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  • 23,000 B.C. Venus of Willendorf, a representative of a Danubian fertility goddess, is crafted near Vienna.
  • 1000 B.C. Illyrian tribes establish a society near Vienna.
  • 400 B.C. Vendi tribes migrate from Gaul eastward to regions around Vienna.
  • 100 B.C. Romans make military inroads into southern Austria.
  • A.D. 10 Vindobona (Vienna) is established as a frontier outpost of the Roman Empire. Within 300 years, it's a thriving trading post.
  • 400 Vindobona is burnt and rebuilt, but the event marks the gradual withdrawal of the Romans from Austria.
  • 500 Vienna is overrun by Lombards.
  • 630 The Avars take Vienna.
  • 803 Charlemagne conquers the Danube Valley and the site of Vienna, labeling what's now Austria Ostmark.
  • 814 Death of Charlemagne signals dissolution of his empire.
  • 881 First documented reference to Vienna (Wenia) appears.
  • 955 Charlemagne's heir, Otto I, reconquers Ostmark.
  • 962 Otto I is anointed the first official Holy Roman Emperor by the pope.
  • 976 Leopold von Babenberg rises to power in the Danube Valley.
  • 996 Austria is referred to for the first time with a derivation of its modern name (Ostarrichi).
  • 1030 After Cologne, Vienna is the largest town north of the Alps.
  • 1147 A Romanesque predecessor of St. Stephan's Cathedral is consecrated as the religious centerpiece of Vienna.
  • 1192 English king Richard the Lion-Hearted is arrested and held hostage by the Viennese. His ransom pays for construction of the city's walls, completed in 1200.
  • 1221 City charter is granted to Vienna, with trading privileges.
  • 1246 Last of the Babenbergs, Friedrich the Warlike, dies in battle. Bohemian king Ottokar II succeeds him.
  • 1278 Ottokar II is killed at Battle of Marchfeld. Rudolf II of Habsburg begins one of the longest dynastic rules in European history.
  • 1335 and 1363 Habsburgs add Carinthia and the Tyrol to Austrian territory.
  • 1433 Central spire of St. Stephan's is completed.
  • 1453 Friedrich II is elected Holy Roman Emperor and rules from Vienna.
  • 1469 Vienna is elevated to a bishopric.
  • 1485-90 Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus occupies Vienna's Hofburg.
  • 1490 Maximilian I recaptures Hungary and lost dominions.
  • 1496 A Habsburg son marries the infanta of Spain, an act that eventually places a Habsburg in control of vast territories in the New World.
  • 1519 Charles I, Habsburg ruler of Spain, is elected Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V.
  • 1521 Charles V cedes Vienna to his brother for more effective rule.
  • 1526 Rebellion in Vienna leads to brutal repression by the Habsburgs.
  • 1529 In the first Turkish siege, fire destroys half of Vienna.
  • 1533 Vienna is declared the official Habsburg capital.
  • 1556 Charles V cedes his position as Holy Roman Emperor to his brother Ferdinand, the Austrian king.
  • 1560 Vienna's city walls are strengthened.
  • 1571 Ferdinand grants religious freedom to all Austrians. Before long, 80% of Austrians have converted to Protestantism.
  • 1572 The Spanish Riding School is established.
  • 1576 A reconversion to Catholicism of all Austrians begins. The Counter-Reformation begins.
  • 1600-50 Hundreds of Catholic monks, priests, and nuns establish bases in Vienna as a means of encouraging the reconversion, and strengthening the Habsburg role in the Counter-Reformation.
  • 1618-48 The Thirty Years' War almost paralyzes Vienna.
  • 1679 In the worst year of the plague, 75,000 to 150,000 Viennese die.
  • 1683 Turks besiege Vienna but are routed by the armies of Lorraine and Poland.
  • 1699 Turks evacuate strongholds in Hungary, ending the threat to Europe.
  • 1700 The last of the Spanish Habsburgs dies, followed a year later by the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • 1740 Maria Theresa ascends the Austrian throne despite initial tremors from the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48).
