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Vienna is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city; with a population of about 1.6 million (2.2 million within the metro area), Vienna is by far the largest city in Austria as well as its cultural, economic and political centre. Vienna lies in the south-eastern corner of Central Europe and is close to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
In 15 BC, Vienna became a Roman frontier city ("Vindobona") guarding the Roman Empire against Germanic tribes to the north. During the Middle Ages, Vienna was home of the Babenberg Dynasty and in 1440 became residence city of the Habsburg Dynasties from where Vienna eventually grew to become the secret capital of the Holy Roman Empire and a cultural centre for arts and science, music and fine cuisine. The Ottoman-Turkish Islamic invasions of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries were stopped twice just outside Vienna. See the Siege of Vienna (1529) and the Battle of Vienna (1683).
In 1805, Vienna became capital of the Austrian Empire - the later Austro-Hungarian Empire, both played a major role in European and World politics. (See Congress of Vienna, 1815)
In 1918, after World War I, Vienna became capital of the First Austrian Republic. After the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938 (see Anschluss) Vienna lost its status as a capital to Berlin. A preliminary Austrian government was reinstated on April 27, 1945, with Vienna as capital once more. After 1945, Vienna and neutral Austria were a hotbed for international espionage between the Western and Eastern blocs (Cold War). Since the end of the Cold War, the city of Vienna is actively rebuilding ties with its eastern neighbours.
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