Vienna is the capital of Austria, and by far the largest city in Austria as well as its cultural, economic and political center. Vienna lies in the very east of Austria and is close to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
The city developed from early Celtic and Roman settlements into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It played an essential role as a leading European music center, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century.
The historic center of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late 19th century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks. In 2001, the city center was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city ranks third in the world in terms of quality of life.