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History of Linz

The city was founded by the Romans, who called it "Lentie", but there was already a Celtic settlement called "Lentos"; probably their word for the winding of a river.

The city was a provincial and local government city of the Holy Roman Empire, but it was also an important trading point connecting several routes, on either side of the river Danube from the East to the West and Czechoslovakia and Poland from north to the Balkans and Italy to the south.

Being the city where the Habsburg Emperor Friedrich III spent his last years, it was, for a short period of time, the most important city in the empire. It lost its status to Vienna and Prague, after the death of the Emperor in 1493.

Another important inhabitant of the city was Johannes Kepler, who spent several years of his life in the city studying mathematics. He discovered, on May 15, 1618, the distance-cubed-over-time-squared — or 'third' — law of planetary motion. He first made the pope accept its worth. Kepler is the namesake of the local public university, the only one in Austria that embraces the cam stem.

Another honoured citizen of the city was Anton Bruckner, who spent the years between 1855 and 1868 working as a local composer and church organist in the city. The local concert hall and a local private music and arts university are named after him.

The parents of Adolf Hitler are buried near Linz, in the town of Leonding. He was enrolled in the same Linz school as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Shortly before, and during World War II, Linz grew to become a major industrial area; manufacturing chemicals and steel for the Nazi war machine. Many factories were dismantled in the newly-acquired Czechoslovakia, and then reassembled in Linz. Hitler had extensive architectural plans for Linz. He regarded it as his home town and wanted to turn it into the main cultural centre of the Third Reich. The Rathaus on the Hauptplatz was used by Hitler proclaiming the Grossdeutsches Reich on the balcony of the Rathaus, during der Anschluss.

The Mauthausen-Gusen camps, the last Nazi concentration camps to be liberated, are located near Linz, with the main camp in Mauthausen just 15.6 miles (25km) away.

After the war, the river Danube that runs around Linz — from the eastern side to the northern side — which separates the Urfahr district in the north from the rest of Linz — served as the border between the Russian and American occupation troops. The Nibelungen bridge that spans the Danube river from the Hauptplatz (main square) was at that time Linz's version of Checkpoint Charlie. The Nibelungen Brücke is the only architectural plan Hitler ever carried out in Linz

Modified: 2007-02-11 15:31:11+01
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linz


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