(Republik Österreich, Republic of Austria)
- Location : Central Europe
- Capital: Vienna
- Language: German (Austrian German)
- Population: 8,356,707
- Total Area: 83,855 km2
- Currency: Euro
Austria’s Hapsburg dynasty ruled until the end of the First World War in 1918. The empire, in its different forms, ruled, relatively peacefully over central Europe and their culture was responsible for producing for some of the most influential people in both sciences and the arts. They largely lost their power after the Great War, though they were part of the Third Reich- Hitler, of course, was raised in Austria. Since their independence in 1955, they have settled into a neutral role. Today people visit Austria more for its cultural past than its cultural present.
It is astounding the number of influential people Austria has produced for such a small country. The capital Vienna famously produced a generation of classical composers- Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert- that changed western music. Some may now criticize Sigmund Freud, but his theories have had more impact on western psychology than any psychologist before or after. Even today, Austrians still highly regard his ideas. Other famous Austrians include Thomas Mann, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gustav Klimt.
With only 32% of the country below 500 metres, the country is perfect for skiers. In the past, it has lived in France’s shadow, but in recent years, its relative cheapness has attracted an increasing amount of skiers. Most of the best ski resorts are in the Alps. Saalbach for example is a good choice for Intermediates, Alpbach is a good choice for beginners and St Anton has slopes more suited to the advanced skiers. In total Austria has around 300 ski resorts.
Austria is renowned for its classical composers. Mozart, Schubert, Haydn and Beethoven were all part of the first Viennese School of classical music. Today one can hear their compositions playing in Vienna in some of the most spectacular concert halls in the world such as the Musikverein and the Vienna State Opera. The Musik Verein is home to what people regard as the finest philharmonic orchestra in the world.
-Burgenland Croatian is one of the local official languages in the country.
-Because of the Alps, Austria is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe.
-The German name for Austria is translated to mean 'eastern kingdom'.
-There are nine federal states in the country.
-The first Winter Youth Olympics was held in Innsbruck, Austria.
Of all the countries in Western Europe, Austria has the best and most renowned cuisine. Some people put this towards the fact they have adapted many of the foods from countries such as Czech Public and Bulgaria into their own menus. For example, goulash and dumplings are as popular in Austria as they are in the countries they originated in. A traditional Austria food is Schnitzel- a boneless meat like pork fried in breadcrumbs. It may not sound much, but done well and served with potato salad, it is a tasty and very filling dish. Austrians often finish a meal with a drink of schnapps.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2012 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Simon Arms (Berlin, Germany)
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).