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Austria, formally the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine federal states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, the most populous city and federal state. Austria 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. The country occupies an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of around 9 million.

Austria, as a unified state, emerged from the remnants of the Eastern and Hungarian March at the end of the first millennium. Originally a margraviate of Bavaria, it developed into a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire in 1156 and was later made an archduchy in 1453. In the 16th century, Vienna began serving as the empire's administrative capital and Austria thus became the heartland of the Habsburg monarchy. Before the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire two years later, in 1804, Austria established its own empire, which became a great power and the dominant member of the German Confederation. The 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. Austria was the common name for the non-Hungarian parts of the state, also known as Cisleithania.

After 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 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. After its liberation in 1945 and a decade of Allied occupation, the country regained its sovereignty and declared its perpetual neutrality in 1955.

Austria is a semi-presidential representative democracy with a popularly elected president as head of state and a chancellor as head of government and chief executive. Major cities include Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. Austria has the 17th highest nominal GDP per capita with high standards of living; it was ranked 25th in the world for its Human Development Index in 2021. (Full article...)
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Wiener Schnitzel

Schnitzel (German pronunciation: [ˈʃnɪtsəl]) is a traditional dish consisting of an escalope coated in breadcrumbs and fried. It is a popular part of Viennese and Austrian cuisine. In Austria the dish, called Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese Schnitzel), is traditionally served with a lemon slice and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter. Although the traditional Wiener Schnitzel is made of veal, it is now often made of pork. When made of pork, it is often called Schnitzel Wiener Art (Germany) or Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (Austria) to differentiate it from the original. In Austria, the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made from veal. There are also regional versions of Schnitzel, such as "Salzburger Schnitzel", which is stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, onions, and other various herbs.

There is a debate as to where schnitzel originated. Some claim Milan, northern Italy, as cotoletta alla milanese, though others say it appeared in Vienna during the 15th or 16th century. One hypothesis is that it could have been brought to Austria during the Battle of Vienna in 1683 by Polish and German troops. According to another hypothesis, it was introduced in 1857 by Field Marshal Radetzky, who spent much of his life in Milan.

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Clock tower of Graz


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Statue of Athena outside the Austrian Parliament
Statue of Athena outside the Austrian Parliament

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Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner FRS (7 November 1878 – 27 October 1968) was a physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Meitner was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission, an achievement for which her colleague Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize. Meitner is often mentioned as one of the most glaring examples of women's scientific achievement overlooked by the Nobel committee. A 1997 Physics Today study concluded that Meitner's omission was "a rare instance in which personal negative opinions apparently led to the exclusion of a deserving scientist" from the Nobel. Element 109, Meitnerium, is named in her honour.

Did you know (auto-generated)

  • ... that a priest refused to perform the wedding ceremony for Austrian socialist Josef Peskoller and his fiancée Maria Griel on political grounds in 1928?
  • ... that in the 1920s, Austrian painter Richard Geiger produced numerous portraits of the character Pierrette?
  • ... that Mordecai Strelisker published a Hebrew elegy on the death of Emperor Francis I of Austria?
  • ... that in the 1930s Alfred Verdross, an Austrian international lawyer and future judge of the European Court of Human Rights, sympathised with National Socialism?
  • ... that American horticulturalist Joseph Lancaster Budd traveled to England, France, Austria, Russia, and China in 1882 to discover fruit trees that could grow in Iowa?
  • ... that although Austrian model Greta Hofer was only discovered in 2020, she was chosen to work exclusively for Prada that year?

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