Dear Readers,

The year 2015 presents itself with a barrage of anniversaries, from the 650-year celebration of the University of Vienna, the 200- year anniversary of the Congress of Vienna reshaping Europe after the Napoleonic wars, the liberation of Austria 70 years ago leading to the regained independence through the Austrian State Treaty in 1955, before ultimately joining the common project of a European Union (EU) 20 years ago: 2015 provides for countless multi-thematic articles which could fill a book!

Exploring the Grand Boulevard



Take a walk down the Ringstrasse and explore the monumental buildings on Vienna's grand boulevard.


“Es ist mein Wille”

How the Ringstrasse Became One of the World’s Most Beautiful Boulevards

Vienna’s Ringstrasse is a masterpiece of urban planning and remains one of the most famous boulevards, not only in Europe, but around the globe. Its roots lie in the historical defense infrastructure of Vienna, built in the 13th century. After collecting ransom payments from the release of King Richard I. “Lionheart” of England, the Austrian Archduke built city walls around Vienna.


Monumental Buildings & Palaces

By Markus Kristan

The sale of Ringstrasse lots began on May 19, 1860. The first stage saw the construction of residential buildings on Opernring, Kärntner Ring, and Kolowratring (today Schubertring), and on Franz-Josefs-Kai, Rudolfsplatz, and Karlsplatz. 

A Magic Dignity

Vienna's Jewish Boulevard

By Danielle Spera

The Ringstrasse is Vienna’s most magnificent boulevard, but it is different from the elegant streets of London or Paris. It is neither a shopping street nor a street full of vibrant activity. 

On March 12, 1365, Duke Rudolph IV (the “Founder”) established the University of Vienna, “Alma Mater Rudolphina Vindobonensis” as it has been called by literary sources, along the lines of the Sorbonne in Paris. The members of this “universitas magistrorum et scholarium” (the community of teachers and learners) were initially even exempt from taxes and military service.

A University’s Home

The Main Building of the University of Vienna on the Ringstrasse

By Julia Rüdiger

On March 12, 1365, Duke Rudolph IV (the “Founder”) established the University of Vienna, “Alma Mater Rudolphina Vindobonensis” as it has been called by literary sources, along the lines of the Sorbonne in Paris. 

A Dark History

Anti-Semitism at the University of Vienna

By Katharina Kniefacz

Anti-Semitism and nationalism were rampant in Austria among members of the University of Vienna before the National Socialists came to power in Austria in March 1938. Today, these aspects of the university’s history remain frequently discussed issues.

Taking Responsibility. Sending a Signal. 

20 Years of the Austrian National Fund.

By Hannah Lessing

In 2015, the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism celebrates its 20th anniversary. The National Fund was established in 1995 to express Austria’s special responsibility towards the victims of National Socialism.

By Julian Steiner

Vienna was home to four heads of state, diplomats from 18 European countries, and a great number of courtiers, secretaries, and ladies from September 1814 to June 1815. The Congress of Vienna, the largest summit of heads of state and diplomats until then, reorganized Europe after the Napoleonic Wars and set the stage for about 100 years of peace on the continent and made Vienna the political and social capital of Europe for nine months.

1815 - the Idea of Europe

By Manfred Matzka

From June 9 to October 31, 2015, an exhibit brought the Congress of Vienna of 1815 back to life at its original location in the present Federal Chancellery and the Austrian State archives. The building of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, previously the Geheime Hof- & Staatskanzlei (secret court and state chancellery) and venue of the Congress of Vienna was the core of the exhibit.


How Schnitzel Saved the Federal Chancellery

By Klaus Mayr

While there have been many changes in Europe since the year 1717, one thing has stayed the same: The Austrian chancellor’s mailing address (As a gesture to modernity, a virtual address was added though: www. I am writing about the “Ballhausplatz” – one of Europe’s historic centers of power, illusion, delusion, war and peace, love and hate – just like Downing Street Number 10, the Elysée, or the White House in Washington, D.C.


20 Years of Austrian EU Membership

Austria’s accession to the European Union marked the completion of the process of Austria’s integration efforts, which had started long before the submission of Austria’s application for membership to the European Communities (EC) by then minister of foreign affairs, Alois Mock, on July 17, 1989.