Hidden Europe: unique experiences in Europe's cities
8920 · By Katie Shaw
Europe’s cities are treasure troves of culture, teeming with iconic, must-see sights to enthral even the most seasoned of tourists.Read more
Vienna is one of the great European capitals - a city full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage. Situated on the banks of the Danube, with a population of about 1.7 million, Vienna is by far Austria's largest city, as well as cultural, economic and political centre. Vienna was originally a Celtic settlement, founded around 500BC later to become a Roman frontier in 15BC previously known as "Vindobona".
In 1440 the Habsburg dynasty took a seat for several centuries, and the city became their residence. Vienna is full of reminders of its imperial heyday, from the austere Hofburg Palace to the magnificent baroque Belvedere Palace and the grandiose public buildings of the Ringstrasse. Although it can be traced back to the Roman era, Vienna did not gain any real significance until it passed into the control of the Babenburg dynasty.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Schönbrunn Palace is one of the ultimate cultural monuments in Austria and is definitely a must see including the palace and the park with its numerous architectural features, fountains and statues. The castle was built to rival French Versailles in Baroque beauty and importance, but House Habsburg lacked funds to out-do the opposing nation of France. In earlier times it served as summer residence to various Habsburg rulers. In 1918, the palace became property of the new republic due to this historical importance, its beautiful location and its gardens.