,041.8
Percent possible sunshine 26.4 37.5 43.0 54.1 54.4 56.3 58.6 62.1 52.2 40.0 25.1 22.6 44.4
Source 1: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics
Source 2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows), wien.orf.at
Climate data for Vienna (Innere Stadt) 1991–2020, extremes 1961–2020
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.5
(67.1)
20.0
(68.0)
25.4
(77.7)
31.2
(88.2)
34.1
(93.4)
37.7
(99.9)
38.4
(101.1)
39.5
(103.1)
34.5
(94.1)
28.5
(83.3)
21.3
(70.3)
16.4
(61.5)
39.5
(103.1)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 4.2
(39.6)
7.0
(44.6)
11.0
(51.8)
17.4
(63.3)
21.1
(70.0)
25.7
(78.3)
26.9
(80.4)
26.6
(79.9)
21.6
(70.9)
15.0
(59.0)
9.5
(49.1)
4.7
(40.5)
15.9
(60.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.1
(35.8)
3.8
(38.8)
7.7
(45.9)
13.0
(55.4)
17.3
(63.1)
21.0
(69.8)
23.0
(73.4)
22.8
(73.0)
17.7
(63.9)
12.3
(54.1)
7.2
(45.0)
2.8
(37.0)
12.6
(54.7)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −0.1
(31.8)
1.1
(34.0)
4.0
(39.2)
8.6
(47.5)
12.3
(54.1)
16.4
(61.5)
17.7
(63.9)
17.5
(63.5)
13.8
(56.8)
8.9
(48.0)
5.0
(41.0)
0.7
(33.3)
8.8
(47.8)
Record low °C (°F) −17.6
(0.3)
−16.4
(2.5)
−11.0
(12.2)
−2.4
(27.7)
3.0
(37.4)
6.8
(44.2)
10.9
(51.6)
10.1
(50.2)
5.1
(41.2)
−2.1
(28.2)
−7.0
(19.4)
−15.4
(4.3)
−17.6
(0.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 37.6
(1.48)
33.5
(1.32)
46.3
(1.82)
39.6
(1.56)
78.3
(3.08)
82.0
(3.23)
80.3
(3.16)
73.8
(2.91)
67.3
(2.65)
47.7
(1.88)
42.9
(1.69)
39.9
(1.57)
669.2
(26.35)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7.5 6.3 7.7 6.4 9.3 9.0 8.9 8.0 7.2 7.0 6.9 7.7 91.9
Average relative humidity (%) (at 14:00) 75.0 67.6 62.1 53.9 54.3 56.9 54.4 54.4 61.0 64.9 74.9 78.4 63.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 70.4 103.7 154.9 216.6 248.5 259.1 273.3 266.3 194.0 133.3 70.7 57.1 2,047.9
Percent possible sunshine 26.7 37.1 42.8 53.8 53.9 55.2 57.9 61.7 52.6 40.9 26.4 23.0 44.3
Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics
Climate data for Vienna (Hohe Warte) 1961–1990
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean maximum °C (°F) 10.2
(50.4)
11.9
(53.4)
19.6
(67.3)
23.5
(74.3)
26.6
(79.9)
30.1
(86.2)
31.8
(89.2)
31.5
(88.7)
27.6
(81.7)
21.6
(70.9)
16.0
(60.8)
11.3
(52.3)
31.8
(89.2)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 2.9
(37.2)
5.1
(41.2)
10.3
(50.5)
15.2
(59.4)
20.5
(68.9)
23.4
(74.1)
25.6
(78.1)
25.4
(77.7)
20.3
(68.5)
14.2
(57.6)
7.5
(45.5)
4.0
(39.2)
14.5
(58.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.6
(30.9)
1.6
(34.9)
5.8
(42.4)
10.5
(50.9)
15.1
(59.2)
18.2
(64.8)
20.1
(68.2)
19.7
(67.5)
16.0
(60.8)
10.6
(51.1)
5.1
(41.2)
1.2
(34.2)
10.3
(50.5)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −2.0
(28.4)
−0.9
(30.4)
2.4
(36.3)
5.8
(42.4)
10.5
(50.9)
13.5
(56.3)
15.4
(59.7)
15.3
(59.5)
11.7
(53.1)
7.0
(44.6)
2.4
(36.3)
−0.5
(31.1)
6.7
(44.1)
Mean minimum °C (°F) −10.2
(13.6)
−8.3
(17.1)
−4.8
(23.4)
0.0
(32.0)
4.2
(39.6)
8.0
(46.4)
10.3
(50.5)
9.6
(49.3)
5.9
(42.6)
0.3
(32.5)
−3.8
(25.2)
−9.1
(15.6)
−10.2
(13.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 38.0
(1.50)
42.0
(1.65)
41.0
(1.61)
51.0
(2.01)
61.0
(2.40)
74.0
(2.91)
63.0
(2.48)
58.0
(2.28)
45.0
(1.77)
41.0
(1.61)
50.0
(1.97)
43.0
(1.69)
607
(23.88)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 8 6 6 8 8 95
Average relative humidity (%) 79 76 69 64 66 66 64 68 74 78 80 80 72
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 73 68 57 51 53 55 52 53 58 64 72 75 61
Average dew point °C (°F) −3.5
(25.7)
−2.3
(27.9)
−0.2
(31.6)
3.1
(37.6)
8.2
(46.8)
11.4
(52.5)
12.6
(54.7)
12.7
(54.9)
10.4
(50.7)
6.3
(43.3)
1.5
(34.7)
−1.8
(28.8)
4.9
(40.8)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 56 78 126 170 221 223 246 228 171 137 63 52 1,771
Source 1: Deutscher Wetterdienst
Source 2: NOAA(mean monthly max/min-Sun-Dew Point)
  1. ^ Afternoon humidity measured at 14:00 local time

