Known for its high quality of life, until the beginning of the 20th century, Vienna was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it is the second-largest German-speaking city after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations, OPEC and the OSCE. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city center was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger. Additionally to being known as the "City of Music" due to its musical legacy, as many famous classical musicians such as Beethoven and Mozart who called Vienna home. Vienna is also said to be the "City of Dreams", because of it being home to the world's first psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Vienna's ancestral roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city. It is well known for having played a pivotal role as a leading European music center, from the age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic center of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque palaces and gardens, and the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.
St. Stephen's Cathedral (more commonly known by its German title: Stephansdom) is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, OP. The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral, seen today in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV (1339–1365) and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147. The most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephen's Cathedral has borne witness to many important events in Habsburg and Austrian history and has, with its multi-coloured tile roof, become one of the city's most recognizable symbols.
The University of Vienna (German: Universität Wien) is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world. With its long and rich history, the University of Vienna has developed into one of the largest universities in Europe, and also one of the most renowned, especially in the Humanities. It is associated with 21 Nobel prize winners and has been the academic home to many scholars of historical as well as of academic importance.
Vienna City Hall is the seat of local government of Vienna, located on Rathausplatz in the Innere Stadt district. Constructed from 1872 to 1883 in a Neo-Gothic style according to plans designed by Friedrich von Schmidt, it houses the office of the Mayor of Vienna as well as the chambers of the city council and Vienna Landtag diet. By the mid 19th century, the offices in the old Vienna town hall, dedicated by the Austrian duke Frederick the Fair in 1316 and rebuilt by the Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach around 1700, had become too small. When the lavish Ringstraße was laid out in the 1860s, a competition to build a new city hall was initiated, won by the German architect Friedrich Schmidt. Mayor Cajetan Felder urged for the location on the boulevard where simultaneously numerous representative buildings were erected, such as the Vienna State Opera, the Austrian Parliament Building, the main building of the Vienna University, or the Burgtheater. Construction costs amounted to a total of about 14 million gulden, borne by both the City of Vienna and the Imperial-Royal (k.k.) government after lengthy debate. The design of the richly adorned facade is modelled on the Gothic architecture of Flemish and Brabant secular buildings like the Brussels Town Hall. It features five towers including the central tower with a height of 98 m (322 ft). On 21 October 1882, the Rathausmann statue was installed on the top, which soon became one of the symbols of Vienna. The structure itself, spread over an area of 19,592 m2 (210,890 sq ft), is arranged around seven inner-courtyards, more along Baroque lines. A total space of about 113,000 m2 (1,220,000 sq ft) is spread over six floors and two basements with 1,575 rooms. It is largely built with bricks decorated with limestone, mainly from the Leitha Mountains, and ashlar masonry. The Rathaus also accommodates the historic 'Wiener Rathauskeller' restaurant. The traditional restaurant consists of several baroque halls, offering small traditional Viennese delicacies to grand gala buffets.
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