Vienna is located in the eastern part of Austria and has a population of about two million people. It is the largest city in Austria and is the ninth largest city in the European Union. The Austrian city is very close to the borders of Slovakia and Hungary. As of 2001, Vienna was designated a World Heritage site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Vienna was founded in the year 500 BC and was originally a Celtic colony. Around 15 BC, Vienna was inducted into the Roman Empire and was used to guard the empire from the Germanic tribes. It continued in this capacity for a number of years until it eventually became an independent city. In 1440, Vienna became a part of the Habsburg Dynasty and it would eventually move on to become a part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1804, part of the Holy Roman Empire became the Austrian Empire and, as a result, Vienna became the capital city.
Culture and art have long been honored by the city of Vienna. And the city has a long tradition of supporting the fine arts such as theater, the opera and classical music. As such, this is a city that has a large collection of museums, art houses and other bastions of culture. One of the most popular of these attractions is the Imperial Treasury. This is considered one of the greatest treasuries in the world and is home to more then a thousand artifacts and relics from the Austrian and Holy Roman Empire. Housed here are such priceless items as the crown jewels and the Holy Lance.
Another attraction that shows the ardent devotion of Vienna to the arts. And this is the Kunsthistorisches Museum, otherwise known as the Museum of Fine Arts. This museum houses everything from artifacts of Ancient Egypt and Greece to the paintings of the middle ages. The interior of this beautiful museum is inlaid with fine marble, stucco and gold laid ornaments. The exterior of this museum features a grand dome that reaches almost two hundred feet high.
The Natural History Museum is another popular location where visitors can breathe in the rich history of not only Vienna, but also the world. This museum dedicated to natural history, which is the third largest in the world, is built in the neo-Renaissance style of architecture. Inside are some of the most important artifacts from all over the planet, from the artifacts of the stone age to the artifacts of the twentieth century.
Vienna is a city that should also be visited for its beautiful architectural works. One of these is the Hofburg Palace. This palace was built in the thirteenth century and has been continually added to and renovated ever since then. This incredible structure is not only home to the president’s offices but is also home to over twenty two museums, the Royal Chapel, an Augustinian church and the National Library. Every Sunday since 1498, the Vienna Boys Choir sings for mass, something everyone should experience at least once. Inside Hofburg Palace is also the Spanish Riding School. This equestrian riding school is the oldest in the world and was founded in 1572. Here visitors can witness first hand the training of the world famous Lipizzaner horses. Visitors can also get a full history of the school by visiting the Lipizzaner studios located in the school’s stables.
Another impressive architectural work of art is Schonbrunn Palace. This palace was originally used as a summer home of the Hapsburg family during the eighteenth century. The inside of this palace is a sight to behold, adorned with various works of Baroque art. The exterior of the palace is beautiful as well, with features such as a zoo, labyrinth and many gardens. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is another magnificent work of architectural art. This immense cathedral rises over four hundred and forty-five feet and was originally built in the twelfth century.
The Belvedere is an eighteenth century complex that consist of two distinct mansions. These mansions were built during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries by Prince Eugène of Savoy. The museums in the dual mansions contain some of the most important art galleries in the entire city. These galleries feature impressive examples of some of the finest of Vienna’s medieval art. There are also plenty of works by famous painters such as Renoir, Monet and Schiele.
The Albertina is one of the largest graphic art collection in the entire country of Austria. It contains over sixty thousand drawings from the fourteenth century till the present day. Artist represented at this museum include Manet, Picasso and Cezanne, as well as Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo.
Lovers of both history and music should pay a visit to the Vienna State Opera. This opera house was built during the eighteenth century and visitors can still vmusical location to visit is the Haus der Musik. Here visitors can tour a history of the greatest composers of all time. These include Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms.
The Giant Wheel of Vienna is the oldest ferris wheel in the world that is still in operation. The large wheel contains fifteen gondolas and a visitor can expect the ride to last approximately twenty minutes. This ferris wheel, which was built in the late nineteenth century is placed on some of the most beautiful countryside that one could ever see. The view from the top gives an unprecedented view of the whole city of Vienna.
No matter what time of year you choose to visit Vienna, its always a warm and welcoming city with a great cultural memory. As well as the museums and music houses, this city also has a whole host of restaurants, beautiful hotels and shopping districts.