"visiting friends in Vienna"
Town Hall in Vienna
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeTown Hall in Vienna - Credit: Gryffindor

 Vienna is the capital city of Austria.  During the Middle Ages, it was also capital of the Holy Roman Empire, which began its association with culture, science and prosperity.  At the time of the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th Century, it became capital of the Austrian Empire, thereby demonstrating its continual position as a city of importance.  It has always been a major world centre for Classical music; Johann Brahms (1833-1897) spent most of his career in Vienna, and the courageous Richard Strauss (1864-1949) also lived and worked there at times.  At the time our story is set - the cusp of World War One - Vienna was enjoying its status as a centre of culture and modernism; along with its artistic prestige, it also became the place where the practice of psychoanalysis gained a foothold, largely through the poineering work of Austrian Sigmund Freud.  In 1938, Austria became part of the Third Reich after Hitler marched into Vienna and declared them annexed; it is worth noting that there was considerable Austrian support for this at the time.  The city received serious damage from the Allies during World War Two, but is now considered one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world.  In 2005 it was elected the best place to live (joint with Vancouver) for quality of life; it is also the site of the United Nations headquarters.