  • 1769 Schönbrunn Palace is completed.
  • 1770 The marriage of a Habsburg princess (Marie Antoinette) to Louis XVI of France cements relations between Austria and France.
  • 1780 Maria Theresa dies, and her liberal son, Joseph II, ascends to power.
  • 1789 Revolution in France leads to the beheading of Marie Antoinette.
  • 1805 and 1809 Armies of Napoleon twice occupy Vienna.
  • 1810 Napoleon marries Habsburg archduchess Marie-Louise.
  • 1811 Viennese treasury is bankrupted by military spending.
  • 1814-15 Congress of Vienna rearranges the map of Europe following the defeat of Napoleon.
  • 1815-48 Vienna's Biedermeier period, supervised by Klemens von Metternich, marks the triumph of the bourgeoisie.
  • 1832 First steamship company is organized to ply the Danube.
  • 1837 Austria's first railway line is created.
  • 1848 Violent revolution in Vienna ousts Metternich, threatens the collapse of Austrian society, and ushers 18-year-old Franz Joseph I into power.
  • 1859 Austria loses control of its Italian provinces, including Venice and Milan.
  • 1862 Flooding on the Danube leads to a reconfiguration of its banks to a channel in Vienna's suburbs.
  • 1867 Hungary and Austria merge, becoming the Austro-Hungarian Empire, headed by the emperor Franz Joseph I.
  • 1869 Vienna's State Opera House is completed.
  • 1873 Vienna hosts the World's Fair.
  • 1889 Crown Prince Rudolf dies at Mayerling, sparking controversy.
  • 1890-1900 Vienna's outer suburbs are incorporated into the city as Districts 11 to 20.
  • 1914 Assassination of the heir to the Habsburg Empire, Archduke Ferdinand, sparks World War I.
  • 1916 Franz Joseph dies and is succeeded by Charles I, last of the Habsburg monarchs.
  • 1918 World War I ends, Austria is defeated, Charles I abdicates, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire is radically dismantled.
  • 1919 Liberalization of Austrian voting laws enacts monumental changes in the social structure of Vienna. "Red Vienna" period begins; the city swings radically to the left.
  • 1927 Violent discord rocks Vienna.
  • 1929 Worldwide economic depression occurs.
  • 1933 Austria's authoritarian chancellor, Engelbert Dollfuss, outlaws the Austrian Nazi party.
  • 1934 Dollfuss is assassinated by Nazis.
  • 1938 German Nazi troops complete an amicable invasion of Austria that leads to the union of the two nations (Anschluss) through World War II.
  • 1943-45 Massive bombings by Allied forces leave most public monuments in ruins.
  • 1945 Allied forces defeat Germany and Austria. Vienna is "liberated" by Soviet troops on April 11. On April 27, Austria is redefined as a country separate from Germany and divided, like Germany, into four zones of occupation. Vienna also is subdivided into four zones.
  • 1955 Allied forces evacuate Vienna; Vienna is the capital of a neutral Austria.
  • 1961 Summit meeting in Vienna occurs between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev.
  • 1979 Summit meeting in Vienna occurs between Leonid Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter.
  • 1986 Investigations into the wartime activities of Austrian chancellor Kurt Waldheim profoundly embarrass Austria.
  • 1989 The last heiress to the Habsburg dynasty, Empress Zita of Bourbon-Parma, in exile since 1919, dies and is buried in one of the most elaborate funerals in Viennese history.
  • 1995 Austria, Sweden, and Finland are admitted to the European Union.
  • 1997 After 10 years, longtime chancellor Franz Vranitzky steps down, turning over leadership of Social Democratic Party.
  • 1998 Austria decides to return art that Nazis plundered (much of it in museums).
  • 1999 Right-wing Freedom Party stirs worldwide protests against Austria.
  • 2000 The E.U. issues sanctions against Austria, and then rescinds them.
  • 2004 Celebrations throughout Austria as its homegrown son, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is elected governor of California.
  • 2006 Center-Left opposition wins in Austria.
  • 2008 Global warming poses threat to ski resorts.
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