VIENNA (German, Wien), the capital and largest city of the Republic of Aus tria; in Lower Austria, on the Danube canal, a branch of the Danube. The small river Wien flows through part of the city to join the canal. Vienna con sists of the Inner City and eight dis tricts or sections completely surrounding it—viz., Leopoldstadt, Landstrasse, Wie den, Margarethen, Mariahilf, Neubau, Alsergrund, and Favoriten. These, with the exception of the last, an artisans' quarter, are inclosed by fortifications known as the Lines, though that name is now usually confined to the 15 gates of the fortifications. Immediately be yond the Lines are nine populous sub urbs included (since 1890) within the Vienna police district, which has a total area of 51 square miles. The irregular hexagon formed by the Inner City was till 1858 inclosed by an inner line of fortifications, the site of which is now occupied by the Ringstrasse, a series of handsome boulevards, 55 yards wide, which bound five of its sides. The sixth side is hounded by the Franz-Josefs Quay, on the Danube canal.
Though Vienna contains buildings of the 14th and even of the 13th century, it is, in its present form, essentially a modern city; nearly all the most con spicuous and pretentious public buildings date from the later half of the 19th century. The Inner City and the Ring strasse were formerly the handsomest and most fashionable quarters. In the former are the cathedral of St. Stephen (1300-1510), with a tower 450 feet in height; the Hofburg or imperial palace, a large and irregular pile of very vari ous dates; and many palaces of the nobility. On one side or other of the Ringstrasse rise the Exchange; the Uni versity (1874-1884) ; the huge Gothic New Rathhaus (1873-1883), built at a cost of over $3,750,000; the Parliament House; the Supreme Law Courts; the Imperial Museum of Natural History and of Art (1872-1886), twin buildings on either side of the imposing monu ment of the Empress Maria Theresa (unveiled 1888) ; the imperial Opera House; the Academy of Art; the Aus trian Museum of Art and Industry, etc.
In other parts of the city are the Ar senal; the Josephinum, a medical college founded in 1784; the Votive Church, an admirable specimen of modern Gothic, built in 1856-1879 to commemorate the emporees escape from assassination in 1853; and many other handsome sacred and secular edifices. Vienna is well pro vided with public parks, the largest be ing the Prater (7 square miles), one of the finest parks in Europe, opened in 1776. In educational, scientific, artistic, and benevolent institutions the city is very rich. The university, founded in 1365 and renowned throughout the world as a medical school, had a teaching staff of 350 and over 6,000 students. The magnificent public picture gallery, for merly in the chateau of Belvedere, now in the Museum of Art, is specially fa mous for its unrivalled examples of the Venetian school, Rubens and Dtirer. There are also several noted private galleries.
Vienna was the chief industrial city in the empire, the factories being mostly in the districts of Neubau and Mariahilf and outside the Lines. Machinery, scien tific and musical instruments, artistic goods in bronze, leather, terra-cotta, porcelain, etc., bent-wood furniture, meerschaum pipes, etc., are among the noted manufactures of Vienna. As a center of trade and finance Vienna was no less important. Grain, flour, cattle, seeds, wines, and manufactured goods of all kinds were annually handled here to an immense aggregate value. Over $12,500,000 were spent in 1868-1881 in regulating the channel of the Danube so as to render the river naviglable at all times.
Vienna occupies the site of the Roman Vindomina, which was established in A. D. 14, as the successor of the Celtic settle ment of Vindobona. The beginning of its present importance, however, dates only from the period of the Crusades, which directed a steady stream of traffic through it. In 1276 it became the capital of the Hapsburg dynasty. The famous siege of Vienna by the Turks lasted from July 14 to Sept. 12, 1683, when it was relieved by John Sobieski of Poland.