Vienna developed into one of the most important capitals in Europe as seat of the Hapsburg monarchy. The Hapsburg family became the most powerful in Europe in the 16th century through strategic marriage alliances. At the height of their power, Hapsburg rulers controlled Spain and Portugal with their overseas empires, as well as territories in the Low Countries and Central Europe.

Route Distance Links  
Vienna to Valtice miles|km map/gpx cue sheet
Valtice to Vienna miles|km map/gpx cue sheet

Hundertwasser Haus In 1804, Vienna became capital of the Austrian Empire, in a Europe realigned by Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Revolution. After the defeat of Napoleon, Vienna continued to play a major role in European politics, hosting the 1815 Congress of Vienna. After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, Vienna remained the capital of what became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a dual monarchy. During the latter half of the 19th century the city developed what had previously been the bastions and glacis into the Ringstraße, a major prestige project. Former suburbs were incorporated, and the city of Vienna grew dramatically. With the collapse and disintegration of Austria-Hungary in the Great War, Vienna became capital of the First Austrian Republic, and the city’s importance was greatly diminished. During the 1920s and 1930s, Vienna was a bastion of socialism, and became known as “Red Vienna.” The city was stage to the Austrian Civil War of 1934, in which Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss sent the Army to shell civilian housing occupied by the socialist militia. On March 12 1938, Austria and Germany were united (Anschluß) under Nazi rule, and Austria ceased to be an independent country. After a triumphant entry into Austria, Adolf Hitler famously spoke to the Austrian people from the balcony of the Neue Burg, a part of the Hofburg at the Heldenplatz. Between 1938 and the end of the Second World War, Vienna lost its status as a capital to Berlin. The Soviet Union liberated Vienna in 1945, after a two-week siege. A 10-year period of occupation began, in which Vienna was divided like Berlin into four zones of occupation by the Allied Commission for Austria. During these years of occupation, Vienna became a hot-bed for international espionage between the Western and Eastern blocs. After 1955, Austria was reunited as a neutral state, and Vienna again became its capital. Cultural center Vienna developed into a great center of the arts in the 18th century. The First Viennese School, a name given retrospectively to composers of the classical music era, includes Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert. Beethoven .

Photo credits

  1. Hundertwasser Haus. © Marcel Germain, 2007.
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