The Republic of Austria is a landlocked country in Central Europe.
Comprising nine federal states and is one of six European countries that have declared permanent neutrality and one of the few countries that includes the concept of everlasting neutrality in its constitution. The name "Ostarrichi" is first documented in an official document from 996, since then this word has developed into Österreich.
Officially the Republic of Austria, the majority of the population speaks German, which is also the country's official language. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a a high standard of living.
Today's Austria is what was once the German speaking core and center of power for the large multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, from the start of the 20th century, the political history of Austria has been closely linked to the misfortunes and disasters of modern German history, mainly the First and Second World Wars.
Austria's past as a European power and its cultural environment have generated a broad contribution to various forms of art, most notably among them music. Austria has been the birthplace of many famous composers such as Johann Strauss, Sr., and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, much of Mozart's career was spent in Vienna.
Austria was the cradle of numerous scientists with international reputation. A present-day quantum physicist is Anton Zeilinger, noted as the first scientist to demonstrate quantum teleportation. A focus of Austrian science has always been medicine and psychology, starting in medieval times. Austria was also home to psychologist Sigmund Freud.
Austria's cuisine is derived from that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Famous for its variations of beef and pork and countless variations of vegetables. There is also the "Mehlspeisen" Bakery, which created particular delicacies such as Sachertorte, "Krapfen" which are doughnuts usually filled with apricot marmalade or custard, and "Strudel" such as "Apfelstrudel" filled with apple and "Topfenstrudel" filled with sweetened sour cream. Typical Austrian dishes include Wiener Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten, Kaiserschmarren, Knödel, Sachertorte and Tafelspitz. There are also Kärntner Kasnudeln, a cooked filled dough-bag with a type of cottage cheese and spearmint. The "Eierschwammerl", also known as "Pfifferling", are native yellow, tan mushrooms. The candy Pez was invented in Austria.
The city is an art treasure chest with so many museums and art galleries to choose, it really is a cultural destination. Tthe city centre designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fourth-largest city in Austria, Salzburg's “Old Town” was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The city is noted for its Alpine setting, and the birthplace of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The city was the setting for parts of the musical and film The Sound of Music.
The origins of Austria date back to the time of the Roman Empire when a Celtic kingdom was conquered by the Romans in approximately 15 BC, and later became Noricum, a Roman province, in the mid 1st century AD. In 788 AD, the Frankish king Charlemagne conquered the area, and introduced Christianity. Under the native Habsburg dynasty, Austria became one of the great powers of Europe. In 1867, the Austrian Empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary. The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed in 1918 with the end of World War I. After establishing the First Austrian Republic in 1919 Austria was de facto annexed into Greater Germany by the Nazi regime in 1938. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Austria was occupied by the Allies. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the country would become permanently neutral.
The modern republic of Austria came into being in 1918 as a result of its defeat in World War I. In its wake, the empire was split into many components. Following an unresistant invasion and annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938, Austria more or less functioned as a part of Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Thus a large proportion of the population supported Hitler and Austria's incorporation into Germany. It was not until the end of the war that the mood changed and Austria tried to distance itself from Germany. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the Allied and Soviet occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and again forbade future unification with Germany. A constitutional law of that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality", which was a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. This official neutrality, once ingrained as part of the Austrian cultural identity, has been called into question since the Soviet Union's collapse of 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995.
|Area||83,872 km2 / 32,383 sq mi|