Historical Vienna 1900


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History of Vienna

May we take you back in time for a moment, leaving present-day Vienna and going back to Habsburg times, starting at around 1800 with the spreading of the Napoleonic Wars to Austria imminent.
(note: for the "older" history refer to here)

Napoleonic Wars


Vienna was twice seized by Napoleon, first in 1805 without a battle and then in 1809 after a fierce bombardement. Shortly after that, the Austrians won the battle of Aspern, but lost at Wagram soon after. After Napoleon's final defeat at Leipzig, the Congress of Vienna (Sep 1814 till Jun 1815) restored the balance of power in Europe.

Revolution 1848

Arsenal Vienna

Ignited by the French February Revolution, the Austrian citizens pushed for political power in the March Revolution, which forced the hardline chancellor Metternich to resign, The following October Revolution in Vienna was crushed by the Emperors armies. Following these events, the Arsenal was erected as defensive barracks against possible uprisings.

Metropolis Vienna

Shortly after the revolution, the now obsolete fortifications were Vienna Ringstrasse demolished and in their place the Ringstraße boulevard featuring a number of monumental buildings was constructed. The Danube river was regulated and the Donaukanal was formed. By the turn of the century, the population - consisting of many new immigrants from all parts of the monarchy as well - surpassed 2 millions (being the 4th biggest city worldwide at that time!).

World War I

World War I

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, sparked off war in 1914 mainly between the Entente Powers France, UK and Russia versus Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Finally 1918 the defeat in the war was also the end of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which dissolved into many parts.

First Republic

Austria 1918

After the war, the Republik Österreich was proclaimed, consisting of the German-speaking remains of what formerly was the Austro-Hungarian empire. The difficult economic situation led to political polarisation, which finally led to civil war in 1934. Shortly after an authoritarian regime (Ständestaat) was created and prevailed without parliamentary approval for the next years.

World War II

World War II

With the invasion of the German army and annexation ("Anschluß") by Nazi Germany the state of Austria ceased to exist in March 1938. At first not directly affected by the war started in 1939, the city began being bombed by Allied aircraft from 1943 on, which led to the construction of large flak towers (which are still existing). These bombings and the fights prior to the Soviet conquest in 1945 caused heavy destruction within the city.

Allied occupation

Vienna Occupation

Vienna was divided into occupation zones by the Soviet Union, the USA, the UK and France in 1945. The first free elections were held and reconstruction of the city began. Economy picked up due to the Marshal plan. Finally the country was given full sovereignty with the Staatsvertrag in May 1955.

Second Republic

Vienna UN Headquarter

From then on, prosperous times started for the city. Just a few highlights: during the 1970s, Vienna became seat of the United Nations, in the 1980s the first metro was inaugurated, the Donauinsel was built as part of an effective flood protection system serving as well as recreation area.

We hope you enjoy the visit on this site and your time in Vienna!