Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. As the former home of the Habsburg court and its various empires, the city still has the trappings of the imperial capital it once was, and the historic city centre is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Vienna is known as the City of Music because of its musical legacy. Prodigies like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Shubert, Johannes Brahns, Gustav Mahler, Joseph Haydn, and more have worked in Vienna. Arts and culture is the city's strong suit, rich with antiquity and innovation alike. It is also home to the world's first psycho-analyst, Sigmund Freud, one of the fathers of modern psychology.
A variety of architectural styles can be found in Vienna, such as the Romanesque Ruprechtskirche and the Baroque Karlskirche. Styles range from classicist buildings to modern architecture. Art Nouveau left many architectural traces in Vienna. The Secession, Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station, and the Kirche am Steinhof by Otto Wagner rank among the best known examples of Art Nouveau in the world. Most people visit Vienna with a vivid image of the city in their minds: a monumental vision of Habsburg palaces, trotting white horses, old ladies in fur coats and mountains of fat cream cakes - and they're unlikely to be disappointed.
Vienna is the last great capital of the nineteenth-century ball. There are over 200 significant balls per year, some featuring as many as nine live orchestras. Balls are held in the many beautiful palaces in Vienna, with the principal venue being the Hofburg Palace at Heldenplatz. Dancers and opera singers from the Vienna Staatsoper often perform at the openings of the larger balls.
When it comes to the arts, the glories of the past are particularly evergreen, thanks to the cultural legacy created by the many artistic geniuses—including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, and Gustav Klimt—nourished here. Today's visitors will find a city filled with a special grace. It is this grace that gives Vienna the cohesive architectural character that sets the city so memorably apart from its great rivals—London, Paris, and Rome.
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Vienna is also Austria's education centre, so there are many prestigious universities and professional colleges located there. Perhaps take a visit to one of these great universities if you're looking for an exceptional education for yourself or a loved one.
The Spanish Riding School is certainly worth seeing if you are in Vienna. A traditional riding school for Lippizzan horses, these magneficient, carefully bred horses perform for visitors, showing their elegance and strong trust in their handlers. Lippizzaners are famous for these wonderful acts. They are one of the best documented breeds of horse, and are treated as if they were royalty.
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