Wien HistorySettlements along the Danube, near what is now the City of Vienna, can be traced back to the 5th century before Christ. These were of Celtic origin as is the name Wien derived from the Celtic "Vedunia" for river in the woods. The Romans established the garrison camp Vindobona in the 1st century A.D. Remainders of the Roman camp can be seen at Hoher Markt and at underground station Stephansplatz. Vienna began to rise in importance in the Middle Ages. It was made residence of the Babenbergs and the city walls were raised in 1200. Vienna was to become the capital of the Habsburg empire for almost seven centuries. Its imperial past is still visible today, as with the Hofburg, Schnbrunn castle, the buildings along Ringstra? and many other sites throughout the city.
The fall of the monarchy proved a turning point in the history of Vienna. In 1922 Vienna was made a province in its own right. The Social Democrats then in power pursued comprehensive social policies. By 1933 more than 60,000 new and affordable apartments had been built. The achievements of the "rotes Wien" (Red Vienna) in the social field found international recognition.
In 1938 Austria was "annexed" to Hitler Germany and ceased to exist as a state. Most of Vienna's Jewish population was driven away or exterminated. After the end of the Second World War and many years of Allied occupation Austria regained its independence with the state treaty signed in 1955. Unperturbed by the nearby Iron Curtain Vienna continued to build on its international role during the Cold War years. It became a UN seat and was chosen as headquarters for the OECD.
2005 is a special year for Austria and Vienna in many respects: Austria celebrates "60 years of second republic", "50 years of state treaty" and "10 years of EU accession". Numerous exhibitions and events are dedicated to these events throughout the year.