The history of Vienna has been long and varied, beginning when the Roman Empire created a military camp in the area covered by Vienna's city centre.
From that humble beginning, Vienna grew from the Roman settlement known as Vindobona to be an important trading site in the 11th century. It became the capital of the Babenberg dynasty and subsequently of the Austrian Habsburgs, under whom it became one of Europe's cultural hubs. During the 19th century as the capital of the Austrian Empire and later Austria-Hungary, it temporarily became one of Europe's biggest cities. Since World War I, Vienna has been the capital of the Republic of Austria.