Districts and enlargement

Map of the districts of Vienna with numbers

Districts

No. District Coat of
arms
Area
(km2)
Population
(2023)
Density
per km2
Map
1 Innere Stadt Innere Stadt 2.869 16,620 5,791
2 Leopoldstadt Leopoldstadt 19.242 108,269 5,627
3 Landstraße Landstraße 7.403 96,756 13,075
4 Wieden Wieden 1.776 33,633 18,895
5 Margareten Margareten 2.012 55,018 27,372
6 Mariahilf Mariahilf 1.455 31,423 21,523
7 Neubau Neubau 1.608 31,581 19,616
8 Josefstadt Josefstadt 1.090 24,674 22,637
9 Alsergrund Alsergrund 2.976 42,206 14,211
10 Favoriten Favoriten 31.823 218,415 6,862
11 Simmering Simmering 23.256 109,038 4,688
12 Meidling Meidling 8.103 100,281 12,380
13 Hietzing Hietzing 37.713 55,568 1,473
14 Penzing Penzing 33.760 96,828 2,868
15 Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus 3.918 76,109 19,416
16 Ottakring Ottakring 8.673 102,444 11,816
17 Hernals Hernals 11.396 56,033 4,919
18 Währing Währing 6.347 51,559 8,120
19 Döbling Döbling 24.944 75,517 3,028
20 Brigittenau Brigittenau 5.710 85,690 15,007
21 Floridsdorf Floridsdorf 44.443 183,895 4,138
22 Donaustadt Donaustadt 102.299 212,658 2,079
23 Liesing Liesing 32.061 117,882 3,677

Vienna is composed of 23 districts (Bezirke). Administrative district offices in Vienna (called Magistratische Bezirksämter) serve functions similar to those in the other Austrian states (called Bezirkshauptmannschaften), the officers being subject to the mayor of Vienna; with the notable exception of the police, which is under federal supervision.

District residents in Vienna (Austrians as well as EU citizens with permanent residence here) elect a District Assembly (Bezirksvertretung). City hall has delegated maintenance budgets, e.g., for schools and parks, so that the districts are able to set priorities autonomously. Any decision of a district can be overridden by the city assembly (Gemeinderat) or the responsible city councilor (amtsführender Stadtrat).

Albertina Terrace in the Innere Stadt

Enlargement

The heart and historical city of Vienna, a large part of today's Innere Stadt, was a fortress surrounded by fields to defend itself from potential attackers. In 1850, Vienna with the consent of the emperor annexed 34 surrounding villages, called Vorstädte, into the city limits (districts no. 2 to 8, after 1861 with the separation of Margareten from Wieden no. 2 to 9). Consequently, the walls were razed after 1857, making it possible for the city center to expand.

In their place, a broad boulevard called the Ringstraße was built, along which imposing public and private buildings, monuments, and parks were created by the start of the 20th century. These buildings include the Rathaus (town hall), the Burgtheater, the University, the Parliament, the twin museums of natural history and fine art, and the Staatsoper. It is also the location of New Wing of the Hofburg, the former imperial palace, and the Imperial and Royal War Ministry finished in 1913. The mainly Gothic Stephansdom is located at the center of the city, on Stephansplatz. The Imperial-Royal Government set up the Vienna City Renovation Fund (Wiener Stadterneuerungsfonds) and sold many building lots to private investors, thereby partly financing public construction works.

The Ring Road (Ringstraße) with a historical tram

From 1850 to 1890, city limits in the West and the South mainly followed another wall called Linienwall at which a road toll called the Liniengeld was charged. Outside this wall from 1873 onwards a ring road called The Gürtel was built. In 1890 it was decided to integrate 33 suburbs (called Vororte) beyond that wall into Vienna by 1 January 1892 and transform them into districts no. 11 to 19 (district no. 10 had been constituted in 1874); hence the Linienwall was torn down beginning in 1894. In 1900, district no. 20, Brigittenau, was created by separating the area from the 2nd district.

From 1850 to 1904, Vienna had expanded only on the eastern bank of the Danube, following the main branch before the regulation of 1868–1875, i.e., the Old Danube of today. In 1904, the 21st district was created by integrating Floridsdorf, Kagran, Stadlau, Hirschstetten, Aspern and other villages on the left bank of the Danube into Vienna, in 1910 Strebersdorf followed. On 15 October 1938 the Nazis created Great Vienna with 26 districts by merging 97 towns and villages into Vienna, 80 of which were returned to surrounding Lower Austria in 1954. Since then Vienna has had 23 districts.

Industries are located mostly in the southern and eastern districts. The Innere Stadt is situated away from the main flow of the Danube, but is bounded by the Donaukanal ("Danube canal"). Vienna's second and twentieth districts are located between the Donaukanal and the Danube. Across the Danube, where the Vienna International Center is located (districts 21–22), and in the southern areas (district 23) are the newest parts of the city.

Politics

Political history

The Debating Chamber of the former House of Deputies of Austria in the Parliament

In the twenty years before the First World War and until 1918, Viennese politics were shaped by the Christian Social Party. In particular, long-term mayor Karl Lueger was able to not apply the general voting rights for men introduced by and for the parliament of imperial Austria, the Reichsrat, in 1907, thereby excluding most of the working class from taking part in decisions. For Adolf Hitler, who spent some years in Vienna, Lueger was a teacher of how to use antisemitism in politics.

Vienna is today considered the center of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ). During the period of the First Republic (1918–1934), the Vienna Social Democrats undertook many social reforms. At that time, Vienna's municipal policy was admired by Socialists throughout Europe, who therefore referred to the city as "Red Vienna" (Rotes Wien). In February 1934 troops of the Austrian federal government under Engelbert Dollfuss, who had closed down the first chamber of the federal parliament, the Nationalrat, in 1933, and paramilitary socialist organizations were engaged in the Austrian Civil War, which led to the ban of the Social Democratic party.

