The inner city (1st district), which emerged from a Roman camp and whose expansion remained largely unchanged from around 1200, was surrounded by fortifications until 1857. This was followed by a wreath of suburbs (inner districts: II. – IX. And XX. Districts), which were also protected by a fortification (line wall) from 1704 until the end of the 19th century. City and suburbs were legally united in 1850. In 1890/92 another ring of local communities (suburbs) came to Vienna (XI. – IXX. District), in 1904/05 communities from the left bank of the Danube (XXI. District) followed for the first time. The last expansion of the urban area took place in the National Socialist era in 1938 (26 districts), but was largely reversed in 1954 (23 districts). For the inner districts,
In the second half of the 19th century – supported by the connection to the railway network – Vienna experienced a clearly noticeable change in the cityscape into an industrial city; This mainly affected the peripheral areas, some of which developed into working-class districts. In some of the earlier suburbs, however, the original agrarian structure has partly been preserved, today mainly in the form of wine-growing (660 hectares of vineyards) and horticultural businesses. Some places – especially those near imperial (Schönbrunn) or aristocratic castles (Neuwaldegg) – were popular summer retreats in the pre-March period; later, villa districts often developed in these areas.
The historic center of Vienna was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001, but was placed on the Red List in 2017 due to a planned new high-rise building. In the center of the inner city stands the landmark of Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Parts of the westwork (with the richly carved step portal of the “giant gate”) have been preserved from the late Romanesque building (middle of the 13th century), the Gothic three-aisled hall choir was begun in 1304, the nave as a three-aisled staggered hall in 1359 (late Gothic net vault 1450); the 137 m high tower is considered to be one of the most beautiful Gothic church towers. Inside there are numerous sculptural works, including the pillar statues in the choir (around 1320), the organ base (1513) and the pulpit (1514/15) by A. Pilgram with his self-portrait and the tomb of Emperor Friedrich III. by N. Gerhaert von Leyden (1467 ff.); “Wiener Neustädter-Altar” (1447) with paintings and carvings.
Sacred buildings: Sankt Ruprecht (11th – 15th centuries) with a Romanesque west tower is considered the oldest church in Vienna. The Michaelerkirche (13th century) received a pre-faded classical facade in 1792; In 1982 a Romanesque figure portal from the founding time was discovered (around 1220). Gothic churches are the Augustinerkirche (1330–39), a lofty hall with the tomb of Archduchess Marie-Christine (* 1742, † 1798) by A. Canova (1798–1805), the former Minorite Church (begun before 1339) with a richly structured central portal and tracery windows, Maria am Gestade (14th – 15th centuries) with an attractive west facade, glass paintings in the choir windows (14th century) and openwork spire. The Renaissance building of the Franciscan Church (1603–11) is still influenced by the Gothic. The Servite Church (1651–77) is a baroque building. The early baroque Jesuit church (1627–31) was rebuilt and furnished in high baroque forms by A. Pozzo in 1703 ff. The Capuchin Church (1622–32) rises above the Imperial Crypt with the Habsburg sarcophagi (Capuchin Crypt); one of the most important baroque churches is Sankt Peter (1703-17), mainly by J. L. von Hildebrandt, with sloping towers and dominant dome (dome fresco by J. M. Rottmayr, 1714). The Piarist Church (consecrated in 1771) with a ceiling fresco by F. A. Maulbertsch is essentially a work by Hildebrandt. The main sacred work of J. B. Fischer von Erlach is the Karlskirche (begun in 1716), the facade of which with the side bell towers designed as gates and two triumphal columns with spiral reliefs has an unusual effect (dome fresco by Rottmayr, altar painting by D. Gran, M. Altomonte and others).
Secular buildings: The most important secular building is the large building group of the Hofburg. In addition, numerous aristocratic palaces shape the cityscape. The Palais Starhemberg (1661 ff.; today Ministry of Education, Science and Culture), Lobkowitz (1685–87) and the Palais Liechtenstein (1692–1705, with a magnificent staircase, frescoes by A. Pozzo and JM, belong to the 17th century Rottmayr; 2004–11 Liechtenstein Museum). The Winter Palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy-Carignan is the first major work by Fischer von Erlach (1696–97; today Ministry of Finance). The Palais Batthyány-Schönborn (1699–1706), Trautson (1710-12) and the former Bohemian Court Chancellery (1708-14; today the Constitutional and Administrative Court) were made by the same master builder. From Hildebrandt come inter alia. the Palais Schönborn (1705–11) and Daun-Kinsky (1713–16) and the Schwarzenbergpalais (1697 ff.). Hildebrandt’s main work is the former garden palace of Prince Eugene, the Belvedere (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001), one of the most beautiful European palaces, with the Lower Belvedere (1714–16) as a residential building, the Upper Belvedere (1721–23) as a pleasure palace the garden.
