History: Vienna, city of the Emperors
The Romans called Vienna Vindobona. This name comes from the Celtic word Vendunia and translates as forest stream. The Celts named Vienna after the river by which the first settlements were located. the Vienna River, which has its source in the Vienna Woods. But at that time, Vienna was not yet particularly important.
The formation of Austria
Austria was officially mentioned in 996 AD under the Babenbergs. At the time it was called Ostarrichi, which meant “the kingdom in the east”. In the middle of the 12th Century the Austria of Babenbergs had its heyday, and the rise of Vienna began. A hundred years later, the Babenberg dynasty came to an end. Today, only the red-white-red colours of the Austrian flag remain as a reminder of this important noble family.
The Habsburg dynasty
Under the Habsburgs, Austria became a country where the sun never set, as Austria, through its dominion over Spain, also possessed lands in Mexico. When Rudolf von Habsburg was elected king in 1273, nobody yet suspected how many centuries the Habsburgs would reign in Austria and how large and powerful this empire would one day become. Austria reached a first peak under Emperor Maximilian I. He expanded the empire, introduced important reforms, erected sumptuous buildings, but waged no wars, rather practising the politics of marriage. He gave us the saying: -Tu felix Austria nube. That is Latin, and means in English: “You, happy Austria, marry!”
The next golden age of Austria came under Empress Maria Theresia. She also carried out important reforms, was able to win strategic wars and had many splendid buildings erected.
The disintegration of Austria.
The disintegration of Austria became apparent in the 19th Century, and under perhaps the most famous emperor and empress that Austria ever had: under Emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife Elisabeth, Sissi. Nation-states began forming all over Europe, and even in Austria this development could not be stopped. In 1914 the First World War began, and after its end in the year 1918 Austria was reduced to the small country it now is. It lost its colonies and access to the sea.