30 Little-Known Facts about Vienna

Today’s Vienna is a city-museum with its magnificent monuments of architecture of all conceivable styles, and the old city center in December 2001 was even included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

At the same time, Vienna is a modern metropolis that houses the headquarters of various organizations. It is in Vienna that one of the three UN houses in the world is located, and the International Vienna Center (UNO-City) is home to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

The Austrian capital is also the economic center of the country. Enterprises of the metalworking and electrical industry, factories of precision engineering, factories for the production of food, clothing, and footwear are located in this city.

In Vienna, there are the head offices of the largest Austrian banks, insurance companies, and firms. Significant international economic fairs take place twice a year in Vienna.

In addition, Vienna has been a world-famous center of music for several centuries, thanks to a whole galaxy of musical geniuses who lived and worked in this city: Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and many others.

The whole world knows the Vienna Choir, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Vienna State Opera, and various kinds of musical events, such as the New Year’s concert, the Vienna Opera Ball, and annual music festivals, gather guests from all over the world.

Do you want to see the hidden side of Vienna, visit the museum, galleries, see the treasures of the Teutonic Order and many other? We will tell you about different little-known facts about the beautiful Austrian city.

 

So, Let’s start with our list

 

1. Every year more than 450 balls take place in Vienna. The city of waltz celebrates Carnival in January and February. Waltz rhythm is supplemented by contemporary sounds, offering enjoyable dancing.

 

2. Only in the Viennese Cathedral of St. Stephen the famous “Requiem” of Mozart is performed most clearly and distinctly. The enchanting sound of this work is achieved through the simultaneous play of five organs.

3. The oldest surviving daily newspaper in the world is “Wiener Zeitung”, which has been issued in Vienna since 1703.

4. Since 1873, almost all parts of Vienna has the purest water of mountain sources in its water supply system. Vienna can be proud of its tap water.

The city is supplied with 400,000 m3 of fresh spring water daily from two mountain spring pipelines from the areas around Schneeberg, Rax, Schneealpe, and Hochschwab.

On its way to Vienna, the water flows through hydroelectric power stations, which generates 65 million kilowatt hours of power, or enough for a small town.

Vienna is the first city in the world to place the “White Gold” under the protection of the constitution. There is also a number of mobile drinking fountains, which can be connected to hydrants in heavily frequented locations as required.

5. In Viennese bars and cafes, there are special devices for sobering the drunken visitors. In these devices, there is a hole through which a person who wants to be sober gets a pair of concentrated ammonia in the nose.

6. Vienna has the oldest Ferris wheel in the world. Wiener Riesenrad is the Giant Ferris Wheel, which was erected in 1897 to mark the 50th year of Emperor Franz Joseph’s accession to the throne.

It has been an enduring feature of the city’s skyline ever since. Situated right near the entrance to the Wurstelprater amusement park, its cabins offer a wonderful view of the city and the Prater. Its height is 65m.

 

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7. Another interesting fact about Vienna: the first confectionery product, now called French croissant, was baked in this city. It was cooked by a local baker in 1683. Only after the croissant was brought to Paris by Maria Antoinette, it became known as French.

8. Vienna has the largest cemetery in Europe – Zentralfriedhof. There are about 3 million graves there. Many of the famous composers have been buried in the Zentralfriedhof cemetery: Brahms, Schubert, Beethoven, Gluck, Strauss, and many others.

9. In 1865 a tram connection appeared in Vienna, which today is 179 km long. The Viennese tram network is one of the oldest and longest in the world.

By the way, Vienna has a well-developed public transport network. Vienna public transport Wiener Linien operates five underground lines, 29 tram, and 127 bus lines, of which 24 are night lines.

10. “Vienna Ice Dream” is a beautiful skating rink that annually opens in Vienna’s Town Hall after Christmas. From January until March the Vienna Rathausplatz is transformed into a huge ice rink.

 

11. There are only 60km from Vienna to Bratislava,, which is the shortest distance between European capitals, except Rome and the Vatican.

12. Vienna has more than 30 places and addresses associated with Beethoven. And this is not surprising because the composer spent here 35 years in total.

13. The asteroid, opened in 1894, was named after the capital of Austria. It is called asteroid (397) of Vienna.

14. There are three categories of Vienna opera performances: “A” – for opera gourmets, “B” – for music lovers and “C” – for everyone else.

15. Vienna Opera performances never go two days in a row. The parts of any play are executed exclusively in the language of the original libretto.

16. The Museum Quarter is the largest museum complex in Europe. It covers an area of 60 thousand square meters. With about 70 cultural facilities, the MuseumsQuartier Wien is one of the largest art and culture complexes in the world.

