Vien'na (Ger. Wien; pron. Veen), the capital of the Austrian empire, is situated in Lower Austria, on the Danube Canal, a south branch of the Danube, here joined by the small river Wien. Vienna proper (pop. in 1880, 726,000; in 1890, 831,472) consists of the Inner City and eight suburban districts surrounding it, almost wholly encircled by fortifications known as the Lines; beyond which again are nine populous suburbs included (since 1890) within the Vienna police-district, which has a total area of 51 sq. m., and pop. (1900) of 1,674,957. The irregular hexagon formed by the Inner City was until 1858 enclosed by an inner line of fortifications, the site of which is now occupied by the Ringstrasse, a series of handsome boulevards. Though Vienna contains buildings of the 14th and even of the 13th century, it is, in its present form, essentially a modern city. The Inner City and the Ringstrasse are the handsomest and most fashionable quarters. In the former are the cathedral of St Stephen (1300-1510). with a steeple 450 feet high; the Hofburg or imperial palace, a large and irregular pile of very various dates; and many palaces of the nobility. On one side or other of the Ringstrasse rise the Exchange; the University (1874-84); the huge Gothic Rathhaus (1873-83); the Parliament House; the Supreme Law Courts; the Imperial Museums of Natural History and of Art (1872-86), twin buildings on either side of the imposing monument of the Empress Maria Theresa (unveiled 1888); the imperial Opera-house; the Academy of Art; the Austrian Museum of Art and Industry, etc. In other parts of the city are the Arsenal; the Josephinum, a medical college founded in 1784; and the Votive Church, an admirable specimen of modern Gothic, built in 1856-79 to commemorate the emperor's escape from assassination in 1853. Vienna is well provided with public parks, the largest being the Prater (7 sq. m.), one of the finest parks in Europe, opened in 1766. The university, founded in 1365 and renowned throughout the world as a medical school, has a teaching-staff of 350 and over 6000 students. The magnificent public picture-gallery, now in the Museum of Art, is specially famous for its unrivalled examples of the Venetian school, Rubens, and Durer. The Public Hospital, with 2000 beds, is perhaps the largest hospital in Europe. Vienna is the chief industrial city in the empire. Machinery, scientific and musical instruments, artistic goods in bronze, leather, terra-cotta, porcelain, etc, furniture, meerschaum-pipes, etc. are among the noted manufactures. As a centre of trade and finance Vienna is no less important. Over 2 1/2 million pounds were spent in 1868-81 in regulating the channel of the Danube.
The Roman Vindobona was established in 14 a.d. as the successor of the Celtic Vindomina. Its present importance dates only from the Crusades. In 1276 it became the capital of the Hapsburg dynasty. The Turks besieged Vienna from July 14 to September 12, 1683, when John Sobieski of Poland relieved it. Treaties have been concluded here in 1738, 1864, and 1866. The Congress of Vienna (1814-15) re-arranged the map of Europe, disturbed by the French Revolution and Napoleon, somewhat on the old lines.