Linz, city, capital of Bundesland (federal state) Oberösterreich (Upper Austria), north-central Austria. Linz lies along the Danube River 100 miles (160 km) west of Vienna. It originated as the Roman fortress of Lentia and became an important medieval trading centre. By the 13th century it had all of the outward characteristics of a city but none of a city’s rights. It became the provincial capital in the 15th century during the residence of the Holy Roman emperor Frederick III and was noted for its fairs. The see of a Roman Catholic bishop since 1785, Linz has become an important cultural centre, with the Johannes Kepler University (1966), schools of art and music, a college-level Academy of Industrial and Art Design (1947), a seminary, scientific institutes, museums and art galleries, libraries, archives, an opera house, and theatres.