Vienna, the capital and federal state of Austria, covers 414.9 km 2 with (2019) 1.89 million residents, making it the smallest in area, but the most populous and densely populated state of Austria (4,555 residents per km 2).
Vienna is located 171 m above sea level south of the Wiener Pforte, the breakthrough of the Danube through the flysch zone of the Vienna Woods (reached in the Hermannskogel in the urban area 543 m above sea level), at the confluence of the Vienna into the Danube. Today’s Danube Canal corresponds to the location of the former main stream. It was not until the great Danube regulation 1869-75 that the largely untouched, heavily branched floodplain landscape in the north of the city disappeared (Praterauen and Lobau, 151 m above sea level, represent the remainder), which had made crossing the river difficult.
Constitution: According to the state constitution of 1920, announced again in 1968 (amended several times), Vienna is both a municipality (city with its own statute) and a federal state. The municipal council (100 members, elected for 5 years) as the state parliament also exercises state legislation. The municipal council elects the city senate (the executive branch) according to the principle of proportional representation, which consists of at least 9 and a maximum of 15 members (mayor, 2 vice mayors, city councils with departments and city councils without departmental powers) for each administrative group. The mayor also acts as governor and the city senate acts as state government. Vienna is divided into 23 municipal districts (administrative districts) with elected district representatives and heads.
Flag and coat of arms: The national flag was introduced in 1946; it is horizontally striped red over white and bears the coat of arms in the middle as the state service flag. – The coat of arms is based on the cross shield, which was first documented on a Viennese pfennig in 1278. For the federal state of Vienna, the red shield with a continuous silver cross was put into effect as a coat of arms in 1925. Vienna has had colors since 1844.
A good fifth of Austria’s population live in Vienna (2018). Its position as the center of the monarchy had brought about a growth from (1869) 899,000 residents to (1910) 2.084 million residents. As a result, the development declined, with falling birth rates playing the main role. In 1987 the lowest population was registered with 1.485 million. With the opening of the Iron Curtain, the population increased again significantly due to migration gains, especially in the years 1989–93. In addition, the birth deficit decreased from 1989, and since 2004 the city has even had a birth surplus again. The population increase is still largely due to migration (2017: birth balance + 4,152, migration balance + 16,791 people). The population growth has shifted to the outer districts of the city, especially the settlement areas in the south and east, and to the rapidly growing municipalities in the urban area – and thus to the federal state of Lower Austria. The urban workforce can only be covered by a large commuting area (around 260,000 daily commuters) and immigration.
Religion: Vienna is the seat of a Catholic Archbishop, a Protestant, an Old Catholic and an Armenian Apostolic Bishop as well as a Greek Orthodox Metropolitan. According to statistics from the City of Vienna on religious affiliation, in 2015 34.7% of the population were Catholic, 4.2% Orthodox, 3.1% Protestant; around 14% adhered to Islam. Administratively, the Catholics belong to the much larger Archdiocese of Vienna. Among the Orthodox Christians living in Vienna (estimated at 75,000 in 2015), the Serbian Orthodox form the largest group. According to city surveys, more than 57,000 people were members of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions in Austria in 2015. In addition, there are other small Christian faith groups or special religious communities with references to Christianity (e.g. Old Catholics, New Apostolic Church, Mormons). In 2016, the largest non-Christian religious community was formed by Muslims with more than 257,000 believers. According to official statistics, the Jewish community in Vienna (“Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien”) had almost 7,800 members in 2015, but there are presumably far more Jews living in Vienna.
Administrative and cultural institutions
As the federal capital, Vienna is the seat of supreme federal bodies and the highest courts (Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, Administrative Court), as well as a higher regional court, four regional courts (for civil law and criminal law, labor and social court and commercial court) and 13 district courts (12 the regional court for civil law matters subordinate district courts and the district court for commercial matters). For historical reasons, the Landtag and provincial government of Lower Austria were also located in Vienna, the seat of which has been the new provincial capital of Sankt Pölten since 1997.
In addition, numerous international organizations have their headquarters in Vienna, in their function as the »third UN city« (since 1979, alongside New York and Geneva), among others. the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the UN Center for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, the UN International Narcotics Control Agency, as well the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Conflict Prevention Center.
the Vienna Conservatory, the Diplomatic Academy and the National Defense Academy as well as middle and higher vocational institutions, grammar schools (including several international higher schools), as well as the Austrian Academy of Sciences and numerous other scientific, cultural, state and professional associations, economic administrations, research institutes and research institutes; also in Schönbrunn Park one of the oldest European zoos (laid out in 1752), as well as other botanical and zoological gardens; numerous libraries (including the Austrian National Library) and archives (Austrian State Archives). Gymnasiums (including several international higher schools), as well as the Austrian Academy of Sciences and numerous other scientific, cultural, state and professional associations, economic administrations, research institutes and research institutes; also in Schönbrunn Park one of the oldest European zoos (laid out in 1752), as well as other botanical and zoological gardens; numerous libraries (including the Austrian National Library) and archives (Austrian State Archives). Gymnasiums (including several international higher schools), as well as the Austrian Academy of Sciences and numerous other scientific, cultural, state and professional associations, economic administrations, research institutes and research institutes; also in Schönbrunn Park one of the oldest European zoos (laid out in 1752), as well as other botanical and zoological gardens; numerous libraries (including the Austrian National Library) and archives (Austrian State Archives).
The most important of the more than 100 museums are: Albertina Graphic Collection; Hofburg showrooms (imperial apartments), treasury; Archbishop’s Cathedral and Diocesan Museum; Treasury of the Teutonic Order; Imperial crypt at the P. P. Capuchin; Art history museum; Naturehistorical Museum; Vienna Museum; Army History Museum; Museum of Ethnology; Jewish Museum (in the Palais Eskeles); Kunsthalle Wien; Museumsquartier (Museum of Modern Art Foundation Ludwig Vienna; Leopold Museum; the Museumsquartier Vienna is one of the ten largest cultural areas in the world); Liechtenstein Garden Palace; Austrian Gallery Belvedere (in the Lower and Upper Belvedere as well as in the Secession building); Gemäldegalerie and Kupferstichkabinett of the Academy of Fine Arts; MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts; Schönbrunn Palace; Technical Museum Vienna; Funeral Museum; KunstHausWien; Austrian Theater Museum; Sigmund Freud Museum; MUK Museum of Entertainment, Circus and Clown Museum; Lipizzaner Museum.
Of the state theaters, the Burgtheater and the State Opera have an international reputation; there are also Volksoper (especially operetta performances), Akademietheater and Theater an der Wien or Raimundtheater and Ronacher (musical productions) as well as private theaters, among others. Volkstheater, Theater in der Josefstadt, Renaissance theater and the Kammerspiele. The Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony are the main contributors to Vienna’s reputation as a city of music. The most important concert venues are the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Musikverein building. The cultural performances culminate in the annual Wiener Festwochen (May and June).