Foundation by the Babenberger
In 1192 the Babenberger duke Leopold V. decided to found a very fortified city on the plateau of the southwestern Steinfeld. Apart of the ransommoney of the English King Richard the Lionheart could be used for the construction of this new city.
By awarding of important privileges the new city flourished excellently. The establishment of the late-Romanesque parish church “Zu unserer lieben Frau” (To our dear woman) was started in 1200. This church is now known as the Wiener Neustädter dome. In the south-eastern part of the city the castle complex with the four towers, the later military academy, was also built during the reign of the Babenberger. .
Prime under the Habsburg
In the 15th century Wiener Neustadt enjoyed its heyday. This was the time when emperor Friedrich III. has used this city as his residence for many decades. In 1459 Friedrich’s famousson, the later emperor Maximilian I. was born in Wiener Neustadt’s castle, and he was also burried in the beautiful splendid St.-George-Cathedral of thecastle in 1519.
In 1469 a diocese was founded in Wiener Neustadt.
Siege and capture by Matthias Corvinus
After a two year siege, during which the great fortified city was exemplarily defended, Wiener Neustadt had to open its doors for the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus and his troops. The Hungarian king gave the so-called “Corvinusbecher” as a present to the people of Wiener Neustadt. In commemoration of this time this showpiece with magnificent enamel ornaments still can be visited in the reception hall of the townhall. It took three years until the young King Maximilian I. was able to recapture his hometown.
During the 16th century Wiener Neustadt lost most of its significance, because it was no longer residence. However, the city could excellently serve as a bastion which was its initial duty. Wiener Neustadt could successfully counter the Turkish and the Kuruzen.
Maria Theresia founds a military academy
In 1751 Maria Theresia decided to establish a royal cadet house in the imperial castle. This decision was of great importance. The famous “Theresianische Militärakademie” (Theresianian military academy) started education in 1752 and is still existing today. It is the only place of training for army officers of the Austrian federal armed forces and furthermore it is the oldest military academy in the world. Since some years the MilAk has been acknowledged as a course of studies for military leadership at the university for applied science which means that the status of education is even more upgraded.
The “Flugfeld” (airfield) of Wiener Neustadt
In 1909 the municipality agreed to build an air field in the north of Wiener Neustadt in order to support mechanic alaviation. On this field the First Austrian Aviation Week took place only two years later, in 1911. The airfield of Wiener Neustadt was the first official one in Austria. Even flight pioneers like Igo Etrich, Karl Illner, or Adolf Warchalowski made attempts to fly here.
Destruction during the Second World War and reconstruction
After the annexation of Austria to the German Empirein March 1938, Wiener Neustadt became an important place for the war industry. In 1940 the air craft factory of Wiener Neustadt already supplied a fourth of the total production of the Me (Messerschmitt)-109-fighterplanes. And in the plants of the former established locomotive factory “Rax-Werke” the assembly of A-4-missiles was started in 1943. These were the reasons why Wiener Neustadt was nearly completely destroyed by bombs during the Second World War. About 50,000 bombs reduced the old Babenbergertown to rubble.
Before people could start with reconstruction work, thousands of tons of rubble had to be removed. In 1946 the city council appealed to the population to work voluntarily, and the people complied with the appeal without exception. After Austria regained its freedom throught he “Staatsvertrag” (international treaty) and the occupying forces left our country, the reconstruction of the most destroyed city of Austria was finished for the most part.
And from this time on nothing could prevent Wiener Neustadt from developing to a great and important centre of Lower Austria.
Wiener Neustadt today
With more than 40,000 inhabitants Wiener Neustadt presents itself today as the center of the south-eastern Lower Austria aswell as a city with important functions for industry, trade and research. The attractiveness of the city can also be shown by the fact that the censusin 2001 amounted a growth of the population of more than 7 percent.
RIZ (regional innovation center), TFZ (technology and research center) and Austria’s first and largest Fachhochschule (=university for applied science) for economics and technology with approximately 2,500 students can be found in the suburban area. The FH research subsidiary “Fotec” initiated the “Med Austron” project, a therapy and research centre in which cancerous tumors can be efficiently cured by means of a particle accelerator. “MedAustron”, the start of the building is planned for spring 2008, is a pan-European major project, which will provide approx. 400 new jobs.
Aswell as Lower Austria’s largest events hall “ARENA NOVA” and the project businesspark CIVITAS NOVA turn Wiener Neustadt into a city with great future prospects.
During the last years many renowned companies have already settled in the Civitas Nova. Examples are: the Austrian lotteries or the company “SOL - Technische Gase” and “JST”.
Also Diamond Aircraft has been producing here, ins pring 2008 Austro Engine will start production. The nearly perfect infrastructure and traffic situation make the operating settlement very attractive almost for companies of all kinds.
Wiener Neustadt is anauthority city, administrative center, traffic junction of railways, motorways and expressways aswell as second largest shopping area of the state of Lower Austria. Moreover it is the largest school city of Lower Austria and a garrison town.
The “Allzeit Getreue” (means: always faithful) has been developed from a grey industrial city to a modern centre of the southern Lower Austria – and also the northern Burgenland – during the last decades. Specific investments into the most diverse fields made this development possible. The city preserves and maintains its history. However, it does not rest on its laurels, but always looks into the future, because standstill would mean stepping backwards. For this reason Wiener Neustadt is a lovable city worth living in, which both guests and inhabitants commended again and again.
European city and twintown of Monheim at the Rhine and Desenzanodel Garda
Since 1975 Wiener Neustadt is also “Europastadt” (Europeancity), because the efforts to make a contribution for a new Europe have already been recognized at that time:
In that year an unanimous resolution of the Council of Europe Wiener Neustadt was awarded the European flag, the tenth city of Austria. On the occasion of aceremony to the “Nationalfeiertag” (national holiday on Oct, 26th) in 1989 Wiener Neustadt – as the first city of Austria - was honoured by receiving the badge of honour of the Council of Europe.
Since 1971 Wiener Neustadt has been Sister City of Monheim am Rhein in Germany. Moreover Wiener Neustadt has ties of friendship to Eisenstadt, the capital of the Burgenland, and to the Hungarian city Sopron within the framework of a “3-cities-friendship”. Wiener Neustadt is also member of the association “Neustadt in Europe”, a group that counts 33 members: “Neustädte” in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 2002 Wiener Neustadt entered into a further partnership between cities. Within a ceremony in Wiener Neustadt’s city hall Desenzano del Garda (inItaly) became the second Sister City of the “Allzeit Getreue” (means: always faithful). This means that a north-south-axis was established by Wiener Neustadt and its Sister Cities Monheim and Desenzano.
Since 2006 the city of Wiener Neustadt has succeeded in establishing friendly relations with the Chinese city of Harbin which has over 3 millions of inhabitants. The Charter of Town Twinning shall be signed in the first half of 2008.
Wiener Neustadt – History of an 800-year-old city
Foundation by the Babenberger