Vienna was first settled by celtic people. Later it became a roman settlement that guarded the frontier of the Empire and was known as Vindobona. Barbarian invasions later reduced the town to ruins. A slow process of rebuilding took centuries.
In the Tenth Century, the German Babenbergs acquired Vienna and during their reign it became a major trading center. The Habsburgs later replaced the Babenbergers as rulers.
The location of Vienna, on the edge of the Hungarian Plain made it very vulnerable to attack. Numerous invasions and attacks occured. It was not until the last Turkish invasion in 1683 was repulsed that Vienna could really enjoy peace and flourish.
By the 18th Century with major building of palaces , Vienna was a major imperial (Hapsburg Empire) and cultural city. It was the music capital of Europe.
During this time, people from all over the Empire flocked to the city and its population finally grew to more than two million by 1900 (much more than the population of the city today). This migration provided new styles of music, culture and cuisine.
Perhaps the most famous Monarch was the Emperor Franz Josef who ruled from 1848 until his death in 1916. His wife was Elizabeth "Sisi" , a son Rudolph, famous for his suicide. A matter still clouded with mystery.
The end of the first World War (1914 - 1918) saw the end of the Habsburg Empire and a period of instability until the annexation by Hitlers Nazi Germany in 1938.
Following the defeat of Hitler after the second world war (1939 - 1945), Austria was under Allied control until 1955, a period portrayed in the famous movie "The Third Man".
In 1955 Austria regained its independence as a sovereign and neutral state retained to the present day.
Austria is a member of the European Union and the United Nations.
Today Austria retains its history for millions of tourists to see every year.
It is a center of Art and Culture and offers visitors endless opportunities.
Here is a link to tourist bureau information about the History of Austria.