The SPÖ has held the mayor's office and control of the city council/parliament at every free election since 1919. The only break in this SPÖ dominance came between 1934 and 1945, when the Social Democratic Party was illegal, mayors were appointed by the Austrofascist and later by the Nazi authorities. The current mayor of Vienna is Michael Ludwig of the SPÖ.

The city has enacted many social democratic policies. The Gemeindebauten are social housing assets that are well integrated into the city architecture outside the first or "inner" district. The low rents enable comfortable accommodation and good access to the city amenities. Many of the projects were built after the Second World War on vacant lots that were destroyed by bombing during the war. The city took particular pride in building them to a high standard. The social housing in Vienna provides living for more than 500,000 people.

Government

Interior of Vienna's historical Rathaus, the seat of the city's mayor

Since Vienna obtained federal state (Bundesland) status of its own by the federal constitution of 1920, the city council also functions as the state parliament (Landtag), and the mayor (except 1934–1945) also doubles as the Landeshauptmann (governor/minister-president) of the state of Vienna. The Rathaus accommodates the offices of the mayor (de:Magistrat der Stadt Wien) and the state government (Landesregierung). The city is administered by a multitude of departments (Magistratsabteilungen), politically supervised by Amtsführende Stadträte (members of the city government/parliament leading offices; according to the Vienna constitution opposition parties have the right to designate members of the city government not leading offices).

Under the city constitution of 1920, municipal and state business must be kept separate. Hence, the city council and state parliament hold separate meetings, with separate presiding officers–the chairman of the city council or the president of the state Landtag–even though the two bodies' memberships are identical. When meeting as a city council, the deputies can only deal with the affairs of the city of Vienna; when meeting as a state parliament, they can only deal with the affairs of the state of Vienna.

In the 1996 City Council election, the SPÖ lost its overall majority in the 100-seat chamber, winning 43 seats and 39.15% of the vote. The SPÖ had held an outright majority at every free municipal election since 1919. In 1996 the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), which won 29 seats (up from 21 in 1991), beat the ÖVP into third place for the second time running. From 1996 to 2001, the SPÖ governed Vienna in a coalition with the ÖVP. In 2001 the SPÖ regained the overall majority with 52 seats and 46.91% of the vote; in October 2005, this majority was increased further to 55 seats (49.09%). In course of the 2010 city council elections the SPÖ lost their overall majority again and consequently forged a coalition with the Green Party – the first SPÖ/Green coalition in Austria. This coalition was maintained following the 2015 election. Following the 2020 election, the SPÖ forged a coalition with NEOS – The New Austria and Liberal Forum.

Economy

Messe Wien Congress Center
Austria Center Vienna (ACV)

Vienna generates 28.6% of Austria's gross domestic product (GDP). The service sector dominates Vienna's economy. The average unemployment rate in Vienna is 4.9% and the private service sector provides 75% of all jobs. The city improved its position from 2012 on the ranking of the most economically powerful cities reaching number nine on the listing in 2015. Of the top 500 Austrian firms measured by turnover 203 are headquartered in Vienna. The number of international businesses in Vienna is growing. In 2014 159 and in 2015 175 international firms established offices in Vienna.

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Vienna has expanded its position as gateway to Eastern Europe. 300 international companies have their Eastern European headquarters in Vienna and its environs. Among them are Hewlett-Packard, Henkel, Baxalta and Siemens.

Approximately 8,300 new companies have been founded in Vienna every year since 2004. The majority of these companies are operating in fields of industry-oriented services, wholesale trade as well as information and communications technologies and new media. Vienna makes effort to establish itself as a start-up hub. Since 2012, the city hosts the annual Pioneers Festival, the largest start-up event in Central Europe with 2,500 international participants taking place at Hofburg Palace. Tech Cocktail, an online portal for the start-up scene, has ranked Vienna sixth among the top ten start-up cities worldwide.

The cultivation and production of wines within the city borders have a high socio-cultural value.

Research and development

A major R&D sector in Vienna are life sciences. The Vienna Life Science Cluster is Austria's major hub for life science research, education and business. Throughout Vienna, five universities and several basic research institutes form the academic core of the hub with more than 12,600 employees and 34,700 students. Here, more than 480 medical device, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with almost 23,000 employees generate around 12 billion euros in revenue (2017). This corresponds to more than 50% of the revenue generated by life science companies in Austria (22.4 billion euros).[needs update]

Vienna is home to global players like Boehringer Ingelheim, Octapharma, Ottobock and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. However, there is also a growing number of start-up companies in the life sciences and Vienna was ranked first in the 2019 PeoplePerHour Startup Cities Index. Companies such as Apeiron Biologics, Hookipa Pharma, Marinomed, mySugr, Themis Bioscience and Valneva operate a presence in Vienna and regularly hit the headlines internationally. Vienna also houses the headquarters of the Central European Diabetes Association, a cooperative international medical research association.

To facilitate tapping the economic potential of the multiple facettes of the life sciences at Austria's capital, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the local government of City of Vienna have joined forces: Since 2002, the LISAvienna platform is available as a central contact point. It provides free business support services at the interface of the Austrian federal promotional bank, Austria Wirtschaftsservice and the Vienna Business Agency and collects data that inform policy making. The main academic hot spots in Vienna are the Life Science Center Muthgasse with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), the Austrian Institute of Technology, the University of Veterinary Medicine, the AKH Vienna with the MedUni Vienna and the Vienna Biocenter. Central European University, a graduate institution expelled from Budapest in the midst of a Hungarian government steps to take control of academic and research organizations, welcomes the first class of students to its new Vienna campus in 2019.

