The Austria Portal

Topographical map of Austria
Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe, situated at Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine states, one of which is the capital Vienna, the largest city and state by population. The country is bordered by Germany to the northwest, the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. It occupies a area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of 9 million people.

Austria emerged from the remnants of the Eastern and Hungarian March at the end of the first millennium. Originally a margraviate of Bavaria, it later developed into a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire in 1156, and then an archduchy in 1453. As of the 16th century, Vienna began serving as the administrative imperial capital and Austria thus became the heartland of the House of Habsburg. Following the Empire's dissolution in 1806, Austria established its own empire, which became a great power and the dominant member of the German Confederation. The Austrian Empire's defeat in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 led to the end of the Confederation and paved the way for the establishment of Austria-Hungary a year later.

Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, Emperor Franz Joseph declared war on Serbia, which ultimately escalated into World War I. The Empire's defeat and subsequent collapse led to the proclamation of the Republic of German-Austria in 1918 and later the First Austrian Republic in 1919. During the interwar period, anti-parliamentarian sentiments culminated in the formation of an Austrofascist dictatorship under Engelbert Dollfuss in 1934. A year before the outbreak of World War II, Austria was annexed into Nazi Germany by Adolf Hitler, and it became a sub-national division. Following its liberation in 1945 and an extended period of Allied occupation, the country regained its sovereignty and declared its perpetual neutrality in 1955.

Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a popularly elected president as head of state and a chancellor as head of government and chief executive. Major urban areas include Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Austria is consistently listed as one of the richest countries in the world by GDP per capita, one of the countries with the highest standard of living, and was ranked 18th in the world for its Human Development Index in 2020. (Full article...)

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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.

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Main square of Linz


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Statue of Athena outside the Austrian Parliament

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Konrad Lorenz (November 7, 1903 in Vienna – February 27, 1989 in Altenberg) was a zoologist, animal psychologist, and ornithologist. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch. He is often regarded as one of the founders of modern ethology, developing an approach that began with an earlier generation, including his teacher Oskar Heinroth. Lorenz studied instinctive behavior in animals, especially in greylag geese and jackdaws. Working with geese, he rediscovered the principle of imprinting (originally described by Douglas Spalding in the 19th century) in the behavior of nidifugous birds.

He wrote numerous books, some of which, such as King Solomon's Ring and On Aggression became popular reading. In later life his interest shifted to the study of man in society.

Did you know (auto-generated)

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  • ... that Austrian master metalsmith Cyril Colnik chose to close his shop rather than make armaments for World War I?
  • ... that since the German army did not accept female doctors, Käte Frankenthal served in the Austrian army during World War I, and was the only woman in her barracks?
  • ... that Austrian neurologist Adele Juda concluded that Mozart was "psychiatrically normal"?
  • ... that Austrian engineer Ernst Lauda, who worked on preventing the Danube from flooding, was granted his own coat of arms (depicted)?
  • ... that the Austro-Hungarian yacht Dalmat carried Archduke Franz Ferdinand on his journey to Sarajevo in 1914 and returned with his body?
  • ... that Austrian industrialist Hans Lauda was critical of his grandson Niki's Formula One ambitions, as he believed that "a Lauda should be on the economic pages of the newspaper, not the sports pages"?

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