First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

are thrown into the Danube. But here they lead a virtuous and holy life, so that evil report or slander is seldom heard against them. In this city there is also a university of the liberal arts; and for the study of the Holy Scriptures and the canon law, newly established by Pope Urban VI. Here assemble a remarkable number of students from Hungary and Upper Germany. It is estimated that about fifty thousand attend Holy Communion. Eighteen men are elected to the Council; also a judge to preside over court matters and legal transactions, and a mayor who assumes civic responsibility. There are no other officials, except those who collect the tax on wine. They are consulted in all matters, and their tenure is from year to year. An incredible variety of things necessary to human sustenance are brought to this city daily. Many wagons and carts arrive with eggs and crabs; baked bread, meats, fish and fowl, without number, are brought there; but by vespers the supply is exhausted. The grape harvest extends over a period of forty days. Two or three times daily at least three hundred wagons loaded with grapes are on their way, and about twelve hundred horses are employed in the grape harvest daily. An incredible amount of wine is brought to this city daily, and either consumed or shipped with great care and labor up the Danube, against the current of the river. The wine cellars are so large and deep that it is believed the buildings at Vienna are more underground than above it. The streets and avenues are paved with hard stones, and the pavement is not easily injured by the wheels of the heavily loaded wagons. In the homes clean household utensils are found in great number. Here also are large stables for horses and all kinds of animals; arcades and vaultings everywhere, and large quarters and rooms where one may be secure against the inclemency of winter; everywhere there are transparent windows. The doors are generally of iron. The songs of many birds are heard. Old families are seldom found among the Viennese; for most of them immigrated here, or are foreigners. While in his younger days the Emperor Frederick III was at enmity and war with Matthias (Mathia), the king of the Hungarians, the city of Vienna, the emperor’s most distinguished inheritance, suffered great harm and injury at the hands of the said Hungarian king; for he subjected the Viennese to much damage, caused the emperor embarassment, and finally deprived him of the city. But after King Matthias died, the emperor Frederick, now well along in years, recovered Vienna through his son, King Maximilian.

Vienna was originally the ancient town of Vindobona, or Vendobona, located on the Danube in Upper Pannonia. Although originally a Celtic place, it afterward became a Roman municipum, as we learn from inscriptions. According to Ptolemy, for some time the town bore the name of Juliobona. It was situated at the foot of Mount Cetius, on the road running along the right bank of the river, and in the course of time became one of the most important military stations on the Danube; for after the decay of Carnuntum it was not only the station of the principal part of the Danubian fleet, but also of the Legio X Gemina (the twin legion, was one of the four legions used by Julius Caesar in 58 BCE, for his invasion of Gaul) in the 2nd century CE. The emperor Marcus Aurelius died at Vendobona 180 CE.

During the period of the Great Migrations and the succeeding centuries the traces of Vienna are lost; but tradition ascribes the foundation of St. Peter’s Church to Charlemagne (800 CE), the Church of St. Rupprecht being older still. After the establishment of the Ostmark (Austria) it revived. In 1137 "Wienne" is mentioned as a "small civitas." In the same year the cathedral of St. Stephen (Stephansdom) was founded, and a commercial town grew up about it. Later, under the Babenberger, Vienna became an important trading center, as well as the center of a brilliant court life and an important school of lyric poetry. The great epics of the Niebelungen and Gudrun were composed near its walls. Many monastic orders were established and many churches built.

Albert, the first Habsburg to enter Vienna, came into immediate conflict with the city, which he invested and forced to capitulate, annulling many of its privileges. The era of the earlier Habsburgs was generally unfortunate; the plague, the visitations of robbers and mercenary soldiers, the financial crisis and monetary depreciation, and the ceaseless internecine wars of the Habsburgs, hit the city very hard; yet it remained a wealthy and important center, and some of the Habsburgs were its generous patrons, notably Rudolph IV who founded the university in 1356, and did much toward the reconstruction of the cathedral of St. Stephen. Under Frederick IV Vienna at first preserved neutrality; but it was the center of the movement against Frederick led by Eiczing, and after Archduke Albrecht had twice stormed the city in 1458, a radical opposition was formed, and Frederick was besieged in the Hofburg (1462). Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, after taking Vienna, made it his residence. In 1529 Vienna had to stand a siege from the Turkish troops. The suburbs were deserted, and more and more of the inhabitants crowded into the old town.

The second siege of Vienna by the Turks, in 1683, was the indirect cause of the appearance of the characteristic Viennese coffee houses or cafes, almost simultaneously with another less characteristically Viennese product of the Orient – the lilac, planted in Vienna, to spread from there over western Europe. The disappearance of the Turkish danger ushered in a time of rapid expansion. The Hofburg was rebuilt, its library and stables constructed, together with a number of buildings in sumptuous baroque style. The architecture of the later 18th century is by comparison sober and practical.

The reign of Francis I created the typical Viennese of tradition: frivolous, non-political, discontented, easy-going ("Alt-Wien" with its waltzes). Then came the Revolution of 1848. Again Vienna suffered a siege; this time from the troops of its own emperor, by whom it was quickly reduced. The modern period under Franz Joseph saw another transformation. The old ramparts were leveled, the great Ringstrasse built in their place. A great number of new buildings were erected. In the latter half of the 19th century the population increased rapidly. The municipality again became a powerful political and cultural force.