The many courtyards, сafés, and shops throughout the complex lend it the additional quality of being an urban living room and an oasis of calm and recreation in the middle of the city.

Historic buildings from the 18th and 19th century and contemporary museums form a unique architectural ensemble and create a special ambiance.

 

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17. The Vienna Stock Exchange is the oldest in the world. 1771 is the year of its foundation. Until now, the stock exchange is a leader in the world stock market. It was founded in 1771 by Empress Maria Theresa, and shares of both Austrian and foreign companies are traded there.

18. An apartment in which the prominent composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote the famous opera “Marriage of Figaro” is situated in house No. 5 on the Domgasse street.

Now in this house, a museum is opened. Though Mozart lived at a dozen different addresses in Vienna, the only apartment that has survived to this day is at Domgasse. The composer lived at this address from 1784 till 1787.

19. Vienna has the oldest diplomatic academy in the world, founded by Maria Theresa in 1754. The Diplomatic Academy is a postgraduate professional school, dedicated to preparing talented university and college graduates for international careers and positions of leadership in the international arena.

20. The Schönbrunn Zoo is the oldest in the world. In 2010, it was named the best zoo in Europe. Tiergarten Schönbrunn is one of the few zoos worldwide to house giant pandas. In 2007 the first natural insemination panda birth in Europe happened in this zoo.

 

21. Vienna’s 1.8 million inhabitants benefit from the city’s cafe culture and museums, theatres, and operas. Rents and public transport costs in the city, whose architecture is marked by its past as the center of the Habsburg empire, are cheap compared with other western capitals.

22. In 2012, Vienna became “the best city for life” among 220 cities in the world. It is considered the best in terms of political, economic, socio-cultural environment, medical and health considerations, education public services and transportation, recreation, housing and natural environment.

23. The famous Viennese Waltz is a descendant of the Austrian national dance called laendler and received its name in honor of the Austrian capital.

Having evolved from one or more peasant dances over several centuries, the exact origins of the waltz are unknown, but the dance was introduced to high-society Germany and Austria during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The original Rotary Waltz, based on a pivoting step, turned clockwise and quickly grew in popularity with help from the musical genius of the Strauss family in Vienna.

24. Café Sacher is famous not only for its cake. Here you can try more than 20 varieties of coffee.

 

25. Vienna is a very official city. It is home to the Habsburg court for hundreds of years. Although the empire fell in 1918, Vienna still relies heavily on formal greetings and addresses, and many dresses more formally than do Europeans in neighboring cities.

26. This is the largest wine-growing city in the world. In the city of Vienna, there are over 1,700 acres of vineyards, making Vienna the largest wine-growing city in the world.

The vast majority of produced wine is sold and used locally, compared to what is exported to other countries and continents.

27. Vienna occupies the second place in the passenger flow in the metro in the world. Vienna has impressive public transport systems. Residents and guests can also take advantage of many railways, trolleybuses, and buses.

28. It was in Vienna in 1927 that world-famous PEZ candies were made. The name of the candy brand comes from the German word Pfefferminz – the first sweets had only mint taste and were invented as an alternative to cigarettes.

29. Few people are aware of the fact that in Vienna, residents get the right to vote in elections at the age of 16, but the driver’s license can only be obtained when they are 18 years old.

At the same time, the residents of other Austrian cities get the right to get a passport and the driver’s license in 18 years.

30. Since 2000, Vienna has been acknowledged as the birthplace of psychotherapy. With the great geniuses of psychology, such as Frankl and Sigmund Freud, Vienna is home to the modern science of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

Every tourist can visit museums that are dedicated to the work of these people.

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Conclusion

Vienna, of course, is one of the oldest cities not only in Europe but also in the world. The city takes its origins in the Roman era.

Today Vienna is a city of waltzes, arts, galleries, museums and exquisite park ensembles. But at the same time, the city is absolutely imperial in spirit, the capital of the most multi-ethnic European empire.

Vienna retained many of the features inherent in the capitals of large state formations. Majestic temples, luxurious residences of the most respected persons and nobles, theaters, opera halls, wide squares, and avenues.

Vienna is considered one of the most beautiful and interesting capitals of the world. One cannot help but mention a set of stamps, although very pleasant: Mozart, Strauss, strudel, schnitzel, and coffee. All this and even a little more on the streets of Vienna can be found in abundance.

Besides all the listed facts, Vienna is called the most “smart city” on Earth. Vienna got into the top ten in several categories at once, such as “innovative city”, “green city”, “quality of life”, “digital management”, and some other.

So if you are interested in visiting Vienna, our service with the local English-speaking driver can drive you to the destination in every season of the year and with a high comfort!

 

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