Vienna, the city of music, waltz, and class! It’s the place where the finest, most melodious German is spoken. Yes, we can officially confirm, the city’s got melody in its pores! Take a deep breath and you’ll feel it and hear it yourselves.
Located in the heart of Europe this city offers a unique mixture of imperial tradition and modern architecture. The famous cultural events, imperial sights, coffee houses and distinctive wine taverns give the city its magical charm. It’s a city-museum with magnificent monuments where the past and present live in harmony. Care for a dance? Let’s waltz through the streets, accompanied by these interesting facts about Vienna!
The Romans created a military camp called Vindobona during the 1st century on the site of the city centre of present-day Vienna. From that humble beginning, Vienna grew into a world-wide known metropolis.
The famous Vienna Boys Choir’s roots date as far back as 1498. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart worked with the choir and Franz Schubert was once a member. In 1918, the group became a private institution, and their imperial uniforms switched to sailor suits.
Only in the Viennese Cathedral of St. Stephen the famous “Requiem” of Mozart is performed most clearly and distinctly. The enchanting sound is achieved through the simultaneous playing of five organs.
Napoleon occupied Vienna in 1805 and again in 1809, and both events affected Ludwig Von Beethoven. The first interrupted the premiere of his opera Fidelio, and during the second siege, he hid in his brother’s basement with pillows over his ears fearing that the sound of the shells falling outside could cause even more damage to his hearing.
Vienna is the only capital in the world that produces wine – with over 1,500 acres of vineyards in its territory, most of them producing white wine. Among the most famous varieties are Riesling, Weissburgunder, and Grüner Veltliner.
More famous composers have lived here than anywhere else in the world, including Mozart, Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, and Johann Strauss. Their homes have now been converted into museums and are open to visitors. While visiting their homes don’t miss “The house of Music”. There you can “discover the fascinating world of sound and Viennese music in an interactive, playful way”.
Vienna is also called the city of dreams. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, lived and worked in Vienna. He had a significant impact on the city, causing it to be known as the birthplace of psychotherapy.
Following the Second World War, Vienna was divided into four occupation zones. Russia, France, Britain, and the United States took control over different parts of the city. The occupation, and division, of Vienna, ended in 1955 with the Austrian State Treaty.
Every year, more than 450 balls take place in the Austrian capital. That means there are about 2,000 hours of ball dancing annually.
The Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert is one of the hottest tickets in town, with prime seats costing as much as $1200 each!
The 13-mile Danube Island was open in 1981 to reinforce Vienna’s flood protection system and has become a prime recreation centre, with an 820-foot family beach, a 53,820 square-foot waterpark, and a climbing park where guests can climb 33 feet into the air.
Vienna is the home of the oldest zoo (founded in 1752) that’s still functioning today. Tiergarten Schönbrunn now claims over 700 different animal species and was voted the best zoo in Europe. Plus, with its original baroque architecture, it is considered as the world’s most beautiful zoo.
The snow globe was invented by Ervin Perzy in Vienna in 1900. Ervin’s shop exists to this day. You can visit it at Schumanngasse 87, 1170 Wien.
Pez, the fun little tablet candies that we all know and love, were invented in Vienna in 1927. The name Pez is an abbreviation on the German word “pfefferminz”, meaning peppermint because the original PEZ candies only came in that one flavour!
Dogs are allowed in many public places in Vienna, including restaurants and boutique shops.
Viennese coffeehouses are described as “places where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill”. Viennese coffee culture is part of UNESCO’s cultural heritage.
The famous French pastry “the croissant” actually has Viennese origins. They are based on the Austrian kipferl, which means crescent in German. Bakers in Vienna made kipferl to commemorate Austria’s victory over the Ottoman Turks in 1683. Their shape was based on the crescents seen on the enemy’s uniform.
The Wiener Riesenrad, constructed in 1897, is the oldest still operating ferries wheel in the world. Located in the Wurstelprater amusement park, this is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel
The 1949 film The Third Man has been called the ‘most important’ film about Vienna. More recently, Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise was also shot in the capital. And even though the 1984 Oscar-winning Amadeus took place in Vienna, it was shot in the Czech Republic because, according to director Milos Forman, Vienna’s ‘streets are full of boutiques, asphalt, steel, glass and plastic … besides Vienna is insanely expensive.’
Famous actor born in Vienna? Christoph Waltz, who spent most of his career working in Europe until he landed a starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds in 2009.
Vienna has been voted the world’s most liveable city many years in a row. Taking into account factors such as political, social and economic climate, medical care, education, recreational opportunities, environmental conditions, and infrastructural conditions.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about Vienna that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!