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Republic of Austria


German 92,3%, Slovenian and Croatian


78,0 % Catholic, 8,6 % Lutherans, 4,8 % Muslims, 2,0 % Jews, 0,2 % other, 0,2 % unknown

Political System

Democratic Republic

9 states



Geographical Information

Capital: Vienna

Area: 83,858 km2,

Border countries: Czeck Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland

Climate: temperate, continental, cold winters with snow in the mountains, cool summers

In the west and south: mountains (Alps), mostly flat along the eastern and northern borders.

Highest point: Großglockner: 3,798 m.

Strategic location of the crossroads of Central Europe

Typical Food and drinks

Wines from different regions, spirits, some famous special coffees.

Specialities varying from region to region like "Wiener Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, Reisfleisch, Käsenudeln, Knödel, Salzburger Nockerl, Mozart Kugel,…" and specialities influenced by other cultures (hungarian gulasch)

Excellent cakes, chocolate, jams

Holidays and Festivals

National Day: 26th October (commemorates the State Austrian Treaty which restored national sovereignty and the end of the occupation as well as the passage of law on permanent neutrality)

Christmas, New Year, Easter, other Catholics days

1th of May (Labour Day)


Austria was part of the medieval German Empire.

From the 14th/15th century onwards, the rulers of the Roman Empire came from the Habsburg Dynasty. A specifically Austrian culture developed in the 17th century.

Austria was once the Roman territory of Noricum. Under the Franks Austria was first considered part of Bavaria.

1154: Austria is a duchy ruled by the Babenberg family.

13th century: domination by a German King Rudolf of Habsburg. Austria was ruled by the Habsburg for the next 640 years. Habsburg extension into Hungary led to frequent conflicts with the Turks: war of 1593-1606 and Thirty Years War.

Up to 1713 the Austrian Empire was ruled successively by Charles VI, Maria Theresia, Franz II, 1867 K and K Monarchy.

During World War II Austria was part of Nazi Germany. In 1945 Red army forces occupied the country and Vienna. The country was under official Allied occupation from May 9, 1945 to July 27, 1955.

1995: Austrian joins the European Union.

Art and culture

Literature: Rilke Rainer Maria, Franz Kafka, Franz Grillparzer, Hugo von Hofmannstal, Nestroy, Adalbert Stifter, Stefan Zweig, ….

Art: Franz Alt, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Kokoschka...

Music: Brahms, Bruckner, Mozart, Haydn, Gluck, Schubert, Maler, Lehar, Strauß, Schönberg,...

Film: Fritz Lang, Erich von Strohheim,...

Dos and don´ts for visiting the country

Don´t speak "Hochdeutsch" in Vienna. It´s an old tradition to speak "Viennese Dialect".

Austrians like to be addressed with their titles.

In rural areas using the familiar form "du" is common, even when talking to strangers. In those regions there is no need to make arrangements before visiting someone.

People are always welcome.

Most common form of greeting: "Gruß Gott" and "Servus"

Austrians expect people to show respect for the environment.

Population and

% of foreign population /minorities

8,188,207 million

88 % German, 9,3 % Croatians, Sloveners, Hungarians, Czechs, Roma, and the rest are migrants/minorities of all over the world

Main Integration Problems

Mistrust of Turkish people and other foreigners (e.g. Sloveners)


Declining economic activity

Increasing unemployment




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This project is being carried out with the support of the European Community in the framework of the Socrates programme. The content of this project does not necessarily reflect the position of the European Community, nor does it involve any responsibility on the part of the European Community. For questions and contact:
Latest update of this page: 2005-07-15 
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