Information technologies

The Viennese sector for information and communication technologies is comparable in size with the sector in Helsinki, Milan or Munich and thus among Europe's largest IT locations. In 2012 8,962 IT businesses with a workforce of 64,223 were located in the Vienna Region. The main products are instruments and appliances for measuring, testing and navigation as well as electronic components. More than ⅔ of the enterprises provide IT services. Among the biggest IT firms in Vienna are Kapsch, Beko Engineering & Informatics, air traffic control experts Frequentis, Cisco Systems Austria, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft Austria, IBM Austria and Samsung Electronics Austria.

The US technology corporation Cisco runs its Entrepreneurs in Residence program for Europe in Vienna in cooperation with the Vienna Business Agency.

The British company UBM has rated Vienna one of the Top 10 Internet Cities worldwide, by analyzing criteria like connection speed, WiFi availability, innovation spirit and open government data.

Conferences

In 2022 the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked Vienna 1st in the world for association meetings. The Union of International Associations (UIA) ranked Vienna 5th in the world for 2019 with 306 international meetings, behind Singapore, Brussels, Seoul and Paris. The city's largest conference center, the Austria Center Vienna (ACV) has a total capacity for around 22,800 people and is situated next to the United Nations Office at Vienna. Other centers are the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center (up to 3,000 people) and the Hofburg Palace (up to 4,900 people).

Tourism

There were 17.3 million overnight stays in Vienna in 2023. The top ten incoming markets in 2023 were Germany, the rest of Austria, the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Poland, Switzerland and Romania.

Rankings

In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first (tied with Vancouver and San Francisco) for the world's most livable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne. Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within". Monocle's 2012 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna fourth on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within" (up from sixth in 2011 and eighth in 2010). The UN-Habitat classified Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world in 2012–2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, and sixth globally (out of 256 cities) in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture, infrastructure, and markets. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions. It attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year.

Vienna was ranked top in the 2019 Quality of Living Ranking by the international Mercer Consulting Group for the tenth consecutive year. In the 2015 liveability report by the Economist Intelligence Unit as well as in the Quality of Life Survey 2015 of London-based Monocle magazine Vienna was equally ranked second most livable city worldwide.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat has ranked Vienna the most prosperous city in the world in its flagship report State of the World Cities 2012/2013.

According to the 2014 City RepTrack ranking by the Reputation Institute, Vienna has the best reputation in comparison with 100 major global cities.

The Mori Memorial Institute for Urban Strategies ranked Vienna 14th of their Global Power City Index 2023.

Urban planning

Vienna regularly hosts urban planning conferences and is often used as a case study by urban planners. The highest wooden skyscraper in the world, "HoHo Wien", was built within 3 years, starting in 2015. In recent years a syndicate housing movement has established itself in Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck.

In 2011 74.3% of Viennese households were connected with broadband, 79% were in possession of a computer. According to the broadband strategy of the city, full broadband coverage will be reached by 2020.

The Hauptbahnhof

Vienna Central Station

The new Vienna Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) was opened in October 2014. Construction began in June 2007 and was due to last until December 2015. The station is served by 1,100 trains with 145,000 passengers. There is a shopping center with approximately 90 shops and restaurants. In the vicinity of the station a new district is emerging with 550,000 m2 (5,920,000 sq ft) office space and 5,000 apartments until 2020.

Smart City Wien

The mayor of Vienna announced the Smart City Wien initiative in March 2011 after the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund decided to fund a project under the same heading. The Vienna city administration engaged with a broad range of stakeholders and published the Smart City Wien action plan.

Seestadt Aspern

Seestadt Aspern

Seestadt Aspern in Vienna's Donaustadt district is one of the largest urban expansion projects of Europe. A 5 hectare artificial lake, offices, apartments and a subway station within walking distance are supposed to attract 20,000 new citizens when construction is completed in 2028.

Culture

Music, theater, and opera

Monument of Johann Strauss II at Stadtpark, Vienna

Famous composers including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Robert Stolz, and Arnold Schoenberg have worked in Vienna.

The Burgtheater on the Ring

Art and culture had a long tradition in Vienna, including theater, opera, classical music and fine arts. The Burgtheater is considered one of the best theaters in the German-speaking world alongside its branch, the Akademietheater. The Volkstheater Wien and the Theater in der Josefstadt also enjoy good reputations. There is also a multitude of smaller theaters, in many cases devoted to less mainstream forms of the performing arts, such as modern, experimental plays or cabaret.

Vienna is also home to a number of opera houses, including the Theater an der Wien, the Staatsoper and the Volksoper, the latter being devoted to the typical Viennese operetta. Classical concerts are performed at venues such as the Wiener Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra known across the world for the annual widely broadcast "New Year's Day Concert", as well as the Wiener Konzerthaus, home of the internationally renowned Vienna Symphony. Many concert venues offer concerts aimed at tourists, featuring popular highlights of Viennese music, particularly the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss I, and Johann Strauss II.

Up until 2005, the Theater an der Wien hosted premieres of musicals, but since 2006 (a year dedicated to the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth), has devoted itself to opera again, becoming a stagione opera house offering one new production each month. Since 2012, Theater an der Wien has taken over the Wiener Kammeroper, a historical small theater in the first district of Vienna seating 300 spectators, turning it into its second venue for smaller sized productions and chamber operas created by the young ensemble of Theater an der Wien (JET). Before 2005 the most successful musical was Elisabeth, which was later translated into several languages and performed all over the world. The Wiener Taschenoper is dedicated to stage music of the 20th and 21st century. The Haus der Musik ("house of music") opened in the year 2000.

The Wienerlied is a unique song genre from Vienna. There are approximately 60,000 – 70,000 Wienerlieder.

Multiple popular songs have been written about Vienna, such as Vienna (1977) by Billy Joel, Vienna (1981) by Ultravox, and Vienna Calling by Falco.

