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
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.