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

City hall of Vienna

Vienna (/vˈɛnə/; German: Wien [ˈviːn]; Austro-Bavarian: Wean) is the capital of Austria and one of the nine states. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.7 million, and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 10th largest city by population in the European Union. Vienna is host to many major international organizations such as the United Nations and OPEC.

Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region of 3 million inhabitants, referred to as Twin City. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Vienna was ranked #1 as the world's most livable city by the Mercer Survey in 2009 and 2010. Analytically, the city was ranked 1st globally for a culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, and 2nd globally after Boston in 2009 from 256 cities on an analysis of 162 indicators in the Innovation Cities Index on a 3 factor score covering culture, infrastructure and markets.

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Selected biography

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.

Quotes

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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