The Vienna's English Theatre (VET) is an English theater in Vienna. It was founded in 1963 and is located in the 8th Vienna's district. It is the oldest English-language theater in continental Europe.

Musicians from Vienna

The Mozart Monument in the Burggarten

Notable musicians born in Vienna include Louie Austen, Alban Berg, Falco, Lily Greenham, Fritz Kreisler, Joseph Lanner, Arnold Schönberg, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Anton Webern, and Joe Zawinul.

Famous musicians who moved to Vienna to work were Kurt Adler, Johann Joseph Fux, Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Ferdinand Ries, Johann Sedlatzek, Antonio Salieri, Carl Czerny, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Franz Liszt, Franz von Suppé, Anton Bruckner, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler and Rainhard Fendrich.

Cinema

The entrance to the Burg Kino on the Ring.

Films set in Vienna include Amadeus, Before Sunrise, The Third Man, The Living Daylights and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

Notable actors born in Vienna include Hedy Lamarr, Christoph Waltz, John Banner, Christiane Hörbiger, Eric Pohlmann, Boris Kodjoe, Christine Buchegger, Mischa Hausserman, Senta Berger and Christine Ostermayer.

Vienna has many cinemas, such as the Apollo Kino and Cineplexx Donauzentrum, as well as many English-language cinemas, including the Haydn Kino, Artis International and the Burg Kino. The Burg Kino is known for showing The Third Man, which is set in Vienna, three times a week.

Notable writers from Vienna

Notable writers from Vienna include Karl Leopold von Möller, Carl Julius Haidvogel, and Stefan Zweig.

Writers who lived and worked in Vienna include Franz Kafka, Arthur Schnitzler, Elias Canetti, Ingeborg Bachmann, Robert Musil, Karl Kraus, Ernst von Feuchtersleben, Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek.

Museums

Kunsthistorisches Museum on Maria-Theresien-Platz

The majority of museums in Vienna are located in an area on the border of Innere Stadt and Neubau in the center of the city, from the museums inside the Hofburg to the Museumsquartier, with the twin Naturhistorisches and Kunsthistorisches Museum in between.

The Hofburg is the location of the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer), which holds imperial jewels of the Habsburg dynasty. The Sisi Museum (a museum devoted to Empress Elisabeth of Austria) allows visitors to view the imperial apartments as well as the silver cabinet. The Weltmuseum Wien, an anthropological museum, houses many ethnographic objects from Africa, America, Asia and Oceania.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum are two identical buildings which were built in the late 19th century on behalf of Emperor Franz Joseph I. The former features paintings from artists such as Caravaggio, Albrecht Dürer, Raphael, Rembrandt, Titian and Vermeer. The latter has got 30 million objects in its collection, of which 100,000 are on display. A notable exhibit is the Venus of Willendorf, a 25,000 year old statue found in Austria.

The courtyard of the Museumsquartier

Many museums are located in the MuseumsQuartier (museum quarter), the former Imperial Stalls which were converted into a museum complex in the 1990s. It houses the Museum of Modern Art, commonly known as the MUMOK, the Architekturzentrum Wien (museum of architecture) and the Leopold Museum, which featuers many paintings by Egon Schiele, as well as works of the Vienna Secession, Viennese Modernism and Austrian Expressionism.

There are a multitude of other museums in Vienna, including the Albertina, the Museum of Military History, the Technical Museum, the Museum of Art Fakes, the KunstHausWien, Museum of Applied Arts, the Sigmund Freud Museum, and the Mozarthaus Vienna. The Vienna Museum showcases the history of Vienna. The Jewish Museum Vienna was founded 1896 and is the oldest of its kind. The Liechtenstein Palace contains much of one of the world's largest private art collections, especially strong in the Baroque. The Belvedere, built under Prince Eugene, has a gallery containing paintings by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, as well as sculptures by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt.

Architecture

The Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station in Art Nouveau style

A variety of architectural styles have been preserved in Vienna, including Romanesque architecture and Baroque architecture. Art Nouveau has left many architectural traces in Vienna. The Secession building, Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station, and the Kirche am Steinhof by Otto Wagner rank among the best known examples of Art Nouveau in the world.

The Wiener Moderne shunned the use of extraneous adornment. The architect Adolf Loos is responsible for the Looshaus (1909), the Kärntner Bar (1908), and the Steiner House (1910).

The Hundertwasserhaus by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, designed to counter the clinical look of modern architecture, is one of Vienna's most popular tourist attractions.

Gasometer in Simmering

In the 1990s a number of quarters were adapted and extensive building projects were implemented in the areas around Donaustadt and Wienerberg. Vienna has seen numerous architecture projects completed which combine modern architectural elements with old buildings, such as the remodeling and revitalization of the old Gasometer in 2001.

The DC Towers are located on the northern bank of the Danube and were completed in 2013.

Ball dances

The first balls in Vienna were held in the 18th century. The ball season runs during Carnival from 11 November to Shrove Tuesday. Many balls are held in the Hofburg, Rathaus and Musikverein. Guests adhere to a strict dress code, men wear black or white tie while women wear a ball gown. Debutants of the ball wear white.

The balls are opened with dances, traditionally including a Viennese waltz, at around 22:00, and close at about 05:00 the next morning. Food served at the balls include sausages with bread or Gulaschsoups.

Notable Viennese balls include the Vienna Opera Ball, the Vienna Ball of Sciences, the Wiener Akademikerball and the Hofburg SIlvesterball.

The Wiener Akademikerball in the Hofburg has attracted lots of controversy for being a gathering for far-right politicians and groups. The ball is hosted by the FPÖ, the right-wing populist party of Austria and has attracted multiple right wing and far-right personalities, such as Martin Sellner and Marie Le Pen. Since 2008, there have been annual demonstrations by various organizations against the ball. Former leader of the FPÖ Heinz-Christian Strache compared the anti-fascist protesters to a Nazi mob, claiming the ball goers were "new Jews".

