Thursday, June 14, 2018


Vienna is a large capital city of what is now a small country.  One third of Austria's population lives in the Vienna metropolitan area.

But Vienna has a long and glorious history of being the capital of great empires, thus its size.

From 800-1806, it acted as a capital for the Holy Roman Empire and, in 1440 it became the center of the Hapsburg's dynasty.  In 1867 it continued as the capital of the newly created Austria- Hungarian Empire.  It would remain so until the collapse of the Empire in 1918.  In 1919 today's smaller Austria was born.

1938 saw the absorption of Austria by Nazi Germany.    Berlin became its capital.   65,000 Jews would be sent to their death during the course of the war.

It would not be an autonomous nation again until 1955 when the Soviet hold on the city ended.  Modern Austria is governed by the Social Democratic Party and has declared itself a neutral country.

With a strong economy, a geographic location that makes it a gateway to former Eastern Bloc countries, and ranked as one of Europe's most livable cities, Vienna is a tourist magnet.

The city is home to many international organizations and a member of the European Union.

During the centuries it developed deep  musical, cultural, educational, architectural and economic roots still visible today.  History is around literally every corner of the city.

In 1913, this melting pot of a city was home to Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin, Sigmund Freud,  Joseph Tito, and Adolph Hitler, men who would define the twentieth century.

The late 1800's saw the dismantling of the historic wall around the city and its replacement with a beautiful boulevard around the heart of the city.  Lined with governmental buildings and large homes, yet also full of relaxing and reviving green spaces, this area is a must to explore.

With repair, restoration and reconstruction of the damage of WWII complete, the palaces, churches, city squares, and cultural buildings of Vienna once again exert a pull on tourists, as they should.

Music ,theatre, opera, museums, cafes, cuisine:  Vienna has it all.  A must see city.

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