The former imperial Schönbrunn Palace was originally located a long way from the city (begun in 1696 by Fischer von Erlach); Nearby is Hetzendorf Castle (built in 1694 as a hunting lodge, later modified; ballroom, decorated by Antonio Beduzzi [* 1675, † 1735]; Sala terrena with ceiling painting by D. Gran; Japanese salon and others).
Another building period that decisively shaped the cityscape was the construction of the Ringstrasse with monumental buildings in historicizing forms, especially with elements of the Italian High Renaissance (“Ringstrasse style”): State Opera (1861–69) by A. Sicard von Sicardsburg and E. van der Nüll (Frescoes by M. von Schwind, 1863–67), Musikverein building (1867–70), Academy of Fine Arts (1872–77), Parliament (1871–83) and Stock Exchange (1874–77) by T. E. von Hansen, art history and Natural History Museum (1871–91), Burgtheater (1874–88; frescoes in the stairwells by G. Klimt, 1888) and Neue Hofburg (design 1871, executed 1881–1913) by G. Semper and K. Hasenauer; neo-Gothic votive church (plans 1855, executed 1856–79), museum of applied arts (1868–71) and university (1873–84) by H. von Ferstel, the Gothicizing new town hall (1872–83) by master builder F. von Schmidt.
20th and 21st centuries: On the one hand, Art Nouveau (Secession building by J. M. Olbrich, 1897/98; stations of the Stadtbahn, 1894–1901, Steinhofkirche, 1904–07, and the Postsparkasse, 1904–06, by O. Wagner; main entrance to the city park by F. Ohmann, 1906), on the other hand the clear, ornamentation-free construction by A. Loos (including Haus am Michaelerplatz, 1909–11). After the First World War, residential building was in the foreground: the most representative is the expressionist Karl-Marx-Hof with 1,300 apartments (1927–30) by Karl Ehn (* 1884, † 1959); Werkbundsiedlung (1931/32, type houses by J. Hoffman, among others, Loos, R. Neutra, G. Rietveld, H. Häring). After the Second World War, among others, the Holy Trinity Church (1967 model, 1974-76) designed by F. Wotruba, the Dominican convent (1964-65) by G. Peichl, the Favoriten Central Savings Bank (1975-79) by Günther Domenig, on Stephansplatz das Haas -Haus (1986-90) by H. Hollein; The Hundertwasser House (1983–86) and the Arik Brewery House (1991–93) are colorful.
In the course of intensive urban development that began in the early 1990s, the edge of the city on the Danube, northeast of the city center, was also partially redesigned through brisk construction activity with the participation of numerous leading international architects. The »Millennium Tower« on Handelskai forms a prominent point with a total height of 202 m (completed in 1999, by Peichl and Boris Podrecca, * 1941). South of the Danube Canal are the structural merging and redesign of the four Simmering gasometers to form a complex with apartments, offices, an event center and the Vienna City Archives (1999–2001, by J. Nouvel, Coop Himmelblau, W. Holzbauer, M. Wehdorn) to call. On the opposite bank of the Danube, connected to the city by the Reichsbrücke, in front of the Vienna International Center (UNO-City) complex, which was built in 1973-79 with four glass towers and a congress center, is the Danube City, a new district with residential buildings (around 1,600 Apartments), several high-rise office buildings, university and leisure facilities; Here the Andromeda Tower, completed in 1998 (total height 120 m), a glass office tower in the shape of an ellipse by W. Holzbauer, forms a new architectural dominant feature. It is dominated by the Donau City Tower, completed in 2013 (total height 220 m; by D. Perrault); a twin tower is in the planning stage. The axes of the Reichsbrücke to the north are marked by further high-rise residential buildings (including von Peichl, Coop Himmelblau), which build an urban bridge from the historic city center over the Danube to the northern urban development areas.
With the Museumsquartier (1990–2001, by Laurids and Manfred Ortner), which continues the axis from the Hofburg and the two historical museums with architectural and art forms of the 20th and 21st centuries, one of the largest cultural complexes in the world was created. Between the city center, the exhibition center and the Prater, the “Viertel Zwei”, a city quarter consisting of architecturally interesting office buildings (e.g. Martin Kohlbauer’s OMV headquarters), residential and recreational areas, was completed.
Other sights of Vienna are the 252 m high Danube Tower (1964) on the site of the former horticultural exhibition, the Prater, the Urania observatory and the central cemetery. With the new construction of the main station (fully operational in December 2015) and the elimination of the freight station, two new districts are planned on the large open spaces (Quartier Belvedere and Sonnwendviertel).