Etrius originally built the Vienna Chantry in 920, while still a living mage, though he was frequently away at Ceoris after the construction of that stronghold. Located several miles north of the city (at the time), Vienna was larger than Ceoris and had better laboratories; it was also more accessible. Etrius, and subsequently his lieutenant (and later childe) Filaereus, were far more openly involved in mortal government than strictly allowed by the Order of Hermes. As vampires, Etrius and Filaereus allied with Valerianus against the Nosferatu of the city. When Valerianus met Final Death, Lotharius became the new Prince of Vienna, ensuring the total domination of the city by Clan Tremere.
The defection of Goratrix in 1314 and the Gargoyle Revolt in the 1400s did what the Order of Hermes and the Tzimisce could not: they drove the Tremere from Ceoris. The threat of another betrayal from within their own ranks made the remote castle simply too dangerous. Etrius ordered the Founder's torpid body moved to the city he knew best and felt most secure, which was already synonymous with the Tremere in the eyes of most Kindred.
Astrid Thomas ran the chantry as High Regent in the 20th century, after a long career in diplomacy. By this time the chantry had been absorbed into Vienna proper, although its specific location and configuration changed almost weekly for security reasons. Somehow, all Tremere just knew about these changes as they happen, which other clans occasionally found eerie. The Clan Founder remained in torpor deep beneath Vienna, and only members of the Inner Council of Seven were able to see him and leave unscatched. "Called to Vienna" was a common euphemism used when a Tremere met an unfortunate fate.
In 2008, the Second Inquisition managed to successfully raid the Prime Chantry, destroying it and sending most of the vampires in Vienna to the Final Death or exile. Although some surviving Tremere have expressed wishes to return to Vienna, the majority consider the city now off-limits.