35 Amazing Facts about Austria | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- Austria is officially called the Republic of Austria. In German it is called Osterreich which means “eastern kingdom” or “eastern empire”.
- Austria is a landlocked country in central Europe , with a land area of 83,855 km² (32,377 mi²). About 75% of Austria is considered to be in the Alps.
- Austria has a population of about 8.5 million people . Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, with a population over 1.7 million.
- Austria is bordered by 8 countries, Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Hungary and Slovakia to the east.
- Austria is a mountainous country due to its location in the Alps, two-thirds of the country sits over 500m (1,640 ft) above sea level. The highest point is the mountain of Grossglockner at 3,798 metres (12,461 ft).
- The Krimml Falls, with a height of 380 meters, are amongst the highest waterfalls of Europe.
- The Danube river is unique as it runs through 4 capital cities , the most in the world . These capital cities include: Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; Budapest, Hungary; and Belgrade, Serbia. It is Europe’s major river flowing West to East, starting in Germany’s Black Forest and flows into the Black Sea through Romania and the Ukraine. It provides important transportation route.
- Modern Austria is the German-speaking part of the Austrian (later Austro-Hungarian) Empire ruled by the Habsburg family from 1526 to 1918. In the 16th century, the Austrian Empire included Austria, Belgium, Czecho-slovakia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain, Spanish American colonies, parts of Italy and the former Yugoslavia.
- The Austrian flag is in fact one of the oldest national flag in the world dating back to 1191.
- Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria was one of the great powers of Europe under the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
- In 1938, Austria was incorporated into Nazi Germany and ceased to exist as an independent country until 1955.
Places / Architecture
- Amazing fact is that Schönbrunn Palace, the summer palace of the Habsburgs, has no less than 1,440 rooms.
- The world’s largest emerald (2860 carat) is displayed in the Imperial Treasury of the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Vienna.
- Founded in 803 as Stiftskeller St. Peter, Haslauer is the world’s oldest inn/restaurant still in operation, and the oldest company in Europe.
- The oldest zoological garden in the world is the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, founded in 1752.
- The Semmering Railway, between Gloggnitz and Simmering, built over mountains, was one of the greatest civil engineering works of 19th century.
- Vienna is the only capital city to produce its own wine as vineyards are within the city limits catering to requirements.
- The Central Cemetery” of Vienna, opened in 1874, holds a dead population of almost twice the living population of Vienna. In its time of erection, a horse tram ran from the first district of the city to the cemetery which was eventually replaced with an electric tram, which still runs the same route today being the major public transportation line to the cemetery.
People Customs & Culture
- German is the official language of Austria and is spoken by over 88% of the population. Other local languages include Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Turkish and Polish.
- Austria has some of the highest standards of living in the world. Among Europeans, Austrian people work the longest, with an average of 45 hours per week.
- Vienna was divided into four pieces at the conclusion of World War II. France, Britain, Russia, and the United States all took control over certain sections. The occupation ended in 1955 with the Austrian State Treaty, stating Austria’s dedication to a neutral stance and the vow not to become a member of NATO nor the Soviet bloc.
- Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and adopted the Euro currency in 1999.
- Six months of military service is required of all Austrian men. If they object , they may do 9 months of civilian service.
Economy & Corporates
- Tourism is a major industry as about 23 million travelers or tourists to Austria each year, almost 3 times the actual population.
- Over 60 percent of Austria’s electricity is supplied by renewable sources.
- The founder of the German sports car company ‘Porsche’ was the Austrian Ferdinand Porsche. He also designed the Volkswagen (the “people’s car”).
- The sewing machine was invented in 1818 by Josef Madersperger, an Austrian.
- Austria has 20 Nobel Prize laureates including seven in Physiology or Medicine, five in Chemistry, three in Physics and Economist Friedrich Hayek.
- Dr. David Livingstone (1813-1873) who explored the interior of Africa was an Austrian. Gregor Johann Mendel, who established the basis of modern genetics, was also an Austrian.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger was born and raised in Austria before moving to America to become a Hollywood actor.
- Many famous scientists have come from Austria, including Ernst Mach, Christian Doppler and the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud.
- Many prominent members of the Rothschild family of bankers and investors were Austrian citizens.
- The Austrian celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who owns over 70 restaurants in the USA, is the second top-earning chef in the world, with revenues of $16 million a year. Another Austrian, Eckart Witzigmann is one of only four chefs to be named chef of the century.
- Austria has sometimes been called “the land of music. It is home to some of the most famous classical music composers the world has ever seen including Joseph Haydn, Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- Alpine skiing is a very popular sport in Austria, as are snowboarding and ski-jumping and football.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team