Linz is the third-largest city of Austria and capital of the state of Upper Austria. It is located in the north centre of Austria, approximately south of the Czech border, on both sides of the River Danube. The population of the city is , and that of the Greater Linz conurbation is about 271,000. In 2009 Linz, together with the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, was chosen as the European Capital of Culture. Since December 1, 2014 Linz is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities (UCCN) network as a City of Media Arts. Cities receive this title for enriching the urban lifestyle through the sponsorship and successful integration of media art and involving society in these electronic art forms. Linz is well known for the Linzer torte, which is said to be the oldest cake in the world, with its first recipe dating from 1653.
The city was founded by the Romans, who called it Lentia. The name Linz was first recorded in AD 799.
It was a provincial and local government city of the Holy Roman Empire, and an important trading point connecting several routes, on either side of the River Danube from the east to the west and Bohemia 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.
One important inhabitant of the city was Johannes Kepler, who spent several years of his life in the city teaching mathematics. He discovered, on 15 May 1618, the distance-cubed-over-time-squared — or 'third' — law of planetary motion. The local public university, Johannes Kepler University, is named after him.
Adolf Hitler was born in the border town of Braunau am Inn but moved to Linz in his childhood. Hitler spent most of his youth in the Linz area, from 1898 until 1907, when he left for Vienna. The family lived first in the village of Leonding on the outskirts of town, and then on the Humboldtstrasse in Linz. After elementary education in Leonding, Hitler was enrolled in the Realschule (school) in Linz, as was the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Notorious Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann also spent his youth in Linz. To the end of his life, Hitler considered Linz to be his "home town", and envisioned extensive architectural schemes for it, wanting it to become the main cultural centre of the Third Reich. In order to make the city economically vibrant, Hitler initiated a major industrialisation of Linz shortly before, and during, the Second World War.
In addition to an ordnance depot, Linz has a benzol (oil) plant which was bombed during the Oil Campaign on 16 October 1944. What was once the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp is , east of the city of Linz.