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Topographical map of Austria

Austria is located in the heart of Europe. It is bordered to the north by Czechia and Germany, to the south by Slovenia and Italy, to the west by Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and to the east by Hungary and Slovakia. Its capital city is Vienna.

The origins of modern Austria date back to the ninth century, when the countryside of upper and lower Austria became increasingly populated. The name of Austria Ostarrîchi is first documented in an official document from 996. Since then this word has developed into the German word Österreich.

Austria's political system is that of a federal, parliamentary representative democracy consisting of nine states. It 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 their constitution. It is one of Europe's leading industrialised countries,

Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995. It also a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, whose headquarters is based in Vienna.

Selected article

View of the gardens seen from the Upper Belvedere (1758)

The extensive Belvedere complex in Vienna was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy in the 18th century.

It consists of two magnificent Baroque palaces the Upper and Lower Belvedere, the Orangery, and the stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the 3rd district of Vienna, south-east of the city centre.

The Belvedere was built during a period of much construction in Vienna, which at the time was both the imperial capital and home to the ruling Habsburg dynasty. Many of the city’s most opulent edifices date from this era.

The Upper Belvedere houses the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere today, with artworks by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.


Selected picture

The Golden Roof in Innsbruck

Selected biography

Bertha von Suttner (1906)

Baroness Bertha von Suttner (9 June 1843 – 21 June 1914) was a novelist, radical (organizational) pacifist, and the first woman to be a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Suttner became a leading figure in the peace movement with the publication of her novel, Die Waffen nieder! ("Lay Down Your Arms!") in 1889 and founded an Austrian pacifist organization in 1891. She gained international repute as editor of the international pacifist journal Die Waffen nieder!, named after her book, from 1892 to 1899. Her pacifism was influenced by the writings of Henry Thomas Buckle, Herbert Spencer, and Charles Darwin. Though her personal contact with Alfred Nobel had been brief, she corresponded with him until his death in 1896, and it is believed that she was a major influence in his decision to include a peace prize among those prizes provided in his will, which she won in 1905.

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Did you know...

  • ... that the first record showing the name "Austria" is from 996 where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March?
  • ... that Austria currently produces more than half of its electricity by hydropower?

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