Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in the Eastern Alps in southern Central Europe and consists of nine federal states, including Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria. Austria is a culturally rich and high-income parliamentary democracy with several important international organizations. Located in the heart of Central Europe, the modern Austrian state was shaped by the two world wars of the 20th century.
The Austrian Alps cover 62% of the country’s total land area.
Austro-Hungarian Baroness Bertha von Suttner was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905.
Austria is home to Europe’s tallest Waterfalls – the Krimml Waterfalls. They reach a height of 380 meters.
Founded in 1752 as an animal menagerie by Emperor Franz Stephan, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Tiergarten is the oldest zoo in the world.
The largest ice cave in the world can be found in Werfen. It extends for almost 42 kilometers.
Death in Austria is big business, and the Austrian funeral industry is said to be largest per capita in Europe.
Even though Austria is very small, it shares borders with eight other countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
Austrian film directors Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, and Fred Zinnemann played an important role in the creation of Hollywood shortly before and after World War II.
Austria is one of the world’s most eco-friendly countries – about 63% of waste is recycled and most of the electricity comes through the use of renewable energy sources.
The magic words for wine drinkers in Vienna are ein Achtel (an eighth of a liter), which is the most common serving size in Vienna.
The mountain Großglockner (3,798 m) is the country’s highest point.
During World War II in Austria, the numbers 0 5, painted on a wall or door, marked the symbol of Austria’s resistance during the Nazi Anschluss.
Approximately one-third of the country’s forested lands is protected area.
Before starting to eat, Austrians say “Guten Appetit!” and before starting to drink, they toast by clinking glasses while looking the other person in the eye, because to not make eye contact is rude and is said to bring upon oneself seven years of bad sex.
Austria has 13 peaks with a height of 3,000 meters and 34 peaks that exceed 2,000 meters.
Viennese psychiatrist Sigmund Freud is best known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, which has heavily influenced modern psychology as well as other domains of science and culture. He died in exile in London in 1939.
Whether it’s alpine or downhill – skiing has been the most popular sport in Austria for more than 100 years.
Beloved Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” of Austria suffered potentially from anorexia.
In the 19th century, Austria was one of the most powerful countries in the world. Back then, the total area was almost 700,000 square kilometers.
In Austria, the Tracht, or traditional folk costume, is accepted as formal wear and can be worn even to an elegant ball at the Viennese Opera.
Postcards were first published in Austria.
One of the world’s best-known Austrians is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in the Terminator and Predator action film series, among others; was governor of California from 2003-2010; and is a member of the Kennedy clan by marriage.
The best-preserved Stone Age man in the world was found in the Oetz Valley in Tyrol. His name is “Oetzi” and he died around 5,300 years ago.
Born in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy and supposedly had the gift of a perfect memory.
Austri became a member of the European Union in 1995.
The first Austrian horse sports riding club, the Österreichische Campagnereiter-Gesellschaft, was founded in 1872 and had the Emperor Franz Joseph I as a patron.
Austria is among the six EU countries that are not members of NATO.
Austrian actor Christoph Waltz has won two Academy Awards for Best-Supporting Actor Award for his roles as the sadistic SS Standartenfürher Hans Landa, in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds in 2010, and as German dentist and bounty hunter King Schultz in Tarantino’s Django Unchained in 2013.
The Austrian National Library in Vienna is home to more than 2 million books and one of the world’s major libraries.
Vienna, Austria, is home to the world-famous Spanish Riding School and its prized white Lipizzaner stallions.
Half of the Austrian men are overweight whereas only 20% of Austrian women are overweight – the lowest rate of all EU countries.
The Austrian Eisriesenwelt Caves, called “the world of the ice giants,” is the largest accessible ice cave system in the world.
Austria is always among the countries with the highest standard of living in the world.
Austria’s formal name is Republik Öesterreich (Republic of Austria), which literally means “Eastern Realm.”
Freedom of religion is important in Austria and every child over the age of 14 can decide the religion on their own.
Austria’s flag is one of, if not the, oldest national banners in the world.
Around one-fourth of Austria’s population lives in the capital city Vienna.
Austria has 32,383 square miles (83,871 square km) of area. It is slightly smaller than Maine and completely landlocked.
Military training is mandatory for all Austrian men and it lasts less than a year.
The great Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius died at Vindobona, present-day Vienna, on March 17 in A.D. 180.
The average life expectancy in Austria is 81 years.