Language

Vienna is part of the Austro-Bavarian language area, in particular Central Bavarian (Mittelbairisch). The Viennese dialect takes many loanword from languages of the former Habsburg Monarchy, especially Czech. The dialect differs from the west of Austria in its pronunciation and grammar. Features typical of Viennese German include Monophthongization, the transformation of a diphthong into a monophtong (German heiß (hot) into Viennese haas) and the lengthening of vowels (Heeaasd, i bin do ned bleeed, wooos waaasn ii, wea des woooa (Standard German Hörst du, ich bin doch nicht blöd, was weiß denn ich, wer das war): "Listen, I'm not stupid; what do I know, who that was?"). Speakers of the dialect tend to avoid the genetiv case.

LGBT

Vienna is considered the center of LGBT life in Austria. The city has an action plan against homophobic discrimination and, since 1998, has an anti-discrimination unit within the city's administration. The city has several cafés, bars and clubs frequented by LGBT people. Among the most prominent is Café Savoy, which is a traditional coffee house built in 1896. In 2015, the city introduced traffic lights with same-sex couples before hosting the Eurovision Song Contest that year, which attracted media attention internationally. Every year in June, Vienna Pride is organized. In 2019, when the pride parade was also hosting Europride, it attracted 500.000 visitors.

Education

Universities

Friedrich Schiller statue in front of the Academy of Fine Arts
University of Vienna
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna

International schools

Parks and gardens

Locomotive D4 of Prater Liliputbahn

The Stadtpark is a park on the southeastern outer border of the Ringstraße. The park covers an area of about 28 acres and is split in half by the Wien river. It contains monuments to various Viennese artists, most notably the gilded bronze monument of Johann Strauß II.

The Prater is a large public park in Leopoldstadt. Within the park is the Wurstelprater (which is commonly referred to as just “the Prater”), a public amusement park which contains the Wiener Riesenrad, a 64.75 metre tall Ferris Wheel, as well as various rides, roller coasters, carousels and a Madame Tussauds. The rest of the park is covered in by the forest. The Hauptallee, a wide, car-free alley lined with horse chestnut trees, runs through the park. Eliud Kipchoge broke the marathon distance record on this road in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in October 2019. The Prater also is home to the Liliputbahn, a railway line primarily used by tourists, and a planetarium. It was the location of the 1873 Vienna World's Fair. In 1931, the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, formerly known as the Praterstadion, was opened in the Prater.

The Donauturm in the Donaupark
An entrance to the Lobau by Essling

The Donaupark is a 63 hectare sized park in Kaisermühlen, Donaustadt, between the Neue Donau and the Alte Donau, next to the Vienna International Centre. The park features the Donauturm, the tallest structure in Austria at 252 metres.

The Lobau, a floodplain in the southeast of the city, is a part of the wider Danube-Auen National Park. It is used for recreation and has many nudist areas. It is home to multiple species of animals:

The grounds of the imperial Schönbrunn Palace contain an 18th-century park which includes the Schönbrunn Zoo, which was founded in 1752, making it the world's oldest zoo still in operation. The zoo is one of the few to house giant pandas. The park also features the Palmenhaus Schönbrunn, a large greenhouse with around 4,500 plant species.

The Donauinsel, part of Vienna's flood defenses, is a 21.1 km (13.1 mi) long artificial island between the Danube and New Danube dedicated to leisure activities. It was constructed from 1972 to 1988 as a measure for flood protection. Every year the island hosts the Donauinselfest, the largest open-air music festival in the world with approximately 3 million attendees over three days. The festival is organised by the SPÖ Wien and is free to enter.

Danube

Vienna is the largest city on the Danube, which runs from the south-east to the north. In Vienna, the river is split into 4 parts:

  • The main Danube is the widest of these and is used primarily for shipping.
  • The Neue Donau (New Danube), a side channel on the east of the river, was built in 1972 for flood protection measures, separated from the Danube by the man-made Donauinsel. It runs for about 21 kilometers. The river is slower than the main Danube and can be used for watersports such as swimming, rowing or sailing. Motorboats are forbidden on this part of the river.
  • The Alte Donau (Old Danube) is an oxbow lake to the east of the New Danube, which cuts off Kaisermühlen from the rest of the city. The lake is the hub for swimmers in Vienna, with piers and beaches being freely available to visitors. Motorboats and pedalos are permitted on the lake and can be rented from nearby vendors.
  • The Donaukanal splits off and rejoins the Danube close to the southern and northern edge of the city. Unlike the main river, it flows through the city center. The waterway itself is used mostly by boats, while the paths on both sides of the Donaukanal are regularly used by pedestrians, joggers and cyclists.

Sport

Football

Allianz Stadion, home of Rapid Wien

Austria's capital is home to numerous football clubs. The two biggest teams are FK Austria Wien (21 Austrian Bundesliga titles and record 27-time cup winners), who play at the Generali Arena in Favoriten, and SK Rapid Wien (record 32 Austrian Bundesliga titles), who play at the Allianz Stadion in Penzing. The oldest team in Austria, First Vienna FC, and Floridsdorfer AC both play in the 2. Liga, and the football teamof the Wiener Sport-Club, one of the oldest athletics clubs in the country, play in the Austrian Regionalliga East, the third division.

The Ernst-Happel-Stadion is the largest stadium in Austria with 50,865 seats and is the home stadium of the Austria national football team. It has hosted multiple European Cup/Champions League finals (1963–64, 1986–87, 1989–90, 1994–95), as well as seven games at the 2008 Euros, including the final, which saw a Spanish 1–0 victory over Germany.

