Portal:Austria

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The Austria Portal

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Satellite image of Austria showing the Alps in the middle with the Danube flowing in the northern part

Austria is one of Europe's leading industrialised countries, located in the heart of Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Czech Republic 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.

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

Almsee in the Salzkammergut

The Salzkammergut is a resort area located in Austria. It stretches from City of Salzburg to the Dachstein mountain range, spanning the federal states of Upper Austria (80%), Salzburg (7%), and Styria (13%). The main river of the region is the Traun, a tributary of the Danube. The name Salzkammergut means "Estate of the Salt Chamber" and derives from the Imperial Salt Chamber, the authority charged with running the precious salt mines in the Habsburg empire.

Large parts of the region were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1997, with the description: "Human activity in the magnificent natural landscape of the Salzkammergut began in prehistoric times, with the salt deposits being exploited as early as the 2nd millennium B.C. This resource formed the basis of the area's prosperity up to the middle of the 20th century, a prosperity that is reflected in the fine architecture of the town of Hallstatt."

Selected picture

The Golden Roof in Innsbruck

Selected biography

Karl Landsteiner on the Austrian 1000 Schilling note

Karl Landsteiner (June 14, 1868 – June 26, 1943), was a biologist and physician. He is noted for his development in 1901 of the modern system of classification of blood groups from his identification of the presence of agglutinins in the blood, and in 1930 he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. With Alexander S. Wiener, he identified the Rh factor in 1937. Landsteiner and Erwin Popper discovered the polio virus in 1909. He was awarded a Lasker Award in 1946 posthumously.

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Civilization is a work of peaceful co-operation.

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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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