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VIENNA HISTORY - HISTORY OF VIENNA AUSTRIA

Vienna History MuseumVienna History - Celts from Gaul had been in Vienna for 400 years when the Romans arrived in the 1st Century and set up an important garrison. Around the start of the 5th Century, the Visigoths overran the garrison and there was unrest for some time. Later, Otto the Great founded a settlement again in Vienna and in the 12th Century, Vienna became a City.

From the end of the 13th Century the Hapsburg Dynasty had links with Vienna and in 1521 Ferdinand I set up the residence of the Emperor of the Holy Roman – Germanic Empire in Vienna. Despite attacks by Turkish armies, the City flourished.

The Habsburg Empire had many famous rulers, all of them left their mark on Vienna – Rudolf I, Karl V, Ferdinand I, Friedrich III, and Emperor Leopold I. Empress Maria Theresa reigned from 1740 –1780 and rather than live in the Hofburg, refurbished Schonbrunn where she spent most of her time. She had 16 children, one of them Marie Antoinette. She encouraged artistic endeavour, especially music.

Her son, Joseph II and then his nephew, Franz II, followed Maria Theresa. Franz II’s daughter married Napoleon who moved into Schonbrunn for a while. In the first half 19th Century, Vienna was the scene of Balls, Banquets, concerts and gaiety and the Strauss waltzes were introduced to the world. “Deadly serious” Emperor Franz Josef I next ruled from Vienna foralmost 70 years - he died during the First World War and the Hapsburg Empire was finished.

Then followed the First Republic until Austria was annexed in 1938 by Germany just before World War II. Freed in 1945 by the Russians, Vienna was under the control of the four Allied Powers (Russian, American, French and British) and divided into four sectors. This occupation lasted for ten years until, in 1955, Austria was declared a neutral state and has prospered since.