Vienna is located on both banks of the Danube river, with the foothills of the Eastern Alps on the west and the plains of the Danube Basin on the east.
In 2002 the city dominates the economic and cultural life of Austria and contains about one-fifth of the country's population. Population (1991) 1,539,848.
Vienna is by far Austria's most important manufacturing, banking, and insurance center. The city contributes roughly one-fifth of Austria's total industrial plant. Principal manufactures are food products, electrical equipment, chemicals, machinery, metal products, textiles, clothing, printed materials, and paper. Also important are handicraft industries, producing such goods as porcelain, jewelry, glass items, leather goods, and musical instruments.
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Since the mid-1950s the city has been the site of many international political and economic meetings and conferences. The United Nations City, a complex completed on the left bank of the Danube in 1979, is the seat of several international organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also has its headquarters in the city. The biennial Vienna Fair (founded in 1921) continues to play an important role in the economic life of central Europe.
Of special importance to Vienna's economic well-being in the post-World War II period is the large number of foreign visitors attracted to the city.
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Vienna was for many centuries the political and economic center of the Austrian Empire under the Habsburg family, and between 1867 and 1918 the capital of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
Following World War I (1914-1918), with Austria greatly reduced in size, the city found itself with a suddenly limited role and its importance declined. At the end of World War II (1939-1945), Vienna was heavily damaged, but after the signing of the State Treaty in 1955, guaranteeing neutrality for Austria, it again resumed considerable importance as a commercial and transportation center.
A modern limited-access highway extends north from Vienna to
Germany, and in the 1980s
a highway was constructed to the south.
Vienna's international airport is located at Schwechat to the southeast.
Major cities near Vienna:
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