Ernst-Happel-Stadion in the Prater

Other sports

Other sports clubs include the Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna (American football), who won the Eurobowl title 4 times in a row between 2004 and 2007 and had a perfect season in 2013. The Aon Hotvolleys Vienna (volleyball), the Vienna Wanderers (baseball), who won the 2012 and 2013 Championship of the Austrian Baseball League, and the Vienna Capitals (ice hockey). Vienna was also where the European Handball Federation (EHF) was founded. There are also three rugby clubs in the city; Vienna Celtic, the oldest rugby club in Austria, RC Donau, and Stade Viennois

The Vienna Open tennis tournament has taken place in the city since 1974. The matches are played in the Wiener Stadthalle.

Vienna City Marathon in 2015

Vienna hosts many different sporting events including the Vienna City Marathon, which attracts more than 10,000 participants every year and typically takes place in May.

Austria hosted the 2005 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, with the games taking place either in the Wiener Stadhalle or the OlympiaWorld Innsbruck. Vienna also hosted the 2023 3x3 Basketball World Cup.

Culinary specialities

Food

A Wiener schnitzel at a restaurant
A Wiener schnitzel

Vienna is well known for Wiener schnitzel, a cutlet of veal (Kalbsschnitzel) (sometimes also made with pork (Schweinsschnitzel) or chicken (Hühnerschnitzel)) that is pounded flat, coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, and fried in clarified butter. It is available in almost every restaurant that serves Viennese cuisine and can be eaten hot or cold. It is usually served in many cozy cafeterias in the old town evoking all the history behind the Empire city. The traditional 'Wiener Schnitzel' though is a cutlet of veal. Other examples of Viennese cuisine include Tafelspitz (very lean boiled beef), which is traditionally served with Geröstete Erdäpfel (boiled potatoes mashed with a fork and subsequently fried) and horseradish sauce, Apfelkren (a mixture of horseradish, cream and apple) and Schnittlauchsauce (a chives sauce made with mayonnaise and stale bread). Vienna has a long tradition of producing cakes and desserts. These include Apfelstrudel (hot apple strudel), Milchrahmstrudel (milk-cream strudel), Palatschinken (sweet pancakes), and Knödel (dumplings) often filled with fruit such as apricots (Marillenknödel). Sachertorte, a delicately moist chocolate cake with apricot jam created by the Sacher Hotel, is worldfamous.

Sachertorte

In winter, small street stands sell traditional Maroni (hot chestnuts) and potato fritters.

Sausages are popular and available from street vendors (Würstelstand) throughout the day and into the night. The sausage known as Wiener (German for Viennese) in the U.S. and in Germany, is called a Frankfurter in Vienna. Other popular sausages are Burenwurst (a coarse beef and pork sausage, generally boiled), Käsekrainer (spicy pork with small chunks of cheese), and Bratwurst (a white pork sausage). Most can be ordered "mit Brot" (with bread) or as a "hot dog" (stuffed inside a long roll). Mustard is the traditional condiment and usually offered in two varieties: "süß" (sweet) or "scharf" (spicy).

Vienna ranked 10th in vegan friendly European cities in a study by Alternative Traveler.

The Naschmarkt is a permanent market for fruit, vegetables, spices, fish, and meat.

Drinks

A yellow can of Ottakringer Helles
A can of Ottakringer Helles

Vienna, along with Barcelona, Bratislava, Canberra, Cape Town, Paris, Prague, Santiago and Warsaw, is one of the few remaining world capital cities with its own vineyards. The wine is served in small Viennese pubs known as Heuriger. The wine is often drunk as a Spritzer ("G'spritzter") with sparkling water. The Grüner Veltliner, a dry white wine, is the most widely cultivated wine in Austria. Another wine very typical for the region is "Gemischter Satz", which is typically a blend of different types of wines harvested from the same vineyard.

Beer is next in importance to wine. Vienna has a single large brewery, Ottakringer, and more than ten microbreweries. Ottakringers most popular drink is the Ottakringer Helles, a beer with an alcohol content of 5.2%. A "Beisl" is a typical small Austrian pub, of which Vienna has many.

Local soft drinks such as Almdudler are popular around the country as an alternative to alcoholic beverages, placing them on the top spots alongside American counterparts such as Coca-Cola in terms of market share. Other popular drinks are the Spezi, a mix between cola and orange lemonade, and Frucade, a German carbonated orange drink.

Viennese cafés

The Café Dommayer

The Viennese coffee house (Kaffeehaus) dates back to the Austro-Hungarian empire. The Vienna intelligentsia treated Viennese cafés like a living room. The first Viennese café was opened in 1685 by Armenian businessman Johannes Diodato. Café culture flourished in Vienna in the early 19th century. Notable patrons included political figures Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky and Josip Broz Tito, who all lived in Vienna in 1913, as well as scientists, writers and artists such as Sigmund Freud, Stefan Zweig, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.

Notable coffee houses include:

Heuriger

A Heuriger in Grinzing
Typical Heuriger in Grinzing

Vienna is one of the few major cities with its own wine-growing region. This wine is sold in taverns, so-called Heuriger, by the local winemakers during the growing season. The wine is often served as a Schorle, a mix of wine and carbonated water. The meals are simple and homemade, usually consisting of fresh bread, typically semmels, with local coldcuts and cheese, or Liptauer spread. The Heurigers are especially numerous in the areas of Döbling (Grinzing, Neustift am Walde, Nußdorf, Salmannsdorf, Sievering), Floridsdorf (Stammersdorf, Strebersdorf), Liesing (Mauer) and Favoriten (Oberlaa).

Tourist attractions

The Votivkirche on the Ring

Major tourist attractions include the imperial palaces of the Hofburg Imperial Palace and Schönbrunn Palace and the Wiener Riesenrad in the Prater. Cultural highlights include the Burgtheater, the Vienna State Opera, the Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School, and the Vienna Boys' Choir.

