Country Austria


Republic of central Europe, it lies between Switzerland to the W, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia to the N, Slovenia and Italy to the S, and Hungary to the E. The Alps run through the W and S of the country. Austria is situated at the crossroads of Europe and has therefore played an important role in the history of the continent. Its capital, Vienna, has a splendid cultural tradition and was from the 13th through the 19th centuries the nucleus of the vast empire of the Hapsburgs, which stretched, at various times, from Spain to Romania. In the modern world, Austria’s status has been greatly reduced by the shrinking of her boundaries and a treaty commitment to nonalignment.

Originally inhabited by Celts and Suebi, Austria was conquered by Rome between 15 b.c. and a.d. 10. Its land s south of the Danube River were incorporated into provinces of the empire. Overrun by the Huns in the fifth century a.d., Austria was conquered by Charlemagne in 788 and became part of his Eastern Mark or Ostmark. Later invaded by Moravians and Magyars, it was restored to Germany in 955, when the first Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I, defeated the Magyars at Lechfeld, near Augsburg. Under the Babenberg family from 976 to 1246, Austria was enlarged and strengthened, becoming a duchy in 1156. In the chaos following the death of the last Babenberg, King Ottokar II of Bohemia seized Vienna in 1251. He was ousted by the German king Rudolf I of Hapsburg in 1278, who made his son Albert governor of Austria, thus initiating six centuries of Hapsburg rule.

In the following years Austria acquired Tyrol, Trieste, Carinthia, Bohemia, and Hungary. When Albert II was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1483, Austria became the nucleus of the Holy Roman Empire. The Hapsburgs acquired the Netherland s and much of Burgundy by marriage and , in 1519, on the accession of Charles V, they gained Spain and much of Italy.

Austria was threatened in 1526 by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire, whose siege of Vienna was repulsed, a milestone in European history. With the spread of the Catholic and Protestant Reformations in the 16th century, Austria was torn by religious differences, which finally erupted in 1618 with the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War. Austria won Moravia in the war and by 1699 had finally driven the Turks out of Hungary.

In the 18th century the Spanish Hapsburgs lost their throne in the War of the Spanish Succession of 1701–14, and in the War of the Austrian Succession of 1741–48. Silesia was lost to Prussia, a loss that reflected Prussia’s rising power in German affairs. With the partitions of Poland of 1772 and 1795 Austria gained new land s in the east, but the wars of the Napoleonic era spelled the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. Austria was defeated by Napoleon at Austerlitz in 1805 and Wagram in 1809, but by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 she acquired Dalmatia and Venice and again became a main power of Europe. In this period Austria and , particularly Vienna, was a glittering cultural center, the home of Mozart and Beethoven.

The 19th century was to witness the gradual disintegration of the sprawling Hapsburg Empire. The empire was rocked by the abortive revolutions of 1848, caused by the rise of liberalism and nationalism among its many ethnic groups. In 1859 Austria lost all her possessions in Italy except Venice, and after her defeat in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, leadership in German affairs passed to Prussia. As a sop to Hungarian nationalism, the empire was divided into a dual monarchy in 1867. However, the problems of the other nationalities remained, and when a crisis occurred over Serbia in 1914, World War I began. The war sounded the death knell of the Hapsburg Empire, and the Austria that emerged from the Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919 was the small republic of our day. Dogged by political instability, it was annexed by Hitler’s Germany in 1938. During World War II it suffered the same fate as Germany and in 1945 was occupied by the four Allies. In 1955 the United States, the USSR, Great Britain, and France signed the State Treaty with Austria ending the occupation. The postwar years have been characterized by a remarkable economic recovery and prosperity, Austrian neutrality in East-West affairs, and many initiatives in North-South economic issues. Austria joined the European Union in 1995, which sparked an upsurge in support for anti-immigrant political parties. In 1999, the ultra-right wing Freedom Party came in third in the balloting and joined in a governing coalition government, bringing Austria temporary sanctions from the European Union.

Austria Images


Austria: Top Cities

Vienna 1,691,468 Vienna 16.37 x 48.21 Europe/Vienna
Graz 222,326 Styria 15.45 x 47.07 Europe/Vienna
Linz 181,162 Upper Austria 14.29 x 48.31 Europe/Vienna
Salzburg 150,269 Salzburg 13.04 x 47.80 Europe/Vienna
Innsbruck 112,467 Tyrol 11.39 x 47.26 Europe/Vienna
Klagenfurt am Woerthersee 90,610 Carinthia 14.31 x 46.62 Europe/Vienna
Les Abymes 63,058 Guadeloupe -61.50 x 16.27 America/Guadeloupe
Villach 58,882 Carinthia 13.86 x 46.61 Europe/Vienna
Wels 57,946 Upper Austria 14.03 x 48.17 Europe/Vienna
Sankt Polten 49,001 Lower Austria 15.63 x 48.20 Europe/Vienna
Dornbirn 43,013 Vorarlberg 9.73 x 47.42 Europe/Vienna
Steyr 39,566 Upper Austria 14.42 x 48.04 Europe/Vienna
Wiener Neustadt 38,481 Lower Austria 16.25 x 47.80 Europe/Vienna
Baie-Mahault 30,551 Guadeloupe -61.59 x 16.27 America/Guadeloupe
Feldkirch 29,446 Vorarlberg 9.60 x 47.23 Europe/Vienna
Le Gosier 28,698 Guadeloupe -61.49 x 16.21 America/Guadeloupe
Bregenz 27,611 Vorarlberg 9.75 x 47.50 Europe/Vienna
Wolfsberg 25,610 Carinthia 14.84 x 46.84 Europe/Vienna
Petit-Bourg 24,994 Guadeloupe -61.59 x 16.19 America/Guadeloupe
Baden 24,893 Lower Austria 16.23 x 48.01 Europe/Vienna
Klosterneuburg 24,843 Lower Austria 16.33 x 48.31 Europe/Vienna
Leoben 24,809 Styria 15.10 x 47.38 Europe/Vienna
Weinzierl bei Krems 24,092 Lower Austria 15.60 x 48.40 Europe/Vienna
Traun 23,959 Upper Austria 14.23 x 48.23 Europe/Vienna
Krems an der Donau 23,932 Lower Austria 15.61 x 48.41 Europe/Vienna
Sainte-Anne 22,859 Guadeloupe -61.38 x 16.23 America/Guadeloupe
Amstetten 22,832 Lower Austria 14.87 x 48.12 Europe/Vienna
Leonding 22,736 Upper Austria 14.25 x 48.28 Europe/Vienna
Le Moule 22,692 Guadeloupe -61.35 x 16.33 America/Guadeloupe
Kapfenberg 21,819 Styria 15.29 x 47.44 Europe/Vienna