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The city is a major tourist destination and an important gateway. It is the seat of many international organizations such as OPEC and the IAEA, and is also the fourth UN town next to Geneva, Nairobi and New York.

Vienna has an interesting urban history. The town has a medieval inner core which until the mid-1800s was surrounded by fortifications. The fortification had been developed during the 15th and 16 century to keep the enemy out, mainly Turks. This led to the town eventually was getting choked. One of the city's problems was that there was no natural thoroughfares between the city center and surrounding country, to the settlement that had grown up there. From 1809 to 1850, the ruins of the fortification stood unchanged, but in 1857 Emperor Franz Joseph gave his permission for the fortifications with a thickness of 600 meters could be demolished, and was released a huge construction site. It was announced a big competition, and the three prize-winners contributions were processed by the government. Ringstraße, as the area was called, consists of about 30 public buildings, 38 statues, fountains, seven and five parks.

The street is characterized by this annular area. Among the most significant cultural buildings can especially be mentioned St. Stephen's Cathedral, emperor's former residence, the Hofburg, the imperial summer palace Schönbrunn, Belvedere Palace, beside the Town Hall and Parliament Building. Nature Prater park with amusement area is also famous.

In Roman times it was a fortified camp Vienna, Vindobona. In 1278 it became the center of the Habsburg Empire (later Austria-Hungary), which it was until the end of WWI, which meant that Vienna today are much larger and more magnificent as the capital than the present Austria's size would suggest. The inner city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It suffered extensive damage during the Second World War, but was rebuilt after the war.

Wien also played a major role in the struggles between the European powers and the Ottoman Empire, and by the early 1500s, the city close to the borders of the Ottoman Empire. In 1529 Vienna was the first time besieged by the Ottoman troops, who, however, had to raise the siege after a short time. In 1683, however, Vienna besieged by the Ottomans for the second time, and only by means of a number of Catholic states, including Poland, managed the imperial troops to raise the siege. In the ensuing wars, however, the Turks chased away from the Hungarian plains, and Vienna was no longer a border. A lasting memory from the Turkish siege is wien Ernes love of coffee. In 1809 Napoleon suffered his first major defeat outside Vienna. Vienna was also a time occupied by Napoleon.
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