There are also more than 100 art museums, which together attract over eight million visitors per year. The most popular ones are Albertina, Belvedere and Leopold Museum in the Museumsquartier, the twin Kunsthistorisches Museum and Naturhistorisches Museum, and the Technisches Museum Wien, each of which receives over a quarter of a million visitors per year.

There are many popular sites associated with composers who lived in Vienna including Beethoven's various residences and grave at Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) which is the largest cemetery in Vienna and the burial site of many famous people, such as Johann Strauss I and II and Kurt Waldheim. Mozart has a memorial grave at the Habsburg gardens and at St. Marx Cemetery (where his grave was lost). Vienna's many churches also draw large crowds, famous of which are St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Deutschordenskirche, the Jesuitenkirche, the Karlskirche, the Peterskirche, Maria am Gestade, the Minoritenkirche, the Ruprechtskirche, the Schottenkirche, St. Ulrich and the Votivkirche.

Modern attractions include the Hundertwasserhaus, the United Nations headquarters and the view from the Donauturm.

Transport

Public transport

Vienna has an extensive public transportation network. It consists predominantly of the Wiener Linien network (subway, tram and bus lines) and the S-Bahn lines belonging to the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). As of 2023, 32% of the population of the city uses public transit as their main mode of transit.

U-Bahn

Vienna U-Bahn network

The Vienna metro system consists of five lines (U1, U2, U3, U4, U6) with the U5 currently being built. The metro currently serves 109 stations and covers a distance of 83.1 kilometres.

The U2 crossing the Danube

The services run from 05:00 to about 01:00 with intervals of two to five minutes during the day and up to eight minutes after 20:00. On Friday and Saturday evenings and on evenings before a public holiday they operate a 24-hour service at 15-minute intervals.

Line Colour Route Length Stations
Red OberlaaLeopoldau 19.2 km (11.9 mi) 24
Purple SchottentorSeestadt 16.7 km (10.4 mi) 20
Orange OttakringSimmering 13.5 km (8.4 mi) 21
Green HütteldorfHeiligenstadt 16.5 km (10.3 mi) 20
Brown SiebenhirtenFloridsdorf 17.4 km (10.8 mi) 24
The 57a bus at the Anschützgasse stop

Buses

Buses were first introduced to the city in 1907. Currently, 117 bus lines operate in Vienna during the day. 47 of these are run by the Wiener Linien, who also set the routes and timetables, the rest by subcontractors such as Dr. Richard, Gschwindl and Blaguss. The Wiener Linien also operate 20 night buses.

The 62 tram, an A1 model, in Hietzing

Trams

The Viennese tram network has existed since 1865; the first line was electrified in 1897. There are currently 28 lines with 1071 stops that operate on a network of 176,9 km. The trams move at about 15 km/h. The fleet consists of both high-floor and low-floor vehicles, however the high-floor models, which are not air-conditioned, are in the process of being replaced by more modern, accessible trams. The modern models are air-conditioned and suitable for disabled users.

Trains

The city forms the hub of the Austrian railway system, with services to all parts of the country and abroad. The railway system connects Vienna's main station Vienna Hauptbahnhof with other European cities, including Bratislava, Budapest, Ljubljana, Munich, Prague, Venice, Wrocław, Warsaw, Zagreb, and Zürich. Other train stations include:

Cycling

Citybikes in Vienna

The cycling network in the city spans 1.721 kilometres, however, this figure counts bidirectional bike paths twice and includes on-road cycle-lanes which are also shared with motor vehicles. The network is constantly being expanded and upgraded, especially in the outer areas, such as Donaustadt. Bike use in the city has been rising, from just 3% in 1993 to 10% in 2023.

The city operates a bicycle-sharing system, WienMobil Radverleih, with 3000 bikes at 185 station, available at all times. The bikes are 7-speed city bikes with an adjustable saddel.

Airport

Vienna International Airport

Vienna is served by Vienna International Airport, located 18 km southeast of the city center next to the town of Schwechat. The airport handled approximately 29.5 million passengers in 2023. Following lengthy negotiations with surrounding communities, the airport will be expanded to increase its capacity by adding a third runway. The airport is undergoing a major expansion, including a new terminal building that opened in 2012 to prepare for an increase in passengers. Another possibility is to use Bratislava Airport, Slovakia, located approximately 60 km away.

Viennese people

International relations

International organizations in Vienna

UN complex in Vienna, with the Austria Center Vienna in front, taken from the Danube Tower in the nearby Donaupark before the extensive building work

Vienna is the seat of a number of United Nations offices and various international institutions and companies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Vienna is the world's third "UN city", next to New York City, Geneva, and Nairobi. Additionally, Vienna is the seat of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law's secretariat (UNCITRAL). In conjunction, the University of Vienna annually hosts the prestigious Willem C. Vis Moot, an international commercial arbitration competition for students of law from around the world.

Diplomatic meetings were often held in Vienna in the latter half of the 20th century, resulting in multiple documents bearing the name Vienna Convention or Vienna Document. Among the more important documents negotiated in Vienna are the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, as well as the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. Vienna also hosted the negotiations leading to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program as well as the Vienna peace talks for Syria.

Charitable organizations in Vienna

Alongside international and intergovernmental organizations, there are dozens of charitable organizations based in Vienna. One such organization is the network of SOS Children's Villages, founded by Hermann Gmeiner in 1949. Today, SOS Children's Villages are active in 132 countries and territories worldwide. Others include Help Afghan School Children Organization (HASCO).

International city cooperations

The general policy of the City of Vienna is not to sign any twin town agreements with other cities. Instead Vienna has only cooperation agreements in which specific cooperation areas are defined.

District to district partnerships

In addition, individual Viennese districts have international partnerships all over the world. A detailed list is published on the website of the City of Vienna.

See also


This page was last updated at 2024-04-19 16:39 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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