The city of Vienna has kind of an odd but prominent place in Ottoman history. It was never part of the Ottoman Empire, but two Ottoman attempts to conquer it bookend the period of the empire’s greatest territorial reach and military power. We’ve looked at the second of those attempts, the 1683 Battle of Vienna that really serves as the empire’s high water mark, and today is the anniversary of the end of the first, the 1529 Siege of Vienna. While it, too, failed, its failure didn’t signal a decline in Ottoman power so much as it defined the empire’s territorial limits and led to a period of relative stasis in eastern and central Europe. It was also the first battle of the centuries-long rivalry between the Ottomans and the Habsburgs, a rivalry